Marvel chief revels in the potential for MCU crossovers

- Kelly Lawler

Kevin Feige lays out his vision for his brand’s relationsh­ip with Disney+.

The future of Marvel on Disney+ is packed with new shows, new superhero characters and more connection­s to the wildly popular film franchise. But there could always be more.

“I’ve been at Marvel too long to say a definite ‘no’ to anything,” Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said to reporters at a Television Critics Associatio­n panel Wednesday. With a huge slate of comic book-based TV shows on Disney+, including “WandaVisio­n” (Fridays); “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” premiering this month; and “Loki,” out June 11, about the “Avengers” villain played by Tom Hiddleston, Feige had plenty to discuss when it comes to the future of Marvel on television.

Feige discussed whether “WandaVisio­n” could return for a second season; why “The Falcon and the Winter Solder” will be only six episodes; and whether any former Marvel TV shows, such as “Jessica Jones,” could return in some form on the streaming service.

Will ‘WandaVisio­n’ (or any other Marvel series on Disney+) get a Season 2?

Feige explained that for now, the post-”WandaVisio­n” plan is for Elizabeth Olsen’s character, Wanda Maximoff, to appear in the coming “Doctor Strange” sequel, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” But he wouldn’t say for sure that “WandaVisio­n” would never return as a TV show.

“The fun of the MCU is obviously all the crossover we can do between series, between films. So it will vary based on the story. Sometimes it will go into a Season 2, sometimes it will go into a feature and back into a series,” Feige said. “We’re thinking of and planning second seasons for some of the upcoming series.”

The nine-episode “WandaVisio­n,” which wraps March 5, isn’t the only series that will correspond more to a coming film than a Season 2. Speaking from the set, Feige said that the “Ms. Marvel” series, about teen superhero Kamala Khan, will lead into the “Captain Marvel” sequel.

Why did Falcon and Winter Soldier end up in a TV show together?

Marvel’s next big series, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” due March 19, features Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprising their big-screen roles. He said they ended up in a series because he wanted more time with the two characters, who have been supporting players in the films so far.

Feige said the duo “are spectacula­r actors, (so) we felt we had to explore their stories (more) as Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. So it was always the thought we’d like to learn more about both of them. In the little interactio­ns they had with each other in (Captain America films) ‘Winter Soldier’ and ‘Civil War’ … we thought we’d have a fun dynamic, (and thought) if we ever had that opportunit­y, we’d watch a whole show with the two of them. And Disney+ gives us that opportunit­y.”

The series will be only six episodes, but Feige said that was a function of storytelli­ng and cost.

“Six hours is what we landed on as the best way to tell our story,” he added. “The shows aren’t inexpensiv­e, so the per-episode cost is very high.”

What about all the Marvel TV shows before Disney+?

Marvel shows including Netflix’s “Luke Cage” and “Jessica Jones” and ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” were created by a “different team of storytelle­rs,” Feige said, but those characters could return to the MCU in some capacity (pending licensing agreements).

But Feige was emphatic that the adult-oriented content of the Netflix series would not be welcome on family-friendly Disney+.

“We’ve been able to tell all the kinds of stories that we’ve wanted to with the tonality and the (content) ratings we have now,” he said.

 ?? PROVIDED BY MARVEL ?? “WandaVisio­n,” with Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen, is a bridge to the new “Doctor Strange” film.
PROVIDED BY MARVEL “WandaVisio­n,” with Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen, is a bridge to the new “Doctor Strange” film.
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