Marvel Studios has only been producing TV series since 2021, when “WandaVision” made its buzzy debut on Disney+, but shows based on MCU characters have quickly become a core part of the company’s business. And although part of the appeal of Marvel projects is how everything connects together, studio president Kevin Feige has some changes in mind for how the company makes television — which includes making the shows more episodic.
“We want to do shows that can only be shows. I want to continue to make them even more episodic, which may seem counterintuitive,” Feige said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly ahead of the release of “Ant-Man: Quantumania.” “But I do think there is something fun about leaning back and watching an episode that can be relatively self-contained.”
Feige explained that Disney+ Marvel projects that have been released so far — including “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “Loki,” “Hawkeye,” “Moon Knight,” “Ms. Marvel,” and “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” — have taken a highly-serialized approach to storytelling, as opposed to giving audiences more self-contained stories. Name-checking the classic ABC series “Lost,” Feige said some future Marvel shows on Disney+ will feature more episodic storytelling, comparing the approach with how “Star Trek” shows like “The Next Generation” structure individual episodes.
“So now — and I think you’re seeing this not just with our shows, but with many other shows — you’re starting to see the fun of a self-contained, episodic story week to week. We’re going to experiment with that in some of our upcoming things,” Feige said. “Cliffhangers are great, and I like watching a show where you should go to bed, but you see the cliffhanger and you just have to watch the next episode. You certainly want to keep people engaged. But I’m a big ‘Star Trek’ fan, and I still find it soothing to watch an episode of ‘Next Gen’ with a beginning and an end. So, I think we’re going to keep experimenting with that going forward.”
Coming up, future MCU series expected to premiere this year include “Secret Invasion,” “Ironheart,” “Echo,” “Agatha: Coven of Chaos,” “Daredevil: Born Again,” and “Wonder Man,” in addition to a second season of “Loki.” During his interview, Feige also spoke about the challenges of making every MCU project relatively self-contained while still fitting into the overall universe, and of differentiating the increasingly large amount of content the company puts out every year. On the latter subject, Feige said that the pace at which the company puts out new work may shift as the MCU enters into “Phases 5 and 6.”
“A lot of people like to do the homework. A lot of people find the fun in the homework and the continuity and the connectivity. But it is a balance of always trying to do both,” Feige said. “I think when we are doing about eight projects a year — and again, I said this is going to shift a little bit — they all have to be different. They all have to stand apart and stand alone and be different from one another.”
“Ant-Man: Quantumania” premieres in theaters on Friday.
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