When Marvel first started dipping its toe in to TV, the results were less than stellar. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. got off to a shaky start, and while that show has settled and found a devoted fanbase, it never was able to continually link up with the movies due to the vast differences in production schedules and oversight. The same problem followed Agent Carter as well as the Netflix Marvel series, all of which have now been canceled.
Now a new chapter is about to begin with Marvel’s television series as Marvel Studios’ head Kevin Feige will have direct oversight for upcoming TV series that are set to air on Disney+. Speaking to Variety in a lengthy profile, Feige confirmed that these shows aren’t going to be the largely separate entities we saw with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, and the Netflix shows. The Disney+ shows will be tied to the movies:
One element that will be different is that the coming storyline won’t unspool exclusively on the big screen. This year, Disney is launching its own challenger to Netflix, a streaming service dubbed Disney Plus. Feige and his team are overseeing several limited series for the platform featuring Marvel characters such as Loki and the Scarlet Witch. They will be played by Tom Hiddleston and Elisabeth Olsen, who portrayed the same characters in several big-screen “Avengers” sequels and spinoffs.
“These episodes will intersect with the movies in a very big way,” explains Feige. “It’s a totally new form of storytelling that we get to play with and explore.”
It’s kind of funny that Feige cites a TV show as a “new form of storytelling” when the MCU is really just the biggest TV show in history. The people at Marvel Studios obviously know how to do longform storytelling. The question is whether you can sustain a single character for a longer amount of time. Loki’s a great villain, but do you want to spend six episodes or eight episodes with him? It will be interesting to see how these shows take shape and whether they feel like entries on par with Marvel movies or just consolation prizes for the characters not deemed worthy enough for feature films.