MCU Producer Explains Why Phase 4 Has More Cliffhangers

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Marvel Studios cliffhangers

The MCU's Phase 4 is filled with many cliffhanger endings, leaving fans to wonder what comes next for a certain character or upcoming project. WandaVision began the trend by showcasing an open-ended ending where Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff is seemingly corrupted by the Darkhold, thus leading to her fateful heel turn in Multiverse of Madness. Tom Hiddleston's Loki ended by showing the God of Mischief trapped in an alternate version of the Time Variance Authority led by Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conqueror as the Multiverse was unleashed. 

The trend continued with other MCU projects, with Hawkeye not resolving the fate of Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin and Moon Knight hiding the repercussions of its Jake Lockley reveal. While there are already cliffhangers during the Infinity Saga, it seems that Phase 4 has taken it up a notch by offering far more.

Now, one of Marvel's producers has addressed the MCU's cliffhanger dilemma. 

Marvel Addresses Phase 4's Many Cliffhangers 

Loki Cliffhanger

During Moon Knight’s Assembled episode on Disney+, Marvel Studios' Head of Streaming, Television and Animation, Brad Winderbaum, addressed how Phase 4 projects within the Marvel Cinematic Universe have had more cliffhangers thanks to Disney+ allowing for "longer-form stories" that don't have "to tie up every loose end." The studio is becoming more comfortable giving characters like Moon Knight and Scarlet Scarab unresolved endings knowing that there is now more certainty that they'll return in a future season or project:

“There are new challenges and new rewards that come with making longer-form stories. We’re keeping the endings more open now, I think. We don’t have to tie up every loose end. And when you create characters as strong as Moon Knight and Scarlet Scarab, we can confidently go into the future knowing that there’s more stories left to tell and new characters that we can bring in to tell them.”

On a separate note, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed the story behind Oscar Isaac's involvement in Moon Knight: 

“We’d talked to Oscar a number of times. We knew he was interested in our world, we’d never found the right fit. And we weren’t sure he would be interested in Moon Knight, we weren’t sure he’d be interested in doing a show on Disney+. But he was completely into it, and he’s been such a creative collaborator and creative partner.”

Isaac chimed in, admitting that Moon Knight is one of his "most creatively fulfilling adventures:"

“I would never have guessed, and I don’t mean this derogatorily, that this would be one of my most creatively fulfilling adventures. Because it was just like, everybody was just throwing everything out on the table and taking big swings on a major stage. And that we had the faith and not only the space to do it, but the support to do it was just amazing.”  

Phase 4's Cliffhangers: A Dilemma or Right Strategy?

Moon Knight Khonshu Limo

A cliffhanger could either make or break a certain project, but the MCU appears to be using it as its own way to tell more stories.

Brad Winderbaum's comments may indicate that there are more open-ended endings to come in the future. However, given his remarks, fans can now understand even more why Marvel Studios is showcasing these cliffhangers in the first place. 

The executive's promise that there are more stories left to tell for these characters could hint that either a second season for Moon Knight is possible down the line or the character could return in another project where his appearance would make sense. It also lessens the concern of some fans about the possibility of not seeing these characters again for a long time. 

Meanwhile, Kevin Feige's comment about Oscar Isaac's collaboration for Moon Knight is a welcome development, and it should serve as a beacon for future MCU stars who want to do a deep dive not just with the project, but with the character as well. An earlier interview revealed that Isaac proclaimed Moon Knight as his "baby," and this is just one of the many examples of how the Star Wars and Dune actor is passionate about the project. 

Moon Knight is streaming on Disney+. 

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.