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‘The Marvels’: Overcoming Superhero Fatigue in a Tricky Year for Comic Book Movies

2023 has been a precarious year for comic book movies. The Marvels is set to premiere at the end of year that has already seen superhero movies with a roller coaster of highs and lows at the box office. This year, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and Guardians Vol. 3 were actually quite well received. On the other end of the spectrum, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, The Flash and Shazam! Fury of the Gods were met with mixed or negative reviews.

However, director Nia DaCosta promises to shake up the creeping superhero fatigue with The Marvels. In addition to a thrilling team up between The Marvels, the creative team promises a compelling narrative with original world building that will make the sequel stand out.

Saving the Day Amid Superhero Fatigue

Superhero fatigue was a term coined to address the trend of Marvel and DC movies underperforming at the box office. Historically, superhero movies were a surefire box office hit. The spectacle of seeing a sweeping narrative of good vs. evil with cutting edge visual effects were best experienced in a movie theatre.

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While certain hero movies released this year have squashed the narrative, they seemed to be exceptions as opposed to the rule.

Spider-Verse co-writer and producer Christopher Miller addressed superhero fatigue in a June interview with Rolling Stone. “I don’t believe it’s super superhero fatigue, I believe it’s ‘a movie that feels like a movie I’ve seen a dozen times before’ fatigue,”

James Gunn adds to the conversation with a similar insight. “I think it doesn’t have anything to do with superheroes,” the director explained. “It has to do with the kind of stories that get to be told, and if you lose your eye on the ball, which is character.

How The Marvels Plans to Stand Out in the MCU Canon

Fans may recognize Sundance alum and decorated director Nia DaCosta from her film ‘Candyman (2023). DaCosta was the first Black woman to debut at the top spot in the US box office. With this kind of talent behind the scenes, there is absolutely hope for this film to join the ranks of Across the Spiderverse and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

DaCosta teases that her upcoming movie is not part of today’s superhero fatigue because it’s silly fun.  DaCosta claims that the difference between her film and the others is that The Marvels is “really wacky and crazy.” 

The director continues, “The worlds we go to in this movie are worlds, unlike others you’ve seen in the MCU. Bright worlds that you haven’t seen before.” Executive producer Mary Livanos agrees. She calls the “team up element” something that “women from all walks of life could relate to.”

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What We Know about the Plot of The Marvels

The Marvels picks up after Secret Invasion, the Disney+ series focusing on Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury as he and Ben Mendolsohn’s Talos. The two uncover a conspiracy by a group of Skrulls to conquer Earth.

The sequel starts as Carol Danvers has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree, a militaristic alien empire. However, unintended consequences see Carol shouldering the burden of a destabilized universe.

When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary, her powers become entangled with her estranged niece, Monica Rambeau and Jersey City super-fan Kamala Khan. These three begin swapping places with each other every time they use their powers.  While trying to determine why they are entangled, this unlikely trio must work together to save the universe.

The Marvels stars Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Zawe Ashton, Gary Lewis, Park Seo-joon, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Saagar Shaikh, and Samuel L. Jackson.

The creative team is its own powerful collaboration with Nia DaCosta directing and Kevin Feige producing. Mary Livanos, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz and Matthew Jenkins serve as executive producers. The screenplay is by Megan McDonnell, Nia DaCosta, Elissa Karasik and Zeb Wells.

The Marvels is set to release in theatres November 10, 2023.

More Like This: First Look: Official Trailer of ‘The Marvels’ Out Now

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