Why Some MCU Fans Are More Excited About Upcoming TV Shows Than Movies

Sometime later this year, should the coronavirus (COVID-19) let up, Marvel will start releasing its first TV shows made by Kevin Feige and company. Marvel Studios capped off an unprecedented run of 23 movies last year, so now we’re about to find out if they have the same kind of success on the small-screen they did on the big. 

The answer seems predetermined to be yes. Since Marvel has a gigantic built-in fan base, their shows are going to meet a lot of eyeballs. Some fans are anticipating the TV shows more than they are the movies. 

Winston James Francis as Jaco, Brooke Williams as Snowlfake, Clark Gregg as Sarge, and Matt O'leary as Pax in an industrial room
Winston James Francis as Jaco, Brooke Williams as Snowlfake, Clark Gregg as Sarge, and Matt O’leary as Pax | Mitch Haaseth/Getty Images

What are the movies and shows coming up? 

It goes without saying by now that any schedule of movie and TV release dates is subject to change, with the pandemic still to be contained. The MCU slate has shifted once already, and it may very well shift again with speculation that theaters will remain closed through 2020, according to Insider.

On the movie front, Phase 4 is ready to go with Black Widow on November 6, the new team of The Eternals on February 12, 2021, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on May 7, Spider-Man 3 on November 5, Thor: Love and Thunder on February 11, 2022, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on March 25, 2022. Added to the slate were Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022 and Captain Marvel 2 on July 8, according to Screenrant.

The TV shows were supposed to start rolling out in August with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but Disney confirmed the show would not make that date and did not set a new date, reports Entertainment Weekly. The show had been close to finishing principal photography when production was shut down by the pandemic. Following that was supposed to be WandaVision late this year, and  Loki, What If ..? and Hawkeye next year. Moreover, WandaVision and Loki were supposed to lead into Multiverse of Madness somehow. 

Are the TV shows a bigger deal than the movies? 

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One of the reasons this is so exciting to Marvel fans is that these shows are run by Kevin Feige and his team, who spun gold out of the movies. The Marvel shows that had been on Netflix, particularly Daredevil and Jessica Jones, had strong followings and critical acclaim, but all the TV shows up to now had been run by Marvel’s television unit that is being dissolved.  

One fan on Reddit straight up said, “I’m more excited for the tv shows than the movies atm. Between this wanda and winter soldier. So much yes.” That’s all too understandable, not only because the TV shows are new, but also because, for now at least, TV is one of the best ways to pass the time.

Another fan added, “it’s a whole new medium and i’m curious what they’ll try. I suspect it’ll be a bit like Phase 1 – most people don’t look back on it fondly now, but I think it’s one of the best phases because they were experimenting, trying to figure out what worked, and the tones and genres hadn’t yet taken on that ‘Marvel Approved Flavour’ that would be in every film after the Avengers. I’m hoping these shows have that same exploratory spirit.”

Fans may be reluctant to let go of old favorites

There is arguably another reason fans may be looking forward to the shows more than the movies. The shows are mostly continuations of old favorites we’ve already met. On the other hand, the movies are introducing heroes who are less familiar to the masses like Shang-Chi and The Eternals. Avengers: Endgame saw the last of Iron Man, Captain America and Black Widow. Black Widow will get her prequel, but as far as the movies go, Marvel is more about looking forward than looking back. 

Fans have understandably had a hard time letting go of those characters, to the point that they dream up all kinds of ways even dead characters might return. And considering Endgame was about resurrecting the dead, in a sense, that doesn’t seem like such an unreasonable wish. 

All the same, Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr have made it clear that they enjoyed their time with Marvel, but they’re done, thank you very much. There’s also news that Florence Pugh’s Black Widow character will be the successor to Natasha. Marvel needs to build new teams now, just as they did a decade ago when they were assembling the Avengers. Once the virus is under control, Marvel fans may have the best of both worlds in theaters and at home.