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After a major high of seeing the positive messages and characterizations the MCU can bring to movies, more people in the film industry are starting to show some concern about the power Marvel/Disney has now.

Some critics are saying Disney’s power grab is starting to push out smaller films in favor of major theater franchises.

If you’ve seen this gripe only from film analysts on social media, some A-list stars are starting to open up about the issue. Jennifer Lopez isn’t one you’d think would be so transparent about her feelings on Marvel.

During a recent interview about women making movies, she noted how challenging it’s becoming making other movies not Marvel-related. Is this the beginning of some major backlash against Disney as they continue growing larger?

Placing Jennifer Lopez’s comments into context

Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez | V E Anderson/WireImage

JLo’s comments about Marvel stem from her promotional efforts at the Toronto Film Festival for her upcoming film Hustlers. When asked to analyze her impressions about women in film, she said it’s becoming increasingly more challenging to make smaller films about women and real life struggles when Marvel and other big franchises dominate.

She also noted that when a smaller film with an all-women cast comes up, there’s still a major hurdle to overcome in proper distribution and financing.

Yes, these comments from one of the most powerful women in pop culture sounds a bit disconcerting when we all thought there was progress being made. Women have made some great strides in film as well, not including in the MCU itself. However, Lopez is right about Marvel starting to crowd out the small indie movies telling important tales about women and everyone else.

Considering any Marvel movie is a guaranteed blockbuster hit, it gives lesser chances for other films being screened in a major movie theater. Audiences might not readily notice this change, but those who work in the film industry are starting to note their fears for our cinematic future.

Selling the idea of ‘Hustlers’ alone was probably an ordeal

We have to imagine selling the idea of strippers who manage a huge financial payback against NYSE suits wasn’t an easy sell to financial backers. Only JLo starring in the film probably gave it a green light based on being a guaranteed box office draw.

What’s most disturbing is the thought that an indie film about women is still becoming a problem getting made after numerous good ones in recent years. Just a few years ago, many of those inroads might have been slowly eroded by the onslaught of Marvel becoming the be-all in the reason people go to the movies.

Could it slow down smaller movies being made over time because they simply don’t have a place to be screened? Of course, many indie films can make money online. Regardless, they likely can’t pull in enough profit without proper theater distributorship and marketing.

With this reality becoming a legitimate problem in the coming years, we have to wonder if JLo just inadvertently threw the gauntlet in creating a slow-moving Disney firestorm.

How daring was it of JLo to criticize Marvel?

We’ve argued more than a few times about the Marvel Cinematic Universe becoming a bit of a black hole for many major actors. Even if most of the characters and portrayals are all positive, A-list actors making mostly indie fare are being wooed to the MCU with bigger paychecks.

Sure, it’s always about the money. No one should be looking the other way, though, on the future art of cinema. If Marvel/Disney starts to crowd out too many smaller films, there’s going to be an emerging backlash against Disney through the 2020s.

This might take some time until the reality sets in on what JLo just warned everyone about. So far, only more cerebral film analysts from Mark Harris to Matt Zoller Seitz have been expressing their concerned views about Disney on Twitter.

Having JLo being brave enough to say it (and her possibly winning an Oscar for Hustlers) will hopefully open more eyes to ensuring small films continue to flourish if Disney becomes inevitably too power mad from complacency.