Fresh off the heels of Marvel's Black Panther taking home a historic three Academy Awards, Marvel President Kevin Feige is setting his sights on the world of streaming services. In late 2019, Disney is set to launch its own streaming service, Disney+, that will not only give Netflix a run for its money, but whose Marvel shows will connect with the MCU. This was confirmed by Feige himself during a press tour stop for the upcoming Captain Marvel movie. And naturally, with all things Marvel, there is a lot to unpack here.
The confirmation comes as a surprise to many Marvel fans, who have felt an often sharp divide between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and ABC (Agents of S.H.I.E.LD., Agent Carter) or Netflix (Daredevil, Jessica Jones) tv shows. But with a new platform, comes more opportunity for crossover than ever before. While moviegoers weren't getting their hopes up for a Luke Cage or Jessica Jones-starring vehicle on the big screen, even pre-Netflix cancellations, Feige insists some of the new shows will directly tie-in with the MCU. But, careful what you wish for Marvel fans, as this could potentially be cause for confusion within the fandom. Like that's never happened before — just last year fans questioned Ant Man and the Wasp's relation to Infinity War, which got super complicated when factoring in the mystery surrounding Marvel's slate and the fact that Captain Marvel takes place in the '90s.
“These will be Marvel Studios productions… They will be entirely interwoven with both the current MCU, the past MCU, and the future of the MCU.”
In some ways, this news makes total sense. When considering the aforementioned Loki project, Hiddleston will be able to perform double duty in both the films and series. It opens up the possibility of new characters mingling with what's left of the Avengers gang post-Endgame (cue tears). The move could also prove beneficial in the streaming wars race, as those addicted to following the MCU must now also keep track of the happenings on the Marvel TV series, by subscribing to Disney+.
However, there are already so many Marvel projects in the works, rumors about which characters will die (and for how long), and a web of timelines so complex it can make ones head spin. Will adding a whole new cast of characters and conflict add to the MCU or complicate its next phase? In what shape will the MCU be in once Disney+ debuts? Marvel devotees have to stop just short of building a diagram in their basements just to keep up as it is.
The coming months will shed some light on whether overlapping the MCU and Disney's streaming service will succeed. As more series are announced and a film slate including Captain Marvel, Endgame, and Spider-Man: Far From Home are unveiled, a clearer picture of the new Marvel landscape will take hold. One has to believe that after all of Feige's past resistance to meld the two worlds together, he's got a plan. Because for every Pepper Potts departure, there are sure to be a few new additions. After all, it's Marvel's world, and we're just living in it.