Producer Jonathan Schwartz reveals how Marvel Studios decide which projects go to Disney+. After the Infinity Saga, the MCU started branching out with their storytelling, officially producing TV shows that are exclusively for Disney’s own streaming platform. The franchise has had four series thus far: WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and What If…? with still many more to come in the next couple of years.
While MCU films will always be where the franchise’s main storytelling takes place, its Disney+ offerings are going to be integral to the overall narrative in Phase 4 and beyond. The first three shows, at least, have clear connections to what pans out on the big screen. It could even be argued that the most crucial plot line in this new era came from Loki after it introduced who might be the franchise’s next big bad: He Who Remains — a variant of Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), not to mention how the multiverse has been unleashed. Given these, it’s becoming increasingly clear that watching Marvel Studios’ Disney+ endeavors is mandatory for anyone who wants a full understanding of what’s happening in the universe.
But how does Marvel Studios decide which of their projects will be developed for the streamer? Schwartz, who produced Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and is set to shift focus on the Secret Invasion series, explained the process to Collider. According to him, it’s a collective choice, but it all boils down to what type of story they want to tell. Disney+ is reserved for narratives that are bolder and unlike what they usually do for their feature films. Read Schwartz’s full quote below:
It’s something we’ve all figured out together. What makes sense for Disney+. What makes sense for movies? What characters go where. We figure it out as a group. I think that what’s cool about Disney+ is it gives us the opportunity to tell stories that are maybe outside of the norm of what we would be able to do in movies that want a different canvas, that want a different structure, that are maybe a little weirder and wilder than we would have typically in the past been able to go in movies. Now I think, the movies are able to do things that we may not have been able to do in the past because the shows have given us the confidence to do it. Everything wants to push the envelope more because the audience is getting used to a different level of storytelling.
Aside from being the avenue for more out-of-the-norm narratives, Disney+ has also been the perfect place to put focus on previous supporting characters who are tipped to be more prominent in MCU Phase 4 and beyond. For starters, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision’s (Paul Bettany) love story has progressed mostly in the background of Captain America: Civil War and even Avengers: Infinity War. WandaVision allowed Marvel Studios to finally put a focus on them and their tragic romance in a way that propels Wanda’s arc in the future. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, on the other hand, saw Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) become the new Captain America, while Loki gives Tom Hiddleston’s fan-favorite God of Mischief his own arc separate from Thor (Chris Hemsworth).
Moving forward, Marvel Studios’ Disney+ content will be a mixed bag of origins stories, sequels, and event-like projects. The streamer is set to debut heroes She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Ironheart, and Moon Knight. Meanwhile, Loki and What If…? are already confirmed for a second season. Finally, Secret Invasion, which is presumably the MCU’s take on the Secret Wars comics narrative will be massive in scale, and something that could have important ramifications to what’s happening on the big screen.