Marvel Executive of Production and Development Jonathan Schwartz detailed how MCU movies and shows get made from beginning to end with the guidance of a producer. The Marvel machine has produced and released 25 films after the debut of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings this weekend and their output is only expected to increase from here. The studio will debut five features in 2022: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, Wakanda Forever, and The Marvels. The fifth has yet to be revealed.
2021 also saw Marvel dive headfirst into the streaming realm. WandaVision debuted on Disney+ to critical acclaim as the studio’s first live-action series and it was followed by hits The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki. What If…? is currently airing on Disney+ and at least one more series is slated to premiere this year, with Hawkeye debuting in November. With so much content coming out, the team at the studio is heavily involved in both each specific production and the larger machinations of the mega-franchise, making it of particular interest to audiences who want to know just how Marvel does it.
Now, in an interview with Collider, Schwartz, who worked on Shang-Chi, revealed a producer’s role on a film from beginning to end. The executive calls it “a long-standing tradition” at the studio for a producer to oversee the production of a show or movie from beginning to end. This involves reading a slew of comics associated with the project, figuring out why audiences should be excited about a specific film or show, and talking to writers, directors, and crew members. This all culminates in the producer overseeing the actual shoot of the movie all the way up through marketing and release. Check out his full explanation below:
I ask that question a lot. I mean, for me, it means that there’s been a long standing tradition at Marvel Studios of our process, which more or less is there are a number of creative producers like myself and we oversee one movie or now streaming series from beginning to end. On a movie like Shang-Chi that means we decide I’m going to do Shang-Chi. Shang-Chi has a release date. And I get the stack of comics and have to do everything it takes to make that movie. So read the comics. Understand what gets everyone excited about the project. Why this character? What story do we want to tell? Talk to the writers. Talk to the directors. Put a crew together. Prep the movie. Shoot the movie. Post the movie. Market and distribute the movie. That was a very short briefing two and a half years of life, but it really is a beginning to end soup to nuts producing approach.
Marvel has pulled off an experiment on a grand scale, creating a movie franchise that is serialized like a television show and it shows no signs of slowing down. Each Disney+ Marvel show has exceeded the last as the studio’s biggest hit, save for What If…?, and some of the most anticipated MCU films are releasing in the coming months. Spider-Man: No Way Home looks poised to break all kinds of records just like the release of its trailer did. So, too, does Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which will see Sam Raimi return to the world of Marvel.
Still, it’s always interesting to get a peek behind the curtain of the mysterious studio. Marvel plays its cards close to the chest, avoiding spoiling anything at all costs and keeping their creative process under wraps. As they’ve moved into streaming, though, the MCU has come under increased scrutiny as many wonder just how they operate compared to other production companies. Schwartz’s reveal of the process obviously doesn’t go into too much depth, but it’s an interesting inside look at the process of one of the most successful studios of all time.