Marvel’s Future is ‘100%’ in Streaming on Disney+ Says Kevin Feige


I don’t know if you caught the incredible season 2 finale of The Mandalorian that dropped on Friday, but it’s pretty safe to say that Din Djarin and Grogu have single-handedly saved Star Wars after two uninspired stories that rehashed old movies and three absolute cinematic abortions that fans of the franchise were forced to sit through. Disney had planned to give Star Wars a little rest so people could wash the bad taste of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker out of their mouths but Jon Favreau’s little episodic Western reminded us how good Star Wars could be and now Disney has almost a dozen Star Wars streaming projects in production.

Jon Favreau just happens to also have been the first director of a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, the one that took Iron Man from relative obscurity to being a character almost on the same level as Spider-Man or the X-Men and reformed Robert Downey, Jr.’s image from washed-up drug addict no one would hire to one of Hollywood’s biggest leading men. Favreau worked with Kevin Feige in the earliest days of the MCU and now Feige seems to think Favreau has found the key to the future of entertainment.

WandaVision is coming to Disney+, the first Marvel TV series produced by Marvel Studios after Marvel Television was closed and absorbed because the Marvel Television guys were all entirely clueless. But Feige tells Emmy Magazine he thinks streaming is the future of Marvel and entertainment as a whole.

“Streaming is 100 percent the future and where consumers want to watch things,” he says. “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.”

It is true that is theaters and theatrical revenues were to die off, the big-budget spectacles that come to theaters would have to be reduced, but the big-budget set pieces were never what made Marvel films in particular so popular; if anything, the grey, crowded fight scenes in Avengers: Endgame were one of the weakest parts of the franchise.

WandaVision looks insane, and the big rumor is that it forms a sort of mini-trilogy with Spider-Man 3 and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is why Spider-Man seems to have so many characters and actors returning from the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield films. This addresses one of the biggest criticisms of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s first foray into a TV tie-in to the MCU: it felt disconnected from the movies. The Disney+ releases seem like they will weave in and out of the movies, picking up plot lines and creating new ones for future theatrical releases (if there are still theaters after COVID).

The hazard here, of course, is going to big, too much, too connected. Netflix’s corner of the MCU featuring The Defenders started out incredibly strong with Daredevil, but got a little weaker with each installment, and the failure of Iron Fist to resonate with audiences really seemed to bring the whole enterprise tumbling down like a house of cards; the fact that it was isolated from the rest of the MCU means it didn’t drag anything else down with it. Now that Marvel is connecting everything so intimately, I wonder what another flop would do to the brand as a whole.

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