Should Marvel change MCU strategy on Disney+?
If something is already working, there is no need to fix it. That’s the general feeling when you watch sequel shows heading to Disney+. It seems strange to start with a serialized format only to then follow up with a special presentation. Loki Season 2 is proof that Marvel Studios doesn’t want to change the formula for an ongoing project. The same can be said about Daredevil: Born Again, which loosely follows the critically acclaimed Netflix series. Other sequels such as Moon Knight and She-Hulk would probably also benefit from some consistency. While there may be areas in their structure to improve, more damage can be done by moving completely in a new direction when the groundwork has already been set. Often, second seasons end up improving the quality. But all bets are off when it comes to how recent projects might be considered the best fit.
The current slate
Secret Invasion is already in the box. It has been produced as a TV show, although the pitch has stuck very much to the idea of this being a premium limited series. It’s obvious that Marvel has no plans to expand past this, so no sequel shows will be coming to the platform. With so many characters involved in the premise already and a massive comic book history to draw inspiration from, the material is definitely there to warrant this extended exploration. A long film production could have been exciting, as well as how Civil War was adapted, but as a crossover event exclusive to Disney+, a special presentation wouldn’t be enough.
Ironheart sitting in a really unfortunate position. Riri Williams is a newer hero who can easily be compared to characters like Kamala Khan and Kate Bishop. While there are debates as to whether they should have been used in these longer formats, it is also worth noting that Williams has already been introduced to audiences in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. At the moment, the project appears to be continuing as a TV show, but there seems to be some reluctance to commit to that structure. Perhaps the show’s antagonists will help ensure that no time is wasted. With The Hood and the rumor that Mephisto is finally making his debut, it could provide a supernatural advantage Ironheart the extra kick that separates it from being an Iron Man-lite affair. Williams is compelling enough as a character to continue down this path, so while a show would probably work, an extended presentation isn’t entirely out of the question.
Ironheart is sure to lead directly into Panzerwarrior Which begs the question, should it also be a TV show? Apparently that’s how the concept was first conceived starring War Machine, but that idea has taken a back seat. With reports suggesting that Marvel were looking at a potential film for the project, it was an indication that their tactics were changing. A special presentation could be perfect here, allowing the narrative to take its course, while also giving Riri Williams another platform to develop as a personality after receiving her own series. Panzerwarrior could have great potential for the big screen considering how good it is Iron man saga previously performed, but as a boost for Disney+ and with budgets taken into account, Panzerwarrior can fit perfectly into the presentation structure.
Agatha: Coven Of Chaos may be the most bizarre project that Marvel Studios is currently producing. The supernatural character was a prominent one in WandaVision and audiences are eager to see beyond the magical side of the MCU. Still, Agatha Harkness doesn’t seem like a character that can carry a long format, considering that the character rarely even gets her own comic. There is still time for this project to evolve into something else, and some might think that the most logical choice is to follow the path of Werewolf By Night and transform Coven Of Chaos for a special presentation suitable for Halloween. Marvel undoubtedly wants to continue to highlight the holidays by inserting unique movie stories.
Echo has been in development turmoil for a while, it seems. It’s still planned to be a TV show, but one that hasn’t quite managed to find its footing. Daredevil: Born Again will be a natural fit to continue the character’s arc, and there will surely be other street-level stories on the way. Maya Lopez herself was a compelling character in Hawkeye, but it is unclear whether the audience has attached enough to her to go this route. Once again, as Marvel struggles to fully flesh out the show’s beats, the special presentation formula is becoming increasingly attractive. There are some characters and concepts that can form a story that ebbs and flows in the right way, but from the perspective Echo production so far, the resistance shown can indicate how to proceed.