The Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to make its grand return into mainstream media after an 18-month delay, and it will be more expansive than ever going into Phase 4. The next three years will include a combined 25 movies and mini-series, which will simultaneously debut in theaters and on Disney's exclusive streaming platform, Disney+.
Even with so many unique properties releasing within the same universe, Marvel CCO Kevin Feige and his team are adamant and passionate that they will all interconnect into one cohesive story. Phase 4 will bring more than a handful of sequels both on the big screen and streaming on Disney+, and will introduce new characters never before seen in the MCU as well.
With such a high volume of content coming in such a short time span, there are certainly concerns about whether it will succeed or fail. Thankfully, Feige's most recent quotes show how much he has thought all of this through.
In a recent interview with Deadline, Marvel CCO Kevin Feige revealed why he is not concerned about overexpansion of the MCU by creating streaming shows. In his response, he explained why it won't affect the theatrical movies' box office returns, as well as his experience with potential over-saturation in the past:
"Well, it’s not free. And, it is not dissimilar to the worries I’ve had in my first few years at Marvel. Because the Marvel rights were separated among multiple studios, there would be multiple Marvel movies a year. There was one year when there were three in one summer. The question was ‘Whoa, how is this going to last? How is this going to survive?’ And my answer then when I had no control over anything, was ‘As long as they’re different, as long as they’re unique and some of the characters might crossover and the Marvel logo is at the front.’ "
Feige reveals that his biggest goal is to make "interesting and unique stories," which he feels is the most important aspect to all the future MCU projects. Additionally, he speaks on how he and his team have been working on the plans for Phase 4 for a long time before finishing 2019's Avengers: Endgame.
"But if they’re unique and interesting stories, that doesn’t go out of style. Finding something interesting and unique to watch at home, and eventually being back in a movie theater is how we escape, is how we learn, and is how we grow. It’s our job as storytellers to utilize that format and tell interesting, different stories that happen to be based in 80 years of amazing narrative fiction of the Marvel comics and can tap into all the different genres. A black-and-white half-hour sitcom is very different very anything we’ve done before. It happens to star two Avengers and has the Marvel logo on it, but is wholly unique and that is what we had been working on for Disney+ and phase 4 features until we finalized Endgame."
WHAT THIS MEANS
Kevin Feige not only seems to have his fair share of experience with Marvel over-saturation, he also seems to be using that experience to his advantage as Phase 4 gets underway.
Before Marvel Studios acquired 20th Century Fox Studios in 2019, there were multiple Marvel franchises all releasing movies in theaters at the same time. This included the X-Men movies and the Fantastic Four series from Fox, as well as the Amazing Spider-Man series from director Marc Webb and Sony.
The main focus for Phase 4 of the MCU appears to be making unique and interesting stories for both theatrical and streaming releases, especially as both platforms look to interconnect with each other in the overall story. The first of these unique stories will be the American sitcom-inspired WandaVision on Disney+, and Kevin Feige appears certain that every project following it will have an individuality to it as well.
While most of these Phase 4 entries still have plenty of secrecy surrounding them, this year will be unlike anything the MCU has produced in its history.