Does Marvel Need to Change The MCU Formula In Phase 4?

Nearly a year-and-a-half ago, Avengers: Endgame hit theaters and demolished any box office record [...]

Nearly a year-and-a-half ago, Avengers: Endgame hit theaters and demolished any box office record standing in its path. The film featured nearly every major Marvel Cinematic Universe character audiences have been introduced to in the past ten years and served as the perfect end-cap to what Marvel Studios has dubbed "the Infinity Saga." With one major plot thread now wrapped up nice and tight, the MCU will head into Phase 4, where it will have the opportunity to broaden its horizons in more ways than one.

Now, much like what the Star Wars and DC universes have done over the past few years, Marvel Studios has the chance to do things they've never done before — both tonally and structurally.

Thanks to Studios' absorption of Marvel Television and the introduction of Disney+, the Kevin Feige-led outfit now has the production power and bandwidth to craft dozens of television shows — and we're just starting to see the fruits of that labor. For years, DC has fostered an incredibly well-connected universe of television shows on The CW, something the House of Ideas has yet to really grasp.

Sure, there was Netflix's attempt at the DefendersVerse, but that faltered after one season of the ultimate team-up. Then there were shows like Agents of SHIELD, Cloak & Dagger, Runaways, and Helstrom that largely remained as standalone shows — except for a mention or Easter egg here and there. Now that all of television is finally overseen by Feige and his team, the shows will be just as connected to the Marvel movies as the 23 features we've already seen in theaters.

Then comes the content itself. From what we've seen so far, Marvel has introduced a slate of content exploring characters and tones they've yet to come across. The studio has landed two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali to reboot its Blade franchise, a film that could be the studio's first earnest foray into horror. Or the fact it's looking increasingly likely Disney+'s Ms. Marvel will introduce the mainstream audience to the Inhumans, a part of the MCU Marvel Studios has yet to explore.

While years and years of the Star Wars franchise has been one event film after the next, the introduction of The Mandalorian has thrust audiences into a microscopic tale of some essential nobody in the grand scheme of things. No lightsabers, or Jedi — just a bounty hunter doing regular, "every day" human things. Something now possible with Marvel Studios having a presence with episodic storytelling on Disney+.

No matter which way you look at it, Marvel Studios will have the opportunity to shake things up in the coming months, if they haven't already started.

Marvel's Phase 4 continues with WandaVision, which premiers on Disney+ January 15th.

What genres or characters would you like to see Marvel Studios tackle in the coming years? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter!