Disney is still making Marvel movies, but the Marvel TV shows are its main focus. It’s at least still releasing films exclusively in theaters…for now.
Very soon, we will witness the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: television. Disney is preparing — let’s see, one, two three…10 shows set in the MCU, all of them coming to streaming service Disney+.
The first is WandaVision, which lands in quite a few weeks. The show looks ambitious and different — apparently Wanda is using her powers as the Scarlet Witch to live in a sitcom-inspired reality alongside Vision, who technically died in Avengers: Infinity War but clearly got better. It’s a quirky pitch that might only be possible on TV, because I can executives waving it off as too weird to be a full-scale movie. “I was a little bit nervous about Marvel doing something on television, because what does that mean and how could it possibly intertwine?” actor Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Wanda, told Emmy Magazine. “But I got so excited when I heard that nugget of the idea.”
And a lot of the other shows look a bit off-center, too, if not as aggressively weird as WandaVision; Marvel boss Kevin Feige said the idea of taking the MCU to TV provided an “adrenaline boost” after wrapping up the 10-year-long Infinity Saga on the big screen, and it does indeed look many of the upcoming shows have a lot of creative energy behind them.
“Streaming is 100 percent the future and where consumers want to watch things,” Feige continued. “And hopefully they’ll want to watch our longform narrative series. An experience like WandaVision is something you can’t get in a movie. You go to movies for things you can’t get on streaming, and you go to streaming for things you can’t get in a theater. And of course, everything in a theater goes to streaming eventually.”
Streaming is indeed the future, but even though its pivoting to focus more on streaming, Disney has been careful not to go as far as Warner Bros. and release all of its movies on streaming and in theaters simultaneously, a move that angered the theater business and high-level creatives. For the moment, at least, Disney will release Marvel movies like Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in theaters exclusively before they come to Disney+…although you have to wonder if they had a different plan before everybody got mad at Warner Bros.
WandaVision drops on Disney+ on January 15!