Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has rejected criticism of Marvel Television shows such as Agents of SHIELD, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. The MCU’s Phase 4 recently launched on Disney+, with the release of WandaVision – a show that has proved a cultural hit, with episode 7 including a new theme song that looks set to dominate the year.
Critics of Marvel Television’s old shows, such as Agents of SHIELD and their various Netflix offerings, consistently point out the difference between WandaVision and those previous series. WandaVision – and subsequent Marvel Studios-produced Disney+ originals – have the kind of production budget typically associated with a feature film, and they include prominent actors from the MCU movies themselves such as Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany. In contrast, Marvel Television’s budgets were far lower, and the promised connectivity with the mainstream MCU never really materialized after a corporate restructure in 2015.
For all that’s the case, though, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has roundly rejected criticism of some of these shows. Speaking at the TCA’s press event (via Alex Zalben), he was asked why his approach is more successful than that taken by the old Marvel Television. Rather than take a moment to brag about his own productions, Feige instead defended the likes of Agents of SHIELD. “I think there are legions of Agents of SHIELD fans, and Daredevil fans, and Jessica Jones fans, and Luke Cage fans who would disagree with you,” Feige responded, rejecting the idea they were poor quality.
Feige knows his audience, and he’s well aware there are indeed strong fanbases for all these shows. That’s particularly the case with Agents of SHIELD, which was essentially Marvel Television’s flagship; during Beta testing of Disney+, a study revealed that Agents of SHIELD was the most popular pre-existing series at the time, suggesting its popularity continues. There’s sustained demand among fans for some of these actors to make their way into the mainstream MCU, particularly focused on the likes of Chloe Bennet’s Quake and Charlie Cox’s Daredevil; indeed, there are reports Cox has actually filmed scenes for Spider-Man: No Way Home, so it’s possible this demand will actually be met. It is, of course, amusing to note which of the four Netflix “Defenders” shows Feige didn’t mention; Iron Fist was one of Marvel Television’s worst missteps, with season 1 performing poorly and a much-improved second season failing to draw viewers back. Its omission in his quick list seems rather appropriate.
What is particularly pleasing, though, is that Feige refuses to dismiss the previous Marvel Television shows. This suggests that, whether he chooses to incorporate any of these various superheroes into the mainstream MCU or not, he certainly considers them to have a strong legacy that he will need to live up to should he instead reboot them. Only time will tell what approach Marvel takes.
More: Agents of SHIELD: Every MCU Movie Character Who Appeared
Source: Alex Zalben