Marvel stepped into their Phase 5 project this weekend with the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. This film marks the reign of Kang the Conquerer as the new villain, a story set up in the Disney+ series Loki in 2021.
Since the release of Disney+, Marvel has dived into the streaming platform, releasing several series that tie into the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. Season 1 of Loki ended with the introduction of He Who Remains, a variant of Kang the Conquerer, effectively setting up the villain for the next Phase of Marvel films.
Since the start of 2021, Marvel has released eight series on the Disney streaming platform as part of their Phase 4 project, starting with WandaVision (2021) and ending with She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022). Each of the series released by Marvel Studios is part of the MCU, although each one consists of a single, stand-alone season except for Loki and What If…? (2021), which will each have second seasons released as part of Phase 5.
With the amount of content Marvel Studios has released thus far and the shows already slated to be released over the next year, Marvel head Kevin Feige had some surprising news for fans of Disney+. Entertainment Weekly reports that as the studio goes further into Phases 5 and 6, Feige explains they want to focus more on the MCU films and that the shows on Disney+ will be less of a focus. With the rise of streaming platforms over the last several years, many original series are released with the intention of binge-watching them in a single sitting, playing like a six- or eight-hour movie instead of six or eight individual episodes.
Feige says he had some fun experimenting with the shows Marvel Studios was releasing on Disney+ and that he wanted them to feel episodic, the way shows used to be. Although he’s enjoyed exploring a different avenue and platform for the stories, going forward, he expects there will be fewer shows created each year, and they will become more spaced out than they’ve been released so far.
Marvel plans out their movies three phases at a time, so although they’ve just entered Phase Five, they’ve already planned up until Phase Eight. Considering Feige himself has said they’ll be slowing down on series, it seems as though most of the next few phases will focus heavily on the films rather than the streaming content, bringing viewers back to the big screens to see what their favorite heroes will do next.