Iron Man 2 Reviews Changed Marvel Studios’ Creative Process For MCU

Iron Man 2 received poor reviews upon its release, but it took the fall so that Marvel Studios could get the MCU where it is today.


Iron Man 2 Marvel Studios

Iron Man 2 was the reason for Marvel Studios’ changing their approach to movie making. The film’s reviews didn’t live up to the reception towards the first Iron Man film, which caused a lot of changes for the studio.

Marvel Studios decided that moving forward, they would take a break from making sequel films just for the sake of making a sequel and instead focus on the overarching narrative. Iron Man 2 actually did do all of this. It fleshed out Tony’s story along with his familial history, it introduced Black Widow, and it even opened up more of the world of Iron Man.

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Unfortunately, audiences didn’t respond well to Iron Man 2. While Iron Man 2 was only the third entry in the then-nascent MCU, it remains one of the least liked films in the franchise even to this day. According to the Story of Marvel Studios book, “[Iron Man 2‘s] critical response did give the studio pause. Especially as the desire to fast-track Iron Man 2 had come from Marvel Entertainment in New York. The lesson Marvel Studios took from their first sequel experience was simple but vital: Above everything else, always make sure there is a good creative reason to make a sequel.” In simplest terms, the film caused Marvel to not rush out sequels unless needed.

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This is a good idea in theory, but Marvel Studios appears to have nothing but sequels. Iron Man got three movies along with Thor, Captain America, and Spider-Man. Plus, Doctor Strange is getting a sequel film along with Black Panther and Captain Marvel. Even Ant-Man and the Wasp are set to debut their third film along with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Not to mention the Avengers received a total of four films.

Realistically, what this sounds like is that Marvel picked and chose which heroes got sequels and which didn’t rather than avoiding sequels altogether. For example, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, and Black Widow were rumored to be getting a film. After Iron Man 2, it’s possible the studio decided against these films, possibly seeing them as unnecessary. It’s also possible that this is part of the reason why Hulk never got a solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Moving forward, it would be nice to see Marvel make more creative choices for the movies they decide to release. Sequels aren’t bad, but the solo Marvel Studios projects on Disney Plus are a welcome change because it gives the other heroes more room to grow in their own uniquely written narrative. It also gives Marvel a chance to test the waters for the smaller characters and see how much they can draw in terms of viewer reception.

Iron Man 2 is currently available on Disney Plus.

MORE: In Marvel’s Phase 4, Who Becomes The New Tony Stark?

Source: The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (via Comic Book Resources)


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Iron Man 2 Reviews Changed Marvel Studios’ Creative Process For MCU