Marvel's New TV Series Can Solve Fundamental MCU Problems

Scarlet Witch and the MCU

Marvel Studios is moving into the TV game, which can fix some of the biggest problems with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was recently reported that Marvel plans to make two limited television series based on Loki and Scarlet Witch, to be screened exclusively on Disney’s upcoming streaming service. According to the reports, both Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen will reprise their roles for each series, with seasons of around six to eight episodes. The budgets are expected to be high too, with Variety saying they will rival "those of a major studio production." Neither Disney nor Marvel Studios have confirmed or commented on the story, but it is already generating immense buzz among MCU fans.

Marvel’s cinematic universe has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most ambitious projects, with the studios having crafted a highly detailed and wide-ranging franchise that broke all the rules in the space of a mere decade. Their might in the film industry is indisputable, but that clout hasn’t been as present in their television division. There are currently several Marvel series airing on multiple networks as well as streaming on Netflix, and while they are technically part of the MCU canon, one would be forgiven for forgetting they exist in that context.

Related: How Marvel Studios Really Works

The rift between Marvel Studios, headlined by Kevin Feige reporting to Disney, and their television division, which reports to Marvel Entertainment, the domain of Ike Perlmutter, has been oft-discussed and led to much theorizing. The TV shows often feel disconnected from the wider narrative, which proves disappointing to the fans who are enthused by the franchise’s ever-intertwining plots and characters. While shows like Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have their dedicated audience, Marvel’s TV world has primarily felt like a missed storytelling opportunity. However, this news from Disney could change all that, and it could help fix a few fundamental problems with the MCU as a whole.

The Marvel TV Divide Will (Sort Of) Get Better

The Defenders promo art

The movie/TV divide of Marvel is mostly rooted in a management issue. Marvel Studios is under the control of Disney while Marvel TV is an entity of Marvel Entertainment. Aside from a very rare cameo - like Nick Fury's appearances in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1 - the two almost never cross over. It is still canon for characters like Daredevil and Iron Fist to exist in the canon of the MCU, but they never really interact with it. This has ended up raising many questions with fans: If The Defenders are in New York, presumably within driving distance of Stark Tower, why does Tony never call upon them for their services? An upside to this arrangement is that it's much easier for Marvel to forget flops, such as their one critically mauled season of ABC's Inhumans. What would have been the first real introduction of the Inhumans mythos to the franchise can instead be dismissed as if it never happened.

Per the report, the film and TV divide will remain but the new shows are Marvel Studios creations, meaning the crossover potential and adherence to the growing franchise canon is far stronger. This doesn't bode well for shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or the Netflix series, but at least it gives Marvel a true opportunity to expand upon the potential of the television medium in a way they have yet to fully utilize. These TV shows may actually feel on the level of Marvel’s films rather than asides with evidently lower expectations from those in charge.

Page 2 of 2: The Disney Shows Fix Bigger MCU Problems

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Key Release Dates
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
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