As the plans for Disney+ continue to solidify, one exciting aspect of the upcoming streaming service for Marvel Studios fans is a series of limited-run programs based on their feature films produced directly by the studio. And as Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told CinemaBlend, it will allow the productions to “go much, much deeper into a number of our characters and to fully intertwine them within the MCU.”
Of course, some may recognize this sentiment from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s early days and the promise that “it’s all connected.”
Which was meant to be true at the moment the ABC series was developed. But after a restructuring which saw Marvel Studios move away from Marvel Entertainment — a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company which functionally acts as a separate business entity — to become a division of the Walt Disney Studio, the ties between Marvel Entertainment’s television shows and Marvel Studios’ films became more and more threadbare. While S.H.I.E.L.D. felt the effects of Captain America: The Winter Solider directly and referred to Avengers‘ Battle of New York in very clear ways, the Marvel Netflix shows referred to it as “The Incident” and made oblique references to the Avengers as existing in its more grounded version of New York. This ultimately made the shows more creatively successful as they were no longer tied to be events like Captain America: Civil War or Avengers: Infinity War, but left the MCU less cohesive as the Defenders never showed up to lend a hand in the more recent films and none of the TV shows lost characters due to Thanos’s snap.
According to Feige, this will not be the case with the Disney+ programming as the studio was working with the streaming service on the limited series concepts “at the exact same time that we were working on the post-Avengers: Endgame MCU, and therefore for the first time ever developed them together.” The end result, theoretically, will be programs which deepen characters like Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, which will then “be reflected in the next appearance in the movies.”
Again, this sounds a lot like the “it’s all connected” promise, but considering the limited series, of which only Loki has been confirmed, will be produced in-house and not spread across the two Marvel business units, the chances of a thematic change in a limited series character getting referenced in a film seems more likely.
Disney+ is expected to launch late in 2019, but there is no timetable on the Loki limited series.