Disney’s new streaming video service needs some heroes, but it’s turning to some former Marvel villains who have been drawn to the light.
Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch could each get their own limited series on the platform, which is expected to launch in late 2019, sources confirm to EW.
Disney will need powerhouses like that to draw new viewers, especially in a marketplace already crowded by Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other streaming services.
Original programing that harks back to beloved franchises or characters has proven to be key to luring subscribers.
CBS All Access turned to Star Trek to attract viewers — beginning with the current Discovery and a planned Jean-Luc Picard series with Patrick Stewart returning to his Next Generation role. The DC Universe app, meanwhile, is launching with a gritty new take on Titans.
No writers or directors have yet been attached to the Loki or Scarlet Witch shows, but Variety’s Justin Kroll, who broke the news, reports that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, the driving force between the interlocked Marvel Cinematic Universe, would have a hand in developing the programs.
ABC already has Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which spun off Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson from the films. (Gregg returns to the big screen with a 1990s version of his character in next year’s Captain Marvel.) And Netflix licensed Marvel characters for its Defenders universe, with Luke Cage, Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and The Punisher.
While those shows have included a few scattered nods to the MCU, there has been relatively little crossover. Viewers could expect much more interconnection with Hiddleston and Olsen returning as their fan-favorite characters, who each started out on the side of evil, only to be tempted toward decency and goodness as their stories unfolded.
It’s unclear when the shows might be set in each character’s timeline, but the smart guess is the shows would be prequels of sorts (if only because — SPOILER WARNING — we saw both their lives end in Avengers: Infinity War).
Of course, things could always change when next spring’s untitled Infinity War sequel hits.
At least, they better. In any case, both will get a new life when the Disney streaming service launches.