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Variety broke a big story yesterday, with Justin Kroll reporting that Walt Disney is planning shortform episodic TV shows based in the MCU and featuring core MCU characters as part of their upcoming Disney streaming platform. The names referenced are Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlett Witch and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, and the emphasis will reportedly be on characters who haven’t received the feature film spotlight. The six-to-eight-episode miniseries events will allegedly be spearheaded by Kevin Feige himself and will have budgets (or at least production values) comparable to the theatrical MCU flicks. Assuming this all comes to pass, what does it mean? Well, it’s another example of how Walt Disney, as a conglomerate, is willing to shoot the hostage to win the day.
I’m not happy that this news leaked before Avengers 4. Even if Loki stays dead after Infinity War, news that Hiddleston will continue to play the character in one form or another lessens the finality of next year’s MCU event. Second, even if these shows highlight supporting characters or fan favorites (like any supporting cast member from Black Panther, for instance), it can’t help but make the MCU theatrical movies that much less of an event. Ditto for Jon Favreau’s Star Wars series, but I digress. TV is at a point where it can replicate 90% of Hollywood theatrical content in terms of writing, acting and production values. Once we start getting superhero TV shows that are as big as a superhero movie, well, that may be game over.