By now you’re likely to have heard about Marvel and Disney’s plans to release TV shows featuring some of your favorite MCU characters, as played by the same stars who brought them to life on the big screen. So far, the House of Mouse has announced WANDAVISION (starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany), LOKI (starring Tom Hiddleston), FALCON AND WINTER SOLIDER (starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan), and an untitled Hawkeye project featuring Jeremy Renner passing the torch to Kate Bishop, the other Hawkeye. The idea to bring these larger-then-life characters to the small screen is enough to make any MCU fan swoon with anticipation, and now Marvel Studios Chief Kevin Feige has shared some new and exciting details related to how these upcoming series will integrate with the MCU proper.
“These episodes will intersect with the movies in a very big way,” Feige explained to Variety during a recent interview session. “It’s a totally new form of storytelling that we get to play with and explore.”
Feige then continued: “It’s the first long-form narrative that Marvel Studios has done — they’ll be six episodes, eight episodes, 10 episodes with the actors from the films playing their characters,” he said. “They’ll be changing, evolving, growing in those event series and then those changes will be reflected in their next film appearances.”
As Feige went on to paint a very promising picture of Marvel’s small screen future, he emphasized how keen all of the actors were to get their own featured series on Disney’s upcoming streaming platform, Disney+.
“I think it’s a testament to the quality of streaming and to the way things are changing that many of our actors are totally into it and are totally excited by it,” said Feige. “I was concerned about it. I had a whole song and dance ready to sell them about why we were so excited about it and why this was a best case scenario. But, within one second they were like, ‘You guys are doing it, we’re in.’”
And why wouldn’t they be game? After all, Marvel and Disney have demonstrated time and again that they have a secure handle on building out their cinematic universe. If you ask me, making the move to streaming with episodic content featuring some of the MCU’s most beloved characters is just another way for Marvel to push their stories forward, adding elements to an already larger narrative by way of bite-sized content. Of course, this also places a lot of pressure on the good people at Marvel, who bend their brains on a daily basis to insure that their adventures connect in ways that bolster the larger picture.
“We take our responsibility pretty seriously,” said Feige. “We often ask actors to sign up based on an idea as opposed to a locked screenplay and we know when they do that it’s because they trust us and we don’t take that lightly.”
It goes without saying that upon entering the oncoming post-AVENGERS: ENDGAME era, that Marvel will have to introduce new heroes, as many are set to take their leave once Thanos’ reign comes to its epic conclusion. Thankfully, Disney just landed a $71.3 billion dollar deal to acquire specific assets once owned by 20th Century Fox. You know what this means, don’t you? It means that Feige and his teams will now be able to integrate the X-Men, Deadpool, the Fantastic Four and others into narratives involving the Avengers.
“The specifics of what it means remains to be seen, but overall it’s wonderful and it feels like these characters have come home,” Feige told Variety. “It will be nice to have what every other [intellectual property] holder that I can think of has, which is access to all their IP. Imagine if Donald Duck was at another studio. Imagine if Goofy or Moana were someplace else and you didn’t have access to them even though they are yours.”
While I don’t want to ape Variety’s entire interview – you can click here to read it for yourself – I will say that I am positively buzzing for what’s to come. Word around the 616 is that Feige and Marvel will reveal more of their post-Endgame plans after Sony’s release of SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME starring Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, and Michael Keaton, among others.
Before we get out of here, I’ll leave you with one more quote that teases the MCU’s inclusion of The X-Men, whenever that integration comes to pass:
“We spent 12 years at Marvel Studios really embracing and digging into all the stories of characters who had never been brought to the screen before, but there would be times when we’d have a supporting player or a reference point or something for a movie and legal would go, ‘don’t forget that characters on that other list and you don’t have access to it,’” said Feige. “I’m not talking about Professor X or Wolverine, but there are thousands of characters in those brands and we’d shrug and go okay and figure out another solution. It will be nice to not have to do that.”
There are thousands of characters indeed, and wouldn’t it be nice for Marvel and Disney to include some new faces belonging to the X-Men canon? Personally, I want an X-Men: Next Gen setup with characters like Eye Boy, Glob Herman, Nature Girl, Magik, Brood, Doop, Kid Omega, and many more. For real, the sky’s the limit with this stuff. There’s a myriad of Marvel worlds just waiting to be tapped, and I am here for it.
What do you want most from Marvel’s future? Let us know in the comments section below.