Disney Being “Very Careful” With Star Wars Movie Development, Says CEO Bob Iger; The Marvel brand isn’t “inherently disabled,” but “Do you need a third or fourth” sequel for every character?

Disney CEO Bob Iger says the company is still “very cautious” about developing Star Wars feature films in the wake of Solo‘s soft box office, while Marvel is also rethinking the character count of sequels.

During an appearance at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, Iger asked an open question about the health of flagship brands Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and Disney. Iger, who returned to the corner office last November, built his reputation on engineering the acquisitions of these outside companies during his previous stint as CEO.

“I think of a lot of them — they’re all my babies, in a way,” the executive said.

With Marvel, he says, “there are 7,000 characters, there are a lot more stories to tell. What we have to look at at Marvel is not necessarily the volume of Marvel stories we tell, but how many sometimes we go back to the well on certain characters. Sequels usually work well for us. Do you need a third and a fourth, for example, or is it time to turn to other characters?

Iger wasn’t specific, but his comments came less than three weeks after the Marvel Cinematic Universe entry was released. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the third Ant-Man film. It grossed over $600 million worldwide, but garnered a lukewarm response from critics and saw a 69% second-weekend drop in the US, the biggest of any MCU title. nowadays.

“There’s nothing inherent to the Marvel brand,” Iger pointed out. “I think we just have to look at what characters and stories we tap into. If you look at the trajectory of Marvel in the next five years, there will be a lot of new things. We’re going to be returning to the Avengers franchise with a whole new set of Avengers, for example.

As for Star Wars, Iger said “disappointing” box office returns in 2018 for Solo, one of two standalone films included among three “saga” installments, “gave us a break” in terms of the feature film pipeline. Leaders determined that “maybe the pace was a bit too aggressive,” he added. Disney is “always developing Star Wars movies,” Iger continued, but “we’re going to make sure that when we make one, it’s the right one. So we’re being very careful there.

Episodic series based on Star Wars mythology, such as The Mandalorian, Andor and several others have been “extremely successful,” noted the CEO.

The core Disney brand, Iger said, remains “very strong, certainly the most powerful brand in family entertainment” 100 years after its inception. The upcoming live-action version of The Little Mermaid, he said, is testament to Disney’s power. “I think when you see this it will remind you how strong the brand is,” he said.

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