Marvel Studios to Start Producing Short Films?

Last year, we reported on a rumor that Marvel Studios would begin producing 10-minute shorts based on some of its lesser-known characters, such as Luke Cage and Dr. Strange. Although that specific rumor has so far turned out not to be true, a new report suggests that the studio does have some interest in the format. Marvel Studios has already shot two shorts featuring Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) for the Thor and Captain America DVDs / Blu-Rays due out later this year, and it seems that more shorts for other characters may possibly be on the way. Read on after the jump.

According to an unnamed “source close to Marvel Studios” (via Film School Rejects), the company has already begun putting writers to work developing some of the Marvelverse’s secondary characters. The current projects have been proposed as short films, and could potentially lead to the characters appearing or starring in longer features as well. Though the company has not officially confirmed anything at this point, it certainly seems plausible; Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has said in the past that he “like[d] the idea” of short films for some characters.

Even if Marvel is developing shorts, we don’t know at this point how or when we may expect to see them. We already know Gregg’s shorts will be on the DVD / Blu-Rays, so it’s possible Marvel will stick with that model. Another guess is that the rumored Marvel shorts would run before Marvel features, the way Pixar shows its short films before its longer films.

Personally, I love the idea of the shorts and hope (if the rumors are true, which is a big if) that Marvel will go the Pixar route. Or better yet, do both. Not only would I find the shorts interesting as a moviegoer, it seems like a smart opportunity for the studio to market and test various characters, actors, directors, etc. to its exact core audience. The format could also potentially allow the studio to take risks with character, storylines, or even visual styles that it would generally avoid in an expensive tentpole feature. Plus, the shorts could serve to further build up the cinematic counterpart to the comics’ vast, sprawling, and more or less coherent Marvel universe. In theory, anyway.

Discuss: Would you be interested in short films about Marvel’s lesser characters? Which ones would you most like to see adapted to that format?

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