While fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are rabid with curiosity about what Avengers 4 will bring to the big screen next summer, they’re also wondering about the growing slate of Marvel Studios programming that is being developed for Disney’s upcoming streaming service. Thankfully, Kevin Feige has provided a little bit of insight, albeit cryptically and vaguely.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter during a roundtable discussion with some of Hollywood’s biggest producers, Feige addressed what kind of content Marvel Studios hopes to bring to the service reportedly being called Disney Play:
“Well, it’s not a hundred percent complete yet, so there’s only so much I’m allowed to say, or so much they even tell me. But Paul [Greengrass] mentioned the streaming service, and I think that is something that we’re going to be adding content to, which is exciting. I love your analogy with the campfire, right? As many people as you can get around the campfire and tell stories. Campfires can be different: We are going to tell stories for the streaming service that we wouldn’t be able to tell in a theatrical experience — a longer-form narrative, that’s what comics are, it’s about as longform a narrative as exists. But also maintaining that theatrical experience, which is our bread and butter, and the lines around the block, if you’re lucky.”
So essentially, Kevin Feige doesn’t seem content entirely shifting from the theatrical experience to streaming entertainment at home. Instead, Marvel is hoping to tell longer form narratives that simply don’t fit in the big screen package. And when you think about some of the biggest and most exciting comic book arcs, you realize that many are hard to fit into a two-hour movie that faithfully tells the story in a satisfying way.
Granted, Marvel did take the Civil War storyline, which spanned Marvel’s biggest comic titles and lasted for half a year, and turned it into a single Captain America movie. But the Disney streaming service will allow them to focus in on character arcs that may not fit the scope of a theatrical release. After all, there are plenty of characters who have great story arcs in the comics that may not be as appealing on the big screen as they would be in some kind of serial package on a streaming service.
So far, Marvel Studios is said to be working on shows focusing on Scarlet Witch and Loki individually, as well as a show starring Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Those are characters who have a fanbase and a loyal following, but maybe not enough to get general audiences into theaters. Movies focusing on those characters would likely have the same outcome as Solo: A Star Wars Story at the box office.
Disney’s streaming service will open up all sorts of windows for Marvel to explore without the concern of box office returns. In fact, it might even allow them to take more risks creatively without worrying about the bottom line as much as they would with a theatrically released movie, even though these shows will reportedly still have a hefty budget. But we’re still a long ways off from seeing what these shows look like, so stay tuned to see how it all plays out.
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