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Fans may need to watch Disney+ to understand future Marvel films, Kevin Feige says

By Jacob Oller

Marvel Cinematic Universe fans who've remained agnostic on upcoming streaming service Disney+ and its bevy of Marvel shows may find themselves with a new reason to subscribe today. With familiar faces already populating the various series announced for Disney+, like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Hawkeye, it was unclear if and how these shows would have any greater impact on the actual film universe. The animated and inherently non-canonical show Marvel’s What If…? seemed to indicate a divide between the small and large screens. But now MCU boss Kevin Feige has confirmed the opposite: the MCU and the Marvel TV Universe are deeply connected.

According to Bloomberg, they’re so connected that those wanting to stay abreast of all the happenings in the MCU will need a Disney+ subscription. Movies like director Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will feature details from the shows, as WandaVision’s Scarlet Witch will be a “key character” in that film. Loki’s series will also tie in, Feige confirmed.

“I’m not sure we’ve actually acknowledged that before,” he said. “But it does.”

Previous Marvel TV projects have remained distant from the MCU, with The Defenders Netflix shows all referencing the goings-on of the MCU, but nothing more. Even the most crossover-heavy show (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) never had Clark Gregg’s antics as Phil Coulson resonate on the big screen. 

Now, MCU fans have a new medium to keep up with in order for Phase Four to make sense. This also implies that characters introduced on the small screen could cross over to the films (as Feige has already stated in reference to Ms. Marvel). Moon Knight, anyone?

Another detail that dropped about the streaming shift was that Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye project went from movie deal to series deal. So, as the arrow-slinging mantle is passed on during the course of the TV show, it's safe to say we shouldn't keep our eyes peeled for a standalone Hawkeye movie anytime soon. Still, Renner reportedly understood the plan. “He totally got it and said, ‘Let’s do it,’ ” Feige said.

Disney+ launches on Nov. 12.