With Marvel Studios continuing to utterly dominate theater screens, TV schedules, and streaming services, it's easy to forget that there's a section of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that's gone woefully neglected for over a year now: the Marvel One-Shots. The series of short films appeared as added value extras on the Blu-Ray releases of select MCU films starting back in 2011, and served to fill in continuity gaps from the movies, explore background characters, and even help launch two different ABC TV series.
Unfortunately, the time of the Marvel One-Shot seems to have passed, with the most recent installment All Hail the King being included on the Thor: The Dark World Blu-Ray disc way back in February 2014. Since then, there has been nary a mention of another planned Marvel short, and many fans are wondering just what happened to them.
Marvel president Kevin Feige had a chance to address that very issue at a recent Ant-Man press event, although his vague response didn't really do much to clear things up. Speaking to Collider, Feige insisted that he's not at fault for the absence of Marvel One Shots.
"I think it would be great to see more one-shots. We’ll see… You look at me as if I’m the only person who controls that decision; I wish that were the case. But I think when the opportunity arises we would do it, we would jump on it. There is a backlog of ideas for one-shots that we haven’t done yet."
While one would naturally assume that producing more Marvel One-Shots would indeed be Feige's call - after all, he does run the studio - he seems to be implying that forces above even him aren't onboard for more shorts. One logical reason might be the looming demise of physical media, with even Blu-Ray seemingly living on borrowed time as streaming continues to eat up more and more market share. That said, there's no real roadblock to One-Shots becoming an exclusive extra on digital releases of Marvel films, and earning just as much viewership.
Of course, it's possible that Marvel is just spreading itself too thin. Marvel Studios is currently in active development on eight different feature films for Phase 3, including two instalments of the sure to be gargantuan Avengers: Infinity War. There are also brand new seasons of Agents and S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter that need writing for this fall, as well as three more upcoming Netflix series set to join Daredevil. With all that on its collective plate, it would be no surprise to learn that Marvel doesn't feel that it has the time or resources to make more One-Shots.
In the end, the real reasons for the lack of Marvel One-Shots are known only to people like Feige, and he doesn't seem inclined to make them public beyond a vague mention of not having the final say in the decision to make more or not. Still, with the MCU showing no signs of stopping, it's likely that One-Shots will return in some form at some point in the studio's life cycle. After all, they have a habit of generating new TV shows.
Ant-Man opens in theaters July 17, 2015; Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man reboot – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Black Panther – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019.