For a period of time, when Marvel fans purchased the latest Marvel Studios film on Blu-ray or DVD, they would get a special treat, in the form of a brand new short film called Marvel One-Shots, named after the One-Shot comics that would tell a singular, contained story. Marvel made five of these short films, and Entertainment Weekly took a deep dive into these shorts with a new oral history, which also includes a quote from Marvel Studios executive Louis D’Esposito, who spearheaded the short films, revealing why they haven’t made one since 2014’s All Hail the King. Here’s what D’Esposito had to say below.
“We’re just so busy. Disney wants us to do it, we want to do it, and I keep telling them, ‘I’ll do it on the next film,’ but I keep breaking my promise.”
The first two Marvel One-Shot films debuted in 2011, The Consultant, which was attached to the home video release of Thor, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer, which arrived with Captain America: The First Avenger. Both of those shorts were crafted to showcase Clark Gregg’s Agent Phil Coulson character, which both helped bolster home video sales. The third short film was even longer, Item 47, attached to The Avengers in 2012, which followed a couple who stole a Chitauri weapon to rob banks as they went on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D. After this short, Disney gave the green light to the ABC series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which brought Coulson back from the dead.
The fourth short film also served as the launching point for a new series, Agent Carter, which was attached to Iron Man 3 in 2013, although the series only lasted for two seasons, while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is still going. The first four shorts were all written by Eric Pearson, but the fifth and final short, All Hail the King, was written and directed by Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce, which was attached to Thor: The Dark World. Unfortunately for One-Shot fans, that was the last of the shorts, and judging by D’Esposito’s comments in this new interview, we won’t be getting more anytime soon.
It’s hard to blame Marvel for not putting out any recent One-Shot shorts. At the time when Marvel Studios stopped making them, they were putting out just two films a year, and now they’re releasing three a year, with this year’s trio being Black Panther, this weekend’s Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp, arriving July 6. It wouldn’t be surprising if Marvel ultimately moved on to release four films a year, but that has yet to be confirmed. Marvel’s Phase 3 will come to a close next year with the release of Captain Marvel on March 8 and Avengers 4 on May 3, with Phase 4 starting just a few months later with Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 on July 5. Head on over to Entertainment Weekly for their full oral history on the One-Shot shorts.