Disney+'s success in introducing small-screen storytelling for the MCU has led many to wonder if the streamer could showcase direct-to-streaming Marvel movies, but a new statement from one of its top executives offered a discouraging update.
The pandemic brought an unexpected change to the viewing habits of many fans due to the closure of movie theaters. It led to the hybrid release of Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, with the movie premiering on Disney+ and in theaters simultaneously.
However, as the health situation improved, movie theaters ultimately recovered. Still, this didn't stop Disney+ from introducing many memorable MCU series, such as Moon Knight, WandaVision, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek reiterated that "theatrical is a proven way to" build franchises but also noted that the streaming service has been quite effective, citing Black Widow as an example.
Now, Marvel set the record straight on whether Disney+ will debut a Marvel movie instead of in theaters.
Marvel Studios Producer on Disney+ Making MCU Movies
Speaking with Deadline, Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore was asked if fans would see a direct-to-streaming Marvel movie on Disney+.
Moore responded with "no," pointing out that they would like to "preserve" the fact that series can be on Disney+ and movies can be in theaters:
“No, I mean… and Kevin [Feige], we all are, we’re huge fans of the theatrical experience. And one of the benefits of us being able to do Disney+ series frankly, is that they can co-exist. The series can be on your service and the movies can be in theaters. And that’s something we would like to preserve for as long as we can. And Disney’s been supportive, which is great."
Moore's statement echoed the past remarks of Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.
In a past interview with IGN, Feige mentioned that every Marvel movie is made with a theater audience in mind, pointing out that it boils down to "delivering on a promise of an experience:"
“[Every] time we make a film, it is with the expectation of delivering on a promise of an experience, to be experienced together in a theater. And seeing where people laugh or seeing where people get very quiet and still, or where people cheer if we should be so lucky, in moments in the movie…"
The Marvel boss continued by saying that "there's nothing better" than seeing the audience react to certain moments in the film:
“We spend years and years trying to work up to those moments, and being in a theater and seeing it and seeing it happen, there’s nothing better. Every decision we make is from the point of view of sitting in a crowded theater experiencing the story.”
In a separate interview at the Emmys, Feige commented on the studio's approach to streaming. The MCU boss first admitted to growing up with “a near-unhealthy love and obsession” for some of the characters on his favorite shows, such as Alice and Little House on the Prairie.
Feige then touched on the benefits of streaming, with him even saying that it is "100% the future:"
“Streaming is 100 percent the future and where consumers want to watch things. 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.”
Why Marvel's Decision to Not Make Disney+ Movies Is Perfect
Not making direct-to-streaming movies on Disney+ is arguably one of the best decisions from Marvel Studios. Doing this doesn't require casual MCU viewers to tune in on Disney+ to catch up with the shared universe.
Although there are many Disney+ original movies, this wouldn't work with a big brand like Marvel, considering that one of the biggest assets of the MCU is the theatrical experience that brings fans together.
The experience of seeing the last two Avengers movies and Spider-Man: No Way Home are fitting examples of what Kevin Feige is trying to pinpoint.
The aforementioned movies brought people together, reminding everyone there's nothing better than seeing a movie in a crowded theater. Moreover, the theatrical experience can't be replicated in streaming.
For now, the majority of the MCU's films are streaming on Disney+.