Marvel Lays Off 15 Employees As Disney CEO Bob Iger Changes the MCU’s Chaotic Timeline

By: Alyssa Miller | Last updated: Apr 24, 2024

On Monday, Marvel Entertainment in New York and Marvel Studios in Burbank, California, laid off around 15 people, including junior-level employees in production and development.

These layoffs came at a time when Marvel was attempting to salvage the crumbling empire of the MCU amidst controversies, strikes, poor box office performances, and negative receptions from critics and audiences.

The Reason Disney Laid Off 15 People

According to Deadline, the layoffs were partially attributed to the efficiencies resulting from Disney’s integration of Marvel Entertainment into its larger business units.

Advertisement
Fired Employee Packing his Things at Office

Source: ANTONI SHKRABA production/Pexels

Isaac Perlmutter, longtime chairman at Marvel, was among the many laid off last year. The cost-cutting campaign included that round of layoffs.

Major Changes at Marvel

Disney’s new cost-cutting initiative is slowly and quietly removing many Marvel films and series from circulation, as the streaming service has taken down various series, documentaries, and originals, several of which belong to Marvel.

Advertisement
Marvel logo in white in red

Source: GoodFon

The streaming service has removed various series, documentaries, and originals, several of which belong to Marvel, as well as changing including a new password sharing crackdown.

Disney Removes Two Marvel Original Series

Marvel’s entertainment giant streaming service has removed two of its original series: “Marvel’s Hero Project” from 2019 and “Marvel’s 616” from 2020. Marvel is considering removing lesser-known series.

Advertisement
A small family gathers on their couch and watches television together

Source: Freepik

The leading theory behind Disney’s decision to remove select content is the appeal of not having to pay residual fees to writers and actors and writing off costly projects that didn’t see significant financial success.

Disney Lowers Marvel’s Output

Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that he expects Disney to lower its output and refocus on quality projects rather than quantity, which may have been pushed to fill the new streaming library on Disney+.

Advertisement
Bob Iger talking on a stage behind a podium

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“We’ve reduced output, particularly at Marvel. When you fix or address these issues within movies, you accomplish three things,” Iger said during an earnings call in February.

Disney Gets Aggressive With Marvel

“You get aggressive at making sure the films you’re making can be even better. Sometimes, you kill projects you don’t believe in,” Iger said, referencing the last several projects that underperformed at the box office and received a plethora of negative reviews from audiences and critics.

Bob Iger photographed at an event wearing a black suit jacket and white shirt

Source: @kerrloud/X

Iger continued: “And, of course, you put new things in the pipeline that you do believe in that you have much more confidence in, and we’re doing all of that.”

Advertisement

Marvel’s New Strategy

As part of the strategy, Marvel will be releasing one movie this year: “Deadpool and Wolverine.” The footage presentation from the upcoming ensemble X-Men film received positive feedback from audiences at CinenamCon last week.

White Marvel Studios logo on a red background

Source: The Walt Disney Company/Wikimedia Commons

This new strategy has been something Iger has been hinting at, hoping to bring the mega-successful franchise back into the limelight.

Advertisement

Being Fantastic Films Rather than Fatigue

“A lot of people think it’s audience fatigue, it’s not audience fatigue. They want great films,” Iger said during an interview with CNBC last month.

Red Theater Chair Lot Near White Concrete Pillars

Source: Pixabay/Pexels

“And if you build it great, they will come and there are countless examples of that. Some are ours and some are others. “Oppenheimer” is a perfect example of that. Just a fantastic film,” Iger said.

Advertisement

Refocusing the MCU

Iger is heavily reducing the output of superhero shows and movies at Marvel to refocus the company, aiming to improve the quality of the content produced for audiences who have been fatigued by the rate of output over the last several years.

Child Wearing a Mask and Cape

Source: cottonbro studio/Pexels

“I feel good about the IP we’re making. I talked about a lot of the projects. We look years ahead, really. And it’s iterative,” Iger said.

Advertisement

Disney Had Massive Layoffs Last Year

Around the time Disney laid off Perlmutter, it eliminated 7,000 jobs, constituting about four percent of its global total workforce, as part of a $5.5 billion cost-cutting campaign.

Digital illustration of the fireworks at Disney World in Florida

Source: Walt Disney World

The campaign aimed to improve Disney’s financial results and position the company for streaming growth. Now, Iger is trimming the fat to make Disney an even leaner, meaner money-making machine.

Advertisement

Disney Eliminates Marvel’s Metaverse Division

According to The Wall Street Journal, Disney also dissolved a 50-person metaverse division within the Marvel branch, which had been dedicated to “next-generation storytelling and consumer experiences.”

A theater screen displaying the Marvel Studio logo

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Iger believed that the goals established by the metaverse division did not come to fruition in a timely and promising manner and thus decided to cut the division.

Advertisement

The Leading Movie of the MCU

While Marvel undergoes massive changes, both in staff and production, Disney is hoping that “Deadpool and Wolverine” could change the history of the MCU once again.

Deadpool laying on the floor as Wolverine stands over him in 'Deadpool & Wolverine'

Source: Marvel/YouTube

The film stars Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Deadpool, Hugh Jackman as Logan Howlett/Wolverine, Morena Baccarin as Vanessa Carlysle, and possibly Jennifer Garner as Elektra.

Advertisement