For years the MCU was definitely something the whole family could enjoy. The films, while under the PG-13 rating, were always rather tame with violence, cursing, and adult themes. They were the type of films children under 10 could enjoy and you wouldn’t even have to think twice about what you were about to show them. *nervous laughter* That ship has sailed.
With the ending of the Infinity Saga came also the ending of an era where it seemed that the MCU would always cater to adults and young children. It began with Black Widow whose opening moments seemed far more frightening than the usual MCU beginning.
From its darker themes (like trafficking) and heightened levels of violence, Black Widow cemented itself as a movie that felt like it was designed for children 13 and older. And it didn’t end there.
Loki was a story that despite its lack of violence, excessive cursing, and adult material, also felt like the type of story meant for tweens, teenagers, and adults.
And then there was Eternals which undoubtedly took the top spot for most mature content in the MCU by including, surprisingly, a sex scene! Yep, this one wasn’t for kids. With a mature storyline that involved a bunch of different relationships, betrayals, and a WHOLE LOT of exposition, Eternals was made for teenagers and adults only.
Now we’re about to get Moon Knight which Kevin Feige has already described as “brutal” and confirmed that they’re “not holding back.” That obviously makes sense considering that Moon Knight’s story is anything but kid-friendly.
From the dissociative identity disorder which will surely be a rollicking rollercoaster to watch to the scary images that have graced the trailers, Moon Knight is going to be capital D for dark. They’ve even made sure to let us know how dark it’s going to be by showing Moon Knight’s bloodstained hands on the poster.
And two days after Moon Knight‘s conclusion we’re getting Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness which, thanks to rumors, leaks, and yes, those trailers, is proving to be as morbid and scary as they promised. We’re getting evil variants of Wanda and Strange, a heavily bloodied Scarlet Witch which is a major sign that this movie will be different, and some trippy visuals that would undoubtedly scare kids in theaters.
While Marvel Studios understands that they should still cater to children as well with properties like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and this year, Ms. Marvel it’s very clear that they are realizing something else as well.
For a lot of us MCU fans we were children or teenagers when we were introduced to Iron Man for the first time in 2008. Now we’re grown adults and that means we can’t keep watching the same, predictable, light films of the past. The stories need to get grittier, darker, and willing to take risks that will genuinely shock us.
Even WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier found ways to get darker than expected such as the entirety of Episode 8 as we saw Wanda’s life unfold through love and tragedy. And don’t get me started on that horrific ending of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s fourth episode featuring John Walker taking a man’s head off with Captain America’s shield.
A few years ago it seemed totally improbable that a character like Deadpool, who gained a reputation for being very R-rated, could ever join the MCU. But think again. In fact, we’ve had Deadpool and Korg do a video together so, technically, Deadpool has officially joined the MCU. I can’t wait to see interact with any one of the MCU heroes.
All in all, I’m glad the MCU is getting darker in its storytelling. It just makes this franchise that much more fun to watch.
We’re just a little over a month away from seeing Moon Knight! Yay!
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day.