Disney+ is now set to become a big player in the world of Marvel, as the realms of film and tv are set to cross-over as Marvel makes moves to blend the two.
With San Diego Comic-Con coming to a close, a LOT of Marvel news was dropped, including the full Phase 4 line up which will span across the cinemas and our televisions. What’s interesting is where other franchises that have TV shows as well as feature films that always remain separate from one another, the MCU will become a blend of cinematic experiences as well as TV ones.
This puts Marvel fans in an interesting predicament; sign up for Disney+ to get the full story, or stick with a few annual films and miss out on some potentially important arcs.
It’s a surprising decision and one that we won’t really see the full effect from until these series begin to drop on the new streaming service. Marvel will have a very strong presence on Disney’s newest platform, with actors and actresses reprising their cinematic roles for the new shows. Obviously, Disney can afford this blunder where other companies would be forced to settle for cheaper alternatives. The question is though, will fans be able to afford yet another streaming service payment, and if not, how much of the MCU will they be missing out on?
Marvel’s animated “What If?” series will be a standalone experience, exploring situations like “what if Loki obtained Mjolnir instead of Thor?”, and some are even hoping for a Marvel Zombies iteration. If you look closely you can see a Zombie Captain America in the title.
However, all of the other shows will be live-action and feature all of the actors/actresses from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some of the shows, like Loki, which picks up where he escaped with the Tesseract back in 2012 will seemingly feature a Loki unaffected by the events of later films like Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. However, other shows will be interwoven in and around the MCU. WandaVision, for example, will lead directly into Doctor Strange 2. Hawkeye will explore some of Clint’s time as Ronin, and Falcon and the Winter Soldier picks up directly where Avengers: Endgame left off.
It’s an interesting idea, but one that could have some fans upset or feeling like they need to dish out a monthly sum in order to stay up to date with everything happening in this ever-expanding cinematic universe.
To be fair, Disney+ is going to be starting at the low monthly fee of $6.99 a month. Compared to Netflix’s ever-inflating prices, and this could be quite the deal. However, Netflix once boasted low numbers like this, and as they continued to produce more expensive shows and movies that price has increased significantly over the years. To that end, Disney+ is launching with this price already knowing that some of their shows will cost hundreds of millions of dollars PER EPISODE to produce. Since Disney is the multi-billion dollar company that it is, it can probably afford to offer premium shows and movies and maintain this cost for its customers. Ultimately though, that will remain to be seen until the streaming service launches and begins to role out its high quality shows spanning across Marvel, Star Wars and beyond.
It’s also important to point out that Disney now owns Hulu. So, this could be another reason they can enter the streaming race at this low price point, with Hulu’s cost potentially making up the difference, and Disney profiting from both.
Of course, right now this is all speculation, to an extent. Yes, Kevin Feige announced that the movies and shows will be tightly woven together, but how tightly and to what extent is unknown until the shows air. It could very well be that these shows are just using the timeline of the movies as a starting off point for the shows. It is also possible that we could be sitting in a Marvel movie a couple of years from now and hear characters reference events that happened in the shows. With WandaVision leading directly into Doctor Strange 2, and Olivia Olsen’s Scarlet Witch being confirmed to star in said Doctor Strange sequel, this is also entirely plausible.
This leaves us wondering how much certain fans might begin to feel left out. For those not willing or able to purchase Disney+, we could see some people being confused by references made in the films. Or maybe this will all be a moot point with events from the shows being explained away during the films. However, as of right now, fans will surely begin to feel pressured to buy into Disney+ in fear of missing out, or maybe they won’t. Only time will tell.