Disney is reportedly developing big-budget limited series featuring second-string "Avengers" characters produced by Marvel Studios for their upcoming streaming service.
Disney's new streaming service has just made a huge statement to its rivals, and connection to its Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the announcement of MCU mini-series.
According to a new report by Variety, the forthcoming streaming service is looking at creating original content with MCU characters who have not starred in their own film franchises, like Loki and Scarlet Witch.
But the big "get" of the story is that these limited series will star the same actors who portray those characters on the big screen, meaning Tom Hiddleston stars as Loki in "Loki" and Elizabeth Olsen would reprise her role as the Scarlet Witch. Plus, those are just two examples.
With a universe of characters as expansive as the MCU, the possibilities are nearly limitless. "Ant-Man" star Michael Douglas revealed he wants an adventure starring a young Hank Pym, this could be a way to do that. Loved Letitia Wright as Shuri in "Black Panther"? How about giving her her own adventure?
Furthermore, the new projects, which would reportedly run six to eight episodes each, will have budgets equal to major studio productions, putting them well above Netflix's "Defenders" line of shows and even ABC's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
One of the biggest criticisms of the television side of Marvel Studios -- which is run under a separate entity entitled Marvel TV -- is that while the company touts that they are part of the larger MCU, there have been almost no connections. "S.H.I.E.L.D." nabbed Sif (Jaimie Alexander) early on, but has largely just reacted to what happens in the films and been in its own world.
Marvel Studios will reportedly be all-in on these new projects, with Kevin Feige heavily involved in their production and execution. One could also assume, with them coming more directly from the film division of the company, they might tie more directly into the events of the films.
These new series would join the already-announced, live-action "Star Wars" series expected to premiere on the platform, as well as a series based on "High School Musical" and the streaming premieres of forthcoming Disney films like "Captain Marvel" and "Dumbo."
The company has a lot of existing deals with Netflix and other companies, so they can't pull everything under their umbrella right away, no matter how much they might want to. Exclusive content featuring big-screen stars from the largest film franchise in cinema history is certainly one way to garner attention right out of the gate.
Disney's streaming service is expected to launch in late 2019.