Will we ever get more Marvel One-Shots? In 2011, Marvel Studios released their first one-shot, "The Consultant," on the Thor Blu-ray release. Over the next few years, Marvel released four more one-shots: short, self-contained stories that expanded the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some of these one-shots resolved continuity issues, others seemed to serve as proofs of concept for TV shows, and "All Hail the King" was essentially an apology for Iron Man 3's Mandarin twist.
But "All Hail the King," which released in 2014, was the last of the Marvel One-Shots. Last year, the loose-lipped Tom Holland absent-mindedly said he thought they were coming back. "I probably just spoiled a big spoiler," he added. "Kevin Feige’s probably going to be furious." Not long afterwards, Thor: Ragnarok screenwriter Eric Pearson revealed he'd "heard whispers of it starting up again." But whatever whispers Pearson may have heard, the fact remains that the one-shot just don't seem to be happening. Why did Marvel stop doing them? And will they ever make them again?
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Why Marvel Stopped Making One-Shots
According to Marvel Studios co-president Louis D'Esposito, there's one simple reason the one-shots stopped: Marvel just don't have the time to film them. "We’re just so busy," he explained. "Disney wants us to do it, we want to do it, and I keep telling them, ‘I’ll do it on the next film,’ but I keep breaking my promise."
But there's more to it than that. Curiously, Kevin Feige has implied that there are other business reasons behind the end of the one-shot program.
"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."
It's possible Feige is referring to the drop in Blu-ray sales across the industry, which would have made the one-shots far less cost-effective. The costs of the one-shots no doubt varies significantly - "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer" only involved a single set, while "Agent Carter" used several. All of them are high-quality Marvel productions, though, so they won't come cheap.
Another factor may well be the current disconnect between Marvel Studios and Marvel Television. Two of the One-Shots effectively served as back-door pilots for Marvel TV series, but in 2015 a corporate restructure saw Marvel Studios separated out from the rest of Marvel Entertainment, with Feige answering directly to Disney rather than Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter. As a result, we shouldn't really expect Marvel Studios to produce one-shots that test the waters for TV shows.
Could the One-Shots Ever Return?
At this stage, it seems unlikely Marvel Studios will ever produce any more One-Shots for Blu-ray releases. D'Esposito's words ring true; Marvel now produce three films a year, and that means they'd only disrupt the filming schedules if the One-Shots became a major business priority.
But that doesn't necessarily mean there won't be any more Marvel one-shots. Instead, it's possible we could see future shorts released on the Disney streaming service, which is expected to launch in 2019. As Feige confirmed to Collider recently, this "is going to be an important thing for the company." Every single Disney subsidiary will be expected to play their part in making this streaming service a success, and One-Shots - more short, self-contained micro-stories - could be a great way to entice Marvel fans. That would also fit with a comment from Anthony Russo back in 2016, when he pointed out that the future of the One-Shot may be online. The timing of this conversation would explain why both Holland and Pearson had heard chatter about the one-shots.
For now, Marvel fans will have to deal with only the occasional treats - out-of-canon features like the "Team Thor" Comic-Con video.
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