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Marvel, like 'WandaVision,' looks to the future while holding on to the past

January 18, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 47.1%. 2 min read.

With its opening episodes, Marvel's "WandaVision" has turned out to be a pretty good symbol of the crossroads at which Disney's pop-culture titan finds itself: Trying to move forward without letting go of the past.

(CNN)With its opening episodes, Marvel's "WandaVision" has turned out to be a pretty good symbol of the crossroads at which Disney's pop-culture titan finds itself: Trying to move forward without letting go of the past.

Marvel was supposed to begin turning the page from "Avengers" to the next phase of its grand plans in 2020.

Having established one of the industry's most powerful brands, Marvel appeared ready to tackle the challenge of losing Iron Man and Captain America, as played by Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, respectively, two of the heroes upon which its cinematic universe was meticulously built.

The "Black Panther" sequel will go forward but without its star, after Marvel chief Kevin Feige announced that the studio wouldn't recast the role.

Streaming TV represents a top priority for Disney and Marvel, which didn't enjoy the same level of success in their previous TV ventures that they did with their almost unparalleled track record in movies.

The savvy solution to that was to shift from projects like "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" and the gritty Netflix dramas that began with "Daredevil" to Disney+ titles that draw directly upon familiar faces from the Marvel films, including the upcoming "Loki" and "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. "

If nothing else, they keep fans engaged and talking about the Marvel universe, as they wait for something like "Black Widow" to see the light of day.

Marvel still possesses an enviable tool chest, and its "universe" is bigger than any single hero; still, in an entertainment business that's all about replicating success, nobody relishes retiring proven hits.

As the buzz surrounding "WandaVision" suggests, Marvel commands inordinate loyalty, and the studio's future -- both streaming and theatrically -- looks plenty bright.

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