The key to improving the MCU is ‘making the audience care about their characters,’ not getting ‘bigger,’ says The Marvels star Iman Vellani

It didn’t seem like long ago, particularly around the time period leading into the Avengers: Infinity War film when it seemed like the Marvel Cinematic Universe was an unstoppable juggernaut — or perhaps a Mad Titan with all the Infinity Stones might be a more apt comparison. In other words, up until that point, and for over a decade straight, the MCU couldn’t miss in terms of box office success.

How quickly the tide turns. And the sentiment as well.

After Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania barely broke even at the domestic box office, the MCU’s most recent offering, The Marvels (sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel, which grossed over $1 billion worldwide), starring Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel and Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, opened to a dismal $47 million in North America and $63 million internationally, which as of this writing makes it the worst opening weekend for a MCU movie in the studio’s history and puts it on track to being the lowest-grossing MCU movie of all time.

Despite these shortcomings, The Marvels actress Vellani thinks she has the solution on how the MCU can regain some of its magic and potentially reach Avengers: Endgame levels of hype once more.

Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Marvel Studios

“I don’t know if it’s about just getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Because then, like, what’s left?” Vellani told The Direct. “I think it’s just about making the audience care about their characters. And I think they’ve established so many wonderful characters in the last phase of the MCU that it would be nice to see them all again and see them team up.”

Although The Marvels has garnered a less than stellar box office performance, earnings don’t necessarily make or break a film for Vellani. She still considers the MCU to be a worldwide phenomenon, with the movies still getting her excited despite a few misses lately.

“But yeah, I mean, I’m speaking as a fan,” Vellani continued. “Like I’m still there every Thursday night. All the Thursday night openings of these movies… they’re just like a source of happiness for me. And the commercial success honestly doesn’t determine the enjoyment of a film for me. I judge a movie by the feeling it left me with. And yeah, I do want to leave a movie feeling a little lighter and a little happier, and I hope the audience does, too.”

She reiterated this sentiment in an interview with Yahoo Entertainment.

“I don’t want to focus on something that’s not even in my control, because what’s the point?” Vellani said. “That’s for Bob Iger.”

“[The box office] has nothing to do with me,” Vellani added. “I’m happy with the finished product, and the people that I care about enjoyed the film. It’s genuinely a good time watching this movie, and that’s all we can ask for with these films. It has superheroes, it take place in space, it’s not that deep and it’s about teamwork and sisterhood. It’s a fun movie, and I’m just so happy that I can share it with people.”

What do you think the key to improving the MCU is? Do you think The Marvels star Iman Vellani is right in that it’s about making the audience care about the characters again rather than upping the stakes and battling for the multiverse? Do you still think it’s possible for the MCU to reach Avengers: Endgame levels of hype again? Let us know in the comments.

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