From the daily spoilers about the third Captain America installment and constant Infinity War teasing, it’s beginning to feel like there is less and less room to contain the expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. More importantly, it feels like two and half hour movies won’t be enough to properly build and develop all of the universe’s characters.
But thanks to Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors behind Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, we may have a rather simple solution to our lingering origins and continuity anxieties. A solution so simple that it seems weird they haven’t re-broached the idea until now: one-shots.
The directing duo recently spoke to Forbes about ways they’re planning to expand the story essentials that simply can’t make it into the final cut of the Infinity War films. And the concept of bringing back one-shots, which they had previously done through DVD extra menus, is apparently very much on the table.
The short films, one of the most popular of which birthed the Agent Carter series on ABC, wouldn’t be released physically like in the past, mostly because DVDs are in their own way a dying breed. Instead, they’d be released digitally on platforms such as Youtube, and used as a way to drum up hype for upcoming big screen features.
“We can’t go into too many details about this but we are thinking, very specifically, about to do new ways of what you are talking about with Avengers: Infinity War,” Anthony Russo said. “We’re just in the beginning phases of figuring them out. Yes, DVDs are gone but there is this wonderful internet platform out there called YouTube.”
“It can make money by creating anticipation for a movie in the same way that a trailer does,” Russo continued. “There could do more elaborate versions of trailers, for instance, that are shot specifically for online that will never appear in the movie but that may appear as a kind of short film.”
The universe and marketing expansion won’t stop there, though. Joe Russo went on to describe how they might use social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram to feed fans even more content.
“We’re also talking to Facebook and Twitter and Instagram about ways to feed ancillary content to them and to viewers because it’ll go viral there and you can reach millions of people,” Joe Russo said.
It doesn’t seem like a half-baked idea considering how much hype has followed any sliver of material that’s come out about Civil War. People are eager to see their favorites—like Black Widow and Black Panther—have some of their stories told. But the limiting nature of the big screen storytelling process makes that a bit difficult considering the number of characters involved.
“One-shots” may just cure our insatiable hunger for even more from our favorite heroes.