Marvel Studios has expanded its offerings at a robust rate over the last several years, with multiple theatrical releases debuting to big numbers at the box office each year, and a television slate occupying prime spots on various streaming services and networks including Netflix, ABC and soon-to-be Hulu and Freeform. One product that has seemingly been sidelined, however, is the company's One-Shots program.
Beginning with The Consultant special feature included with Thor's Blu-ray release, the series consisted of side stories typically featuring supporting characters such as Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson and Hayley Atwell's Agent Carter. The One-Shots continued on several of the MCU's other home releases before disappearing after Thor: The Dark World's short, All Hail the King.
In an interview with CinemaBlend, Eric Pearson, whose credits include the first three One-Shots and Thor: Ragnarok, explained why he thinks the short films vanished, and that more of them could actually become a reality down the road. "I think probably the drop in Blu-ray sales has hurt the One-Shots program -- though I've heard whispers of it starting up again," Pearson stated. "I can't confirm that at all, but I've definitely heard whispers of it. And I have a whole folder full of other One-Shots that I just came up with. And I was like, 'Oh, this will be a fun eight to 12 pages!'"
The writer later added that Marvel originally intended a very different outlet for the One-Shots. "When they first brought it to me I think their initial idea was to try and set up something like Pixar, where you could do a short film at the beginning with a lesser character, to kind of have fun, expand the universe, and test out the audience's appetite for one of these more obscure characters," Pearson explained. "That would obviously be very expensive, especially when things were so 3D-heavy at the time. So the test process was going to be, 'Well, we'll do some shorts for Blu-ray content.' And that's kind of how it started."
Thor: Ragnarok arrives in theaters on Nov. 3. The film stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Cate Blanchett as Hela, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Karl Urban as Skurge, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/the Hulk and Anthony Hopkins as Odin.