Last year Marvel Entertainment created a new division, Marvel Television, with the intent of creating animated fare to the small screen. Jeph Loeb, producer and writer on shows like Heroes, Lost, Smallville and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Animated Series, was tasked to head up the division. The intent is to use these smaller productions to focus on Marvel’s less known heroes and villains who stand no chance in ever breaking a major role on the big screen.
Last year Marvel Studios also announced the possibility of producing 10-minute live action shorts based on some of its lesser-known characters, such as Luke Cage and Dr. Strange. There is still no confirmation as to wether or not this will actually happen but a recent report suggests that Marvel Studios has already began work on two shorts featuring Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) for the Thor and Captain America DVDs / Blu-Rays due out later this year. Rumours also say that Marvel/Disney are looking to place the short films in front of their feature length movies to introduce secondary characters. Making the movies on the cheap will allow Marvel to take bigger risks, while further building characters and stories. Personally I think screening the shorts before each feature length film would be a great way to entice theatergoers, and more importantly it could allow the studio to market and test various characters, actors and filmmakers, and also provide background for the heroes and villains without having the cram so much exposition into the blockbuster flicks. Let’s hope for the best.