Marvel Studios Needs More Spy Thrillers Like Black Widow and The Winter Soldier

The week before last, WandaVision aired its final episode and wrapped up the first television series released by Marvel Studios. It treated fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to fare far different than ever released before by the House of Ideas. Now that we've all seen the show, it's obvious Kevin Feige and his team wanted to use WandaVision to experiment with tones that go against the grain of previous properties they've developed. Instead of massive in-your-face action, WandaVision provided us with a dynamite Marvel show in an entirely new corner of the MCU — it showed us that Marvel Studios doesn't need to include blockbuster action in everything they do for it to be a worthy series of film.

In fact, that leads us to the purpose of this piece: the look and feel of WandaVision, combined with the early reactions from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier make one thing more evident than ever — the MCU could benefit from more spy thrillers. Sure, WandaVision was far from the next spy or action thriller, but it shows that the House of Ideas can do small-scale action well.

CRAM FWS - Spy Thrillers
(Photo: Marvel Studios)

Taking everything at face value, it's reasonable to say that the MCU has two major spy thrillers in its midst, and one of the entries hasn't even been released yet. Looking at Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it'd be awfully hard to build an argument against classifying it as a spy or political thriller. The feature was one of the first Marvel projects to really feature an ensemble cast — in a solo franchise, of course — yet it managed to still tell a character-driven tale.

Judging by what we know of Black Widow so far, the same can probably be said about the Scarlett Johansson vehicle when it finally debuts in a couple of weeks.

This shared cinematic world has dipped its toes into virtually every genre in the entertainment sphere, yet now — more than ever before — the production house has the perfect opportunity to get into more high-stakes spycraft mystery for fans.

Take a traditional "whodunnit" type feature or some Winter Soldier-esque espionage thriller, and add the serialized storytelling format allowed by Disney+. The end result is far from a loss for Disney or Marvel Studios, but rather a win for the MCU on all fronts; a setup like that would likely dominate social media chatter for weeks on end.

Even outside of the online discourse involved in these event shows, a spy thriller provides another breath of fresh air for fans to lean on when they want to take a break from the standard superhero show. It's a way for Marvel to provide more small-scale stories that have both intense character moments and high-octane action pieces through car chases, shootouts, and fight sequences.

WandaVision proved Marvel shows can strike a very personal note with fans with a picture-perfect plot about trauma and grief. While spy thrillers may not evoke that same type of emotion, those types of shows could continue crafting a tale that's considered much more human than everyday superhero cinema. As the MCU continues to grow, the world of spy and action thrillers is one that'd be ripe for the picking in the ever-growing Marvel Studios and Disney+ relationship.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier debuts on Disney+ beginning Friday, March 19th.

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