One of the hallmarks of the first phase (and change) of films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the ‘Marvel One-Shots’. Taking their name from one-off comic book side stories, the ‘One-Shots’ were short films, typically focusing on supporting characters, that were released direct to video as bonus content when Marvel’s feature films arrived on Blu-ray. Rather than disposable filler, these were often significant in their own right, with ‘Agent Carter’, for example, helping to pave the way for the TV series of the same name. But following the release of ‘All Hail the King‘ (which accompanied ‘Thor: The Dark World’ to Blu-ray in 2014, the ‘One-Shots’ came to an abrupt end.
So what happened? Why discontinue a popular line of content? Speaking to the ‘Empire Film Podcast‘, ‘Iron Man 3’ co-writer Drew Pearce explains that the decision came down to the sheer amount of time and effort that were spent on the ‘One-Shots’:
“They literally just take up too much time. Because [Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige] cares so much about everything that goes out the door that he throws as much commitment and time into making one of the shorts as he does one of the films. At some point – even timewise – economically, that isn’t a feasible thing for him to do, particularly now that they have three films a year rather than two.”
Despite Marvel’s increased feature film output (beginning in 2017, the studio has released three films a year and has plans to continue doing so for the foreseeable future), rumors have persisted of the potential return of the ‘One-Shots’. By all accounts there is a desire among those involved to bring them back, with producer Louis D’Esposito noting that “Disney wants us to do it,” and ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ co-writer Eric Pearson maintaining a folder of potential ‘One-Shots’. The interest is also present among the on-camera talent, with ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ star Tom Holland has voiced a desire to do a ‘One-Shot’ with Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man.