Premiering at Comic-Con and releasing as a special feature attached to the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray in September, Agent Carter offers fans their first Marvel One-Shot period piece. It wasn't always the obvious choice though as Marvel Studios explored the possibilities - and still is considering - shorts for superheroes down the road, potentially even the likes of Black Panther and Ms. Marvel.
EW chatted with Marvel co-president Louis D'Esposito, executive producer on all Marvel Studios films and director of the latest two one-shots, Item 47 (that came with The Avengers) and Agent Carter, who addressed the idea of future Marvel One-Shots taking advantage of the more recognizable and even superpowered characters of the Marvel library.
"We would love to, but it’s difficult because there's a cost to that. If Iron Man is flying around doing something, that very costly. And first of all, what's the story? Is it important that that superhero is in the story?
"I've been asked many times too, would you introduce new characters? That even proves to be very difficult, just from a cost perspective. What does the costume look like? Who is the actor playing it? A lot of R&D goes into it. We have a great concept department here, a visual development department, and it takes time."
D'Esposito previously told Screen Rant that their research shows that one of the best selling points to boost home video sales and buzz is to add truly original content and this is why we're seeing the trend of every Marvel Studios home video release ship with a new Marvel One-Shot short film going forward. The goal in these is to tell new and additional stories that are different than the feature-length spectacles and that's just one of the many reasons, in addition to costs, scheduling and future plans, that they focus on non-superhero supporting characters... at least, so far.
The short film director admits that they are in fact, starting to think about and look into superhero characters but they need to be careful about who they select and who to cast since said characters will likely have a long-term role to play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One character D'Esposito really wanted to explore was Loki but the costs of doing such a thing in Asgard was simply too expensive. Another personal favorite is Ms. Marvel:
"Let's just say I knew I was going to direct Captain Marvel [as a feature], right? And we knew who was going to play her. That would make it easy to introduce her first in a One-Shot. But that's a plan that requires a lot of coordination. And I don't know if really we … if I've been thinking that far ahead. It's difficult enough to find something that’s enjoyable, that we can tell with the budget limitations and in the time we have. Introducing a lot of complicated variables might weaken that."
Other ideas that came up included a Dum Dum Dugan (Neal McDonough) short featuring a young Nick Fury and, believe it or not, a Black Panther One-Shot. Casting the latter was going to be a challenge, not to mention making a believable set that looked like the fictional African nation of Wakanda. Black Panther is one of the most talked about and desired properties from Marvel Comics fans and is a hopeful new character launch for Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, alongside other newcomers Ant-Man (which has a release date) and Doctor Strange (confirmed to be coming sometime after that).
For now, we look forward to Agent Carter which takes place during World World II and sees Hayley Atwell return as British Agent Peggy Carter working for the SSR, the pre-cursor to S.H.I.E.L.D.. It'll be playing during Comic-Con and Screen Rant will be in attendance. It's helping pave the way for more female Marvel characters while the studio also considers tapping into super-powered characters.
The question is, who's next for the One-Shot coming with Thor: The Dark World?
Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!