Kevin Feige Reflects on the MCU’s Phase 4
With Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania officially kicking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 5, Marvel boss Kevin Feige took the time to reflect back on Phase 4 and the heroes and stories of the last two years.
The MCU Comes to Television
One of the biggest differences between Phase 4 and what preceded it, was the introduction of episodic television into the MCU. The first MCU show to debut was 2021’s WandaVision.
The show served was a massive success, and over the next eighteen months Marvel would release 8 different television shows. New characters such as Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk starred in their own shows. As did returning characters Wanda, Vision, Bucky Barnes, Sam Wilson, Loki and Hawkeye.
What Kind of Fans Does Marvel Want
When reflecting back on the success of Phase 4, Kevin Feige noted that the studio’s feature films appealed to those who had watched the Disney + shows, as well as more casual fans.
“We’ve tried to make that our methodology since the start. If there’s a Marvel Studios method — like there was a Marvel method in publishing — it’s trying to do both.” Feige explained. “I’ve talked about this for years: If you want to dip in and out and just go to the movies on a Friday night or watch a streaming series, you can do that. And if you want to follow along, there’s certainly much more to be discovered. But we don’t ever want it to seem exclusive or that you need to have done your homework before watching something.”
If you are a die-hard Marvel fan, and love inter-connectivity between the different stories, have no fear. Kevin Feige knows you exist.
“Now, I’ve also realized that a lot of people like to do the homework. A lot of people find the fun in the homework and the continuity and the connectivity. But it is a balance of always trying to do both.” He explained.
Giving Each Hero A Time To Shine
One change that Marvel will likely make in the future however, is the amount of content they release. The studio, and Feige, worry that by jam packing their release schedule, they aren’t giving the characters a chance to shine.
“It is harder to hit the zeitgeist when there’s so much product out there — and so much “content,” as they say, which is a word that I hate. [Laughs] But we want Marvel Studios and the MCU projects to really stand out and stand above. So, people will see that as we get further into Phase 5 and 6. The pace at which we’re putting out the Disney+ shows will change so they can each get a chance to shine.”
When pressed about what these changes would look like, Feige stated that it would mean fewer shows a year, and more spacing between releases.
More Episodic TV?
The last big change to come to the future of the MCU’s television shows, may revolve around pacing.
Using She-Hulk as a prime example, Feige noted that they may look to make shows that are more episodic in nature.
“We want to do shows that can only be shows. I want to continue to make them even more episodic, which may seem counterintuitive. But I do think there is something fun about leaning back and watching an episode that can be relatively self-contained.”
In the end, Phase 4 has served as transitional period for Marvel. With the introduction of so many new characters, and an entire new medium, Feige believes they have laid the groundwork for an even better Phase 5 and Phase 6.
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