As phase 4 of the MCU picks up the pace, fans are looking forward to a plethora of new superheroes and villains being added to the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. After over a decade of entertaining fans with standalone and crossover movies, the MCU is undeniably a major player in 21st-century big-screen comic-movie adaptations. By developing individual story arcs for each character, Marvel successfully created a dynamic universe full of amazing, talented actors.
Watch: Dave Bautista Is Ready to Wrap Up ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’
Establishing the main and supporting characters and connecting them through complex plots, made it easy for fans to connect the dots when all – or most – of the characters came together for one big crossover movie. But Avengers: Endgame wasn’t just the climax of a decade of superhero domination for the MCU, it was also a lift-off point for future MCU projects. Many of which are expected to usher in new characters to the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. But with such a huge roster of heroes and villains needing screen time – and storylines, Marvel Studios could find a talent management problem on their hands.
The Guardians are Ready to Wrap
Although the end of phase 3 drew the curtains on some characters like Iron Man and Black Widow, the MCU is still having to do more adding than subtracting. Phase 4 of the MCU commenced with WandaVision and FTWS and we’ve already seen a couple of new characters like Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau and Wayte Russell as John Walker aka US Agent. But with so many exciting characters and complex plots, the downside is that some character arcs will be abandoned or postponed indefinitely.
Recently WWE veteran, Dave Bautista, announced he’d be leaving the franchise after the third and last Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Buatista, who plays Drax, cited age as the main factor for his departure from the franchise. Recently, Bautista spoke to Collider about his thoughts on his time as Drax and how he felt about the character’s role.
“I think they really missed the ball on Drax,” he said. “Selfishly, as a performer, that would have given me the opportunity to show different sides of Drax, emotionally. And physically as well. Because, if you notice, Drax, although he looks like a badass he gets his ass kicked more than any other Marvel character.”
Bautista continued “The whole “Destroyer” thing, they just threw that out the window… people just fell so in love with the comedic side of Drax they tapped into that, then they tapped into it more, then they really dug a hole into it.”
But we missed a huge boat on that character and I don’t think it’ll ever come back around.
The Overcrowding Issue
Bautista will be 54 when GOTG 3 will be released and it’s quite understandable that he isn’t interested in doing any more shirtless scenes. However, there has been no word on what path Marvel intends to take with the character. Although Bautista’s concerns are justified, they are also tell-signs of a universe gradually tilting towards overcrowding.
The success the MCU has enjoyed in the past decade comes from its dedication to intricate character development and this might just be its bane after all. Characters like Wanda Maximoff and Sam Wilson’s Falcon cum Captain America have had to wait 6 or 7 years for their chance at a solo run, and there are still a handful of exciting characters whose character arcs haven’t been explored fully.
Marvel’s alliance with Sony also means The X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool are going to be thrown into the fray pretty soon. Doctor Strange’s Multiverse of Madness is expected to usher in a more mystical corner of the MCU which will feature titles like Blade and Morbius. There is also a Young Avengers project in the works as well as sequels for Antman and the Wasp, Black Panther, and Spiderman.
Luckily, with comic-movie adaptations beginning to gain even more attention, Marvel might not have to worry about superhero fatigue for quite awhile. But will they be able to develop the right bunch of new characters capable of continuing the pedigree of the past decade?
Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 will be released in theatres on May 5, 2023.