The Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s move into television may have only kicked off at the beginning of this year, but we’re already on our fourth episodic project of 2021, with one more to come when Hawkeye arrives on November 24th. Additionally, there are another two dozen film and television projects in either production, post-production or active development, piling Kevin Feige’s plate higher than ever before.
Of course, Marvel Studios would have been let in on the ground floor when the seed that became Disney Plus was first planted, meaning the key creative minds will have had years to figure out who gets their own feature, and who heads to the small screen to anchor a streaming exclusive. In a new interview, Vice President of Production & Development Jonathan Schwartz outlined the process of how the MCU decides which stories are told where.
“It’s something we’ve all figured out together. What makes sense for Disney Plus. What makes sense for movies? What characters go where. We figure it out as a group. I think that what’s cool about Disney Plus is it gives us the opportunity to tell stories that are maybe outside of the norm of what we would be able to do in movies that want a different canvas, that want a different structure, that are maybe a little weirder and wilder than we would have typically in the past been able to go in movies.
Now I think, the movies are able to do things that we may not have been able to do in the past because the shows have given us the confidence to do it. Everything wants to push the envelope more because the audience is getting used to a different level of storytelling.”
Story always comes first, or at least it should, and then it’s up to the respective writing teams to flesh things out from there once a certain superhero adventure has been added to the Disney Plus or theatrical to-do list. For example, WandaVision or Loki definitely wouldn’t have worked as movies, but The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Hawkeye probably could have been condensed into a couple of hours if it had come to that.
Streaming also gives lesser-known characters the chance to step into the limelight for the first time, while also soft-launching new faces that will eventually make the jump to the big screen. When you break it down, it’s incredible how so many moving parts all manage to keep pulling in the same direction, but that’s why Marvel are the best in the business at what they do.