What does the Endgame director have to say about the Multiverse trend? With Avengers: Endgame ending the Infinity Saga in 2019, the MCU has been able to take more dangers and wagers with its narrative in theaters and on Disney+. A few examples include Loki and NWH introducing the MCU’s Multiverse for the first time.
This is becoming increasingly apparent as Phase 4 of the MCU enters its second full year of content. Furthermore, the Multiverse is clearly going to play a significant role. Using its title as a vehicle to explore alternate realities, Doctor Strange 2 will be the first MCU film to do so.
While it’s already been confirmed that Marvel will use the Multiverse in other properties in Phase 4 and beyond, it’s unclear just how often that device will be used as a key storytelling device moving forward. As one of the most notable creative heads in the MCU points out, that could be a problem for Marvel Studios.
Russo expressed concern about the Multiverse trend of reusing characters from previous films, most lately seen in Spider-Man: No Way Home, through the use of the Multiverse, during an interview with IGN.
“Corporate agenda” in Hollywood is like executives giving fans the same thing over and over again with little or no change, according to Russo. His final admission was that companies are responsible for turning “the money printer on” in any way possible:
“The corporate agenda is: Do you like chocolate ice cream? Well here chocolate ice cream with sprinkles, here’s chocolate ice cream with fudge… It’s their job to turn the money printer on. It’s the creative’s job to say, ‘Well shit, I don’t know if I want to watch that.'”
Creatives, according to Russo, have a responsibility to “push back against the money printer” and challenge the status quo. Russo believes there are plenty of bright ideas that can surprise people, but he also cautioned against expecting corporations to do so as well:
“So yeah, too much of one thing is a bad thing, but I think there are enough creators and innovators in the space where you can expect to be surprised. Just don’t expect corporations to surprise you.”
Is there such a thing as too much good? This is a resounding yes, according to Joe Russo. Since the final moment of Phase 3, when Mysterio convinced Peter Park that the Multiverse exists in Spider-Man: Far From Home, Marvel Studios has been teasing the presence of the Multiverse. Since Phase 4 is here, the concept has been used in two live-action projects and the animated feature What If…?, and there are no signs of it slowing down.
As co-director of Phases 2 and 3 of the Avengers films with his brother Anthony, Joe Russo has a wealth of experience in the genre, having previously directed two Captain America films and two Avengers epics. Even though they didn’t use the Multiverse in any of their films, the duo knows better than anyone how dangerous it can be to focus too much on one plot device, no matter how exciting it may be.
When it comes to the Multiverse trend, whether or not he returns to the MCU, Russo keeps a close eye on things. However, Marvel must make sure that the concept doesn’t become tiresome to the audience any time soon.