Marvel Studios has enjoyed an unprecedented amount of success since the release of Iron Man in 2008, which smartly launched a shared cinematic universe that other studios are racing to compete with. One of the keys to Marvel’s success is their unwavering excitement and trust in the vast catalog of characters at their disposal. Other studios, such as Warner Bros/DC, are hesitant about greenlighting projects involving second (or even third) tier characters in their library, and have dedicated most of their time to heroes they’ve had success with in the past. Marvel, on the other hand, doesn’t have any reservations about trying new things, introducing characters that general audiences aren’t familiar with, and finding new and exciting ways to bring them to life on screen.
One of the most interesting ways they’ve done this is with short films, called “One Shots,” that are available to those who buy their films on Blu Ray on DVD. We’ve seen four One Shots released so far: The Consultant (released with Thor), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer (Captain America: The First Avenger), Item 47 (The Avengers), and Agent Carter (to be released with Iron Man 3 on Sept. 24). The first two featured Agent Coulson in “day in the life” type situations, Item 47 featured two average people finding an alien weapon left behind in the Battle of New York, and Agent Carter features Captain America’s love interest a year after the events of The First Avenger, as she looks into the mysterious Zodiac.
Each short film is getting a little more ambitious in its approach, slowly fleshing out the Marvel universe and introducing stories and characters that just can’t fit into feature films. The One Shots also present an interesting opportunity for Marvel to test the waters of future characters, to see how general audiences may respond to them, before taking the risk of greenlighting a feature film. Though it’s something the company hasn’t done yet, it’s definitely on their minds and the door for it is open.
Marvel Co-President Louis D’Esposito recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly, and discussed the challenges the studio faces with devoting One Shots to characters that may become a larger part of the universe later:
“I’ve been asked many times too, would you introduce new characters? That even proves to be very difficult, just from a cost perspective. What does the costume look like? Who is the actor playing it? A lot of R&D goes into it. We have a great concept department here, a visual development department, and it takes time.”
Despite D’Esposito’s reservations, I thought now would be as good a time as any to take a look at Marvel’s catalog and pick 10 characters that could make for awesome additions to the One Shot family and be featured in a short film of their own…
Note: When choosing characters for this list, I relied on those that would be a good fit for the universe they’ve created, and tried to find characters that would fit well into the fold.
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