Did Marvel Studios just replace its beloved One-Shots?


Two and a half years after the famous Marvel Studios/Disney+ Super Bowl spot, it’s safe to say that the universe has expanded. Seven live-action series, six movies and two animated series later and Phase 4 has grown the Marvel Cinematic Universe exponentially.

New faces join the roster, returning characters earn promotions, and there’s even a former Avenger turned genocidal witch. Kevin Feige and company. have pushed the boundaries of the types of stories they can tell.

And after the night werewolf trailer at D23 Expo, they may have just added another tool to their toolbox. Or is it the evolution of short stories in the MCU?

An introduction to Marvel Studios

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night werewolf is a horror classic created in modern times to introduce one of the first characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s spooky sector. A real monster movie vibe for a real monster project. Except it won’t hit theaters and it won’t stream on Disney+ week in and week out.

night werewolf will instead be Marvel Studios’ first-ever special presentation.

Marvel Studios Special Presentation Logo
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Certainly not as long as a feature film. Probably not as short as the five-minute episodes of I Am Groot! Somewhere in between seems like the best bet for this new storytelling tool at Marvel Studios.

This will be the first time a new character has been introduced outside of a movie or series in the MCU. However, this is not the first time that the red brand has launched short content.

Marvel One Shots

The Disney+ logo featuring the characters Trevor Slattery and Tony Stark from Iron Man 3
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From the early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there was the Marvel Studios One Shots. A series of short stories told against the backdrop of the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The consultant, A Funny Thing Happened on the way to Thor’s Hammer, Item 47, Agent Carter, and All Hail The King was all of the Marvel One Shots designed to fill in the gaps between the films featuring the additional characters from various franchises.

Team Thor Part 1 & 2 and Team Darryl performed in similar roles but featuring the god of thunder himself.

Team Thor
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Although there hasn’t been a Marvel Studios One Shot since 2017, they still pack a punch. Recently added to Disney+, the two Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Thor: Love and Thunder featured characters who were last seen in a One Shot (Trevor Slattery and Darryl, respectively).

Marvel Studios Hall of Fame producer Louis D’Esposito said in the book The History of Marvel Studios: The Creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that they were”still working on One Shots” and try to choose their places for the best opportunities to fill in the gaps.

But is this new announcement from A Marvel Studios Presentation another short outlet? Or is it the evolution of what was once Marvel Studios’ One Shot?

The Many Faces of Marvel Studios

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Option A is for Marvel Studios to take the One Shot and expand it into a special presentation. A way to make these gap projects more important to the MCU’s ever-evolving timeline.

It wouldn’t be the first time Feige and Co. made this type of cast change without an official announcement.

When phase 4 was announced, What if..? sitting right next to the slate’s biggest streaming movies and series. Elevate the narrative that Marvel Studios animated content follows the same canon as live-action projects.

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San Diego Comic-Con

At SDCC 2022, the animation wing of Marvel Studios separated. All current animation projects were announced and presented on a separate day. And the logos of upcoming shows like Spider-Man: Year One were not on the official Phase 5 slate.

So presumably they decided to split their forces and make animation and live-action their own thing.

Any other confirmed projects not on the official Phase 5 list? night werewolf and Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special. Both are labeled as special presentations from Marvel Studios.

Option B is that One Shots and Special Features will co-exist to tell shorter stories within the MCU. This is the most likely option as One Shots traditionally features the supporting cast of the biggest franchises in the universe.

Both night werewolf and the Guardians Holiday Special are big chunks in the narrative. If for nothing else, the introduction and reintroduction of big name players.

If so, stepping back paints an incredible picture of all the different stories Marvel Studios can tell between cinemas and Disney+.

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Blockbuster movies, Emmy-worthy streaming series, animated content, unique shorts, special presentation features, behind-the-scenes documentary-style looks (Marvel Studios assembled), and even cleverly packaged recap preludes before big projects (Legends of Marvel Studios).

There’s no limit to the kinds of stories Marvel Studios is willing to tell, and as the multiverse saga continues to move forward, it feels like there’s more to come from the cinematic universe. the most powerful on earth.

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