Variety reports that the new, still-unnamed streaming service will now include new live-action limited series focusing on various Marvel Cinematic Universe characters, including Loki, Scarlet Witch, and more. While other Marvel-based TV shows produced by Disney, including Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., have remained under the Marvel TV banner, these proposed series would fall under the guidance of Marvel Studios, which means studio President Kevin Feige -- the MCU's mastermind -- will have hands-on involvement in shaping them.
Details on plots and creative teams are still murky, but Variety's report notes that the plan is to focus on second-tier MCU characters for these six-to-eight-episode shows, and to bring in the original talent who played them on the big screen. That means we could seen be seeing six more hours of Tom Hiddleston's God of Mischief, even if his brother Thor isn't along for the ride. That means big budgets, big production values, and a big bet by Disney on consumer interest in its streaming service.
The streaming service, which is expected to launch sometime next year, was already a massive endeavor, as it's set to feature everything from Disney animated classics to theatrically released MCU films to a new live-action Star Wars series. That last piece of news should have clued everyone in to the idea that Disney would want something exclusive and MCU-related on the service, and now we have an idea of what that might be, even if we don't know exactly when and how it will manifest. Yes, we have TV shows already that ostensibly take place in the MCU, but outside of a few early cameos on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the shows and the films have stayed separate, and Netflix's Defenders family of shows has done just fine keeping itself apart.
That said, the "it's all connected" approach of the MCU has always made fans long for something that's really connected, and the big budgets and limited runs of these reported shows might give us just that. If Disney really can make this happen, and stars like Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen (and Paul Bettany, and Sebastian Stan, and Letitia Wright, and so on) really do take to the small screen for these projects, MCU fans will have little choice but to pay up and give Disney their streaming money. If that happens, there's no telling how big the new service gets, and how much the MCU will expand as a result.
Disney and Marvel have not yet commented on this report, but we'll give you more information as we hear it.