Within the larger umbrella of multiple media companies that is Disney today, its subsidiary Marvel Entertainment still has quite the complex content-producing organization under its own corner. Marvel Comics is still chugging away with new issues, Marvel Games co-developing videogames and Marvel Television is producing TV series. Some of these shows happen to take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise run by former division and now distinct entity Marvel Studios, while others take place separately. But a shift in production duties seem to indicate a reduced role for Marvel Television as Marvel Studios begins doing more TV series itself.
Comic Book Resources tells us that Marvel Studios is now moving to shoulder a larger volume of Marvel-related TV production, especially in live-action, compared to Marvel Entertainment’s Television arm. It is known that the studio headed by Kevin Feige is cooking up several TV-length shows that will become exclusive streaming content on the Disney+ platform. At the same time Marvel Television is seeing its own series beginning to wind down on their respective home networks. With the MCU-connected Netflix collaborative shows all ended, Marvel TV’s last major work is the ABC-running “Agents of SHIELD,” which will end with its seventh and final season next year.
On the other hand, the Marvel Studios series, most of which connect to the MCU as well, are priming to be big hits particularly because they feature MCU movie characters in leading roles. As a television analyst tells Variety, “[Kevin] Feige’s shows are so far beyond anything Marvel TV has been able to do. He has access to all of these MCU characters that the other Marvel live-action stuff just doesn’t, not to mention way bigger budgets.” Aside from “SHIELD,” Marvel TV’s only other live-action programs are Freeform’s “Cloak and Dagger” and Hulu’s “Runaways,” soon to be joined by “Helstrom.”
Another possible explanation for the waning of Marvel Television over Marvel Studios is dibs on characters to adapt. Marvel TV had been planning to make a spinoff for “Agents of SHIELD” on ABC based on “Ghost Rider,” as interpreted in the series’ fifth season. When Marvel Studios expressed plans on adapting Ghost Rider themselves, the TV arm scrapped their efforts. It was just as well; back when Studios was part of Marvel Entertainment overall, the MCU tie-ins were consistent. When Marvel Studios was spun off into a separate company, the MCU “synergy” became downplayed in “SHIELD,” barely mattering any more.
Season 7 of “Agents of SHIELD” premieres on ABC on 2020. Marvel Studios’ Disney+ series, many of which tie into the MCU, will arrive anytime from late 2020 to 2021.
Image courtesy of Variety