Will the Avengers be assembling again some time soon?
Disney CEO Bob Iger hinted during the studio’s quarterly earnings call Wednesday that Marvel Studios will likely unveil the next slate of films from its cinematic superhero universe at some point this summer.
Iger declined to give specifics about what masked heroes will be in the spotlight for the next phase of Marvel films, though he said “Avengers: Endgame” provided some clues regarding what the future of the comic book empire will look like.
“There are huge opportunities,” Iger said of the possible sequels, spinoffs and standalone superhero films to come. “There are many many different directions that we can go.”
“Avengers: Endgame,” which brought a close to the current phase of Marvel movies, debuted with a historic $1.2 billion and has since racked up $2.3 billion in ticket sales and counting. But “there are more possibilities beyond it,” Iger promised. Although the Disney chief was mum on what heroes we can expect to see saving the world in future adventures, projects already in the works include movies on “Shang-Chi,” the first Asian-American-led comic book film, and “The Eternals,” a epic fantasy about a race of aliens.
Iger noted that when Disney bought Marvel, they estimated there were some 8,000 characters that populated the comic book universe. He added that the forthcoming stories will be “platform agnostic.” As previously announced, Marvel has new Disney Plus series featuring Loki, Falcon, Winter Soldier, Scarlet Witch and Vision. The upcoming shows will be “intricately linked and tied to the storytelling” in the narrative that has unspooled on the big screen over the past decade.
“No one else is doing that,” he said.
Disney Plus, which the company hopes will challenge Netflix for streaming dominance, will also get the chance to offer these Marvel movies to its subscribers. “Avengers: Endgame” will debut on the service on Dec. 11, roughly a month after Disney Plus launches.
The chairman also suggested there are opportunities beyond film and television to bring Marvel characters to life. One such area could be Disney’s theme parks in China, where Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are popular.
“At some point, we’re going to get very ambitious about what we do with Marvel at Shanghai Disneyland,” Iger said.