Marvel Studios power-shift means a change in oversight…

Marvel has had massive successes, but now the tv and film arms of its empire become one...

While there’s no denying the blueprinted, interconnected success of Marvel‘s cinematic division, the televisual output has been somewhat diverse and spread-out. US network brought us the like of Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter, Netflix had Daredevil, The Punisher, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. Disney+ is promising the likes of Loki, WandaVision and Falcon & The Winter Soldier. Technically all these inhabit the same universe, but that’s become more and more problematic when trying to join the dots and keep a tone.

Now comes the news that – on the face of it – seems like an obvious, lateral business plan but which may have many ramifications and other reasons behind it. Marvel Television is essentially being Thanos-snapped – not so much ceasing to exist, but being ‘folded’ into the larger Marvel Studios operation, likely at the cost of jobs. Some of the prospective moves were announced back in October and though some details weren’t known it immediately appeared that Jeph Loeb, who has been the guiding hand (and who is staying on during the transition) had his days in control numbered. It will be Kevin Feige, who now moves from being in charge of the cinema strand alone to full-on Chief Creative Officer, who reigns supreme. On the face of it, that means there’s more chance for things to be connected in a more obvious fashion. However it also means a clearing of the decks. Though the plans to launch Hellstrom on hulu remain on course, it seems a lot of other projects kick-started by Loeb (including the now cancelled Ghost Rider also planned for hulu) are either already gone, have a planned finish-date has has been put firmly put on hold for the foreseeable future. Only his animated fare such as MODOK, Hit-Monkey, Tigra & Dazzler and Howard the Duck and The Offenders  remains in the works… and even then production on Tigra and Dazzler has been halted while it is ‘reworked’.  On the other hand, projects instigated by Feige – such as the animated What If (using the voices of the established screen actors/characters), Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk and Moon Knight – remain firmly in preparation.

The audience may not notice the difference, but it will be interesting to see the direction the whole Marvel Studios empire takes as it moves beyond the current climate and more firmly into its ‘Phase Four’ plans…

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