Marvel One Shots
Credit: Kingsley, Atwell, and Caplan

All Hail The King

Bad news, Marvel fans: The studio has put a hold on its popular One-Shot series of short films, and won’t be including one on the Blu-ray release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Sources close to the studio confirm that the omission of a short in the new list of bonus features for the Aug. 19 release is no accident — and it’s not a bit of H.Y.D.R.A.-like misdirection, either.

This isn’t necessarily the ultimate end of the One-Shot movies, but fans may have to wait until at least the home video debut of Guardians of the Galaxy before seeing another (if Marvel Studios decides to keep the series going). It’s a surprising move, given that the One-Shots have only been growing in scale, and have inspired two prime-time ABC television series.

Agent Carter, released on the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray in September, featured Hayley Atwell as Captain America’s leading lady Peggy Carter, trying to make her way in the male-dominated world of superheroes and espionage after World War II. An upcoming ABC series will focus on her work as the founder of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Meanwhile, that show’s present-day equivalent Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was inspired by Item 47, a short film that accompanied the 2012 Blu-ray for The Avengers. That one followed the global police force’s efforts to track down a missing alien weapon that has fallen into the hands of a bank robber (Masters of Sex‘s Lizzy Caplan) and her boyfriend (Jesse Bradford). The TV show also brought Clark Gregg’s deceased Agent Coulson back to life — so fans can thank the short for that, too.

The most recent short, All Hail the King, accompanied the home video release of Thor: The Dark World, and caught up with Ben Kingsley’s character from Iron Man 3. Not only was the Oscar-winner the biggest star yet to appear in a Marvel short, but the events in that film also suggested plot lines for a potential Iron Man 4.

So why stop now?

Marvel didn’t immediately return calls for comment. UPDATE: Marvel has publicly confirmed the news.

Executives there have told EW in the past that they might bring a temporary halt to the One-Shots if they didn’t have a strong story idea or their full focus was needed on the feature film pipeline.

Right now, the studio has Guardians of the Galaxy wrapping up and headed to theaters in August, Joss Whedon’s Avengers 2 currently shooting in the U.K., and the now director-less Ant-Man speeding toward production to meet a July release next summer.

With those two TV shows also drawing resources, it may simply be that the One-Shots have fallen victim to a rare Hollywood disease — too much success. But like Agent Coulson, that’s also something that leads to resurrection.

All Hail The King
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