It's arguable that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is already expansive enough. So far, there have been 20 films released over 10 years, plus various one-shots, a couple of ABC series, and more than 100 episodes of supposedlyedgiermaterial over on Netflix. But Disney has a streaming service on the way, and if it is going to beat Netflix at its own game, it needs to bring out the big guns. And by guns, we mean muscles. Superhero ones.
Variety reports that the studio is working to bring some of its movie stars to the small screen for a slew of limited series that hopefully will be enticing enough to get audiences to sign up for a whole new monthly subscription. The plan right now is to make six-to-eight episode series focusing on lesser MCU characters who didn't get their own standalone films. Early whispers are centered around shows dedicated to Thor's lovable asshole of a half-brother, Loki, and Avengers B-Team member Scarlet Witch, with Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen reprising their respective roles. Perhaps the latter will explain whatever happened to the Russian accent Wanda Maximoff had in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Or maybe it will just be a lowkey romance between Wanda and Vision, sort of like their version of the Before trilogy. Anyway, we're assuming these would likely be prequels considering -- spoiler -- Loki met an unceremonious end at the beginning of Infinity War.
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Disney's obvious draw for subscribers is its catalogue of hits. (Though, admittedly, some of the bigger recent successes may not make it on there initially.) Still, original content is king in 2018 and there's a go-big-or-go-home mentality seemingly at play in the development slate that also includes a Star Wars show that's going to cost about $100 million and a High School Musical series. This Marvel plan opens up a seemingly boundless amount of possibilities as long as the actors are on board. Characters ripe for this treatment could include Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye, Letitia Wright's Shuri, and Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie. Thompson is already doing a live action Lady and the Tramp, which is expected to go right onto this new platform.
And, hey, even just the mere discussion of this puts the Mouse operation ahead of its rival DC's streaming service, which is promoting offerings like a Titans show where Robin says "Fuck Batman."
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Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.