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Marvel’s Kevin Feige Discussed the Movies Making Sense Whether or Not Audiences Watch TV Shows

Don't skip over all the great, important shows on the way, please.

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as Vision in WandaVision

At the Television Critics Association panels this year, Marvel had plenty of news coming our way as Disney+ announced so many titles and programs being offered. Marvel’s Kevin Feige discussed the upcoming releases and how they’re going to tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. Making sure it was clear that WandaVision wasn’t really required, it’s interesting to see how Feige views approaching the MCU and all its moving parts.

“So there were lots of conversations with Sam Raimi and Michael Waldron, and the entire Doctor Strange team,” Feige said. “That this movie needs to work for people who watched WandaVision, but more importantly, needs to work for people who didn’t, who maybe Endgame was the last time they saw Wanda, or one of the earlier movies. Or maybe she’s a character they’re meeting for the first time.”

Feige went on to talk about how his job is to constantly worry about the flow of the MCU and how audiences will take to it.

“Well, I worry about everything all the time. That’s my job is to worry about everything. One thing I don’t worry about is more Teyonah Parris. I think that’s always a good thing. But it is very similar to movie-to-movie, honestly. We try to make the stories unfold in a way that if you are following along and have seen what has preceded it, you’ll be right up to speed. And more importantly, if you haven’t, you’ll be up to speed.”

Feige was talking about how the movies should connect movie to movie so that if an audience member didn’t watch WandaVision, they would still be up to date and understand what’s going on. And sure, I understand that thinking, but it is an interesting approach since all these movies do have so many moving parts that all work together.

Franchises are, for the most part, interconnected. That’s why we turn to them. If you want to be involved with the world, you have to watch all the movies. But there are people who don’t, and I think that’s more Feige’s point, that he’s making sure movies like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness don’t completely skip over what happened in WandaVision to leave those who didn’t watch in the dark.

But still, simply giving people the option to skip these shows is something that annoys me. We’re finally getting to see Wanda and then Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson take the main stage and headline their own shows. Giving the option to the casual fan of not watching these shows feels like it is diminishing their importance. WandaVision is one of the most inventive things that Marvel has done yet, and Sam Wilson becoming Captain America is a huge deal.

The conversation, frankly, shouldn’t be “how can people who didn’t watch still keep up with the movies” and should instead be how to encourage fans to watch the show and explore Wanda’s story so the same can happen with Falcon and the Winter SoldierLoki, and beyond.

The Disney+ era of Marvel is exploring characters the movies often sideline, and it is introducing fan favorites like Ms. Marvel herself Kamala Khan, Moon Knight, Riri Williams, and She-Hulk. Getting to see them lead their own shows and having that bleed into the film version of the MCU is my greatest wish and, with Feige’s comments, I know that’s going to happen, but I just hope it also encourages those fans who maybe weren’t going to watch all of these shows to still do so. Otherwise, it feels like leaving the representation they’re providing on the sidelines.

(via, image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.