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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is going through some massive changes, as Phase Four has finally kicked off with WandaVision on Disney+. There are also a number of film projects currently in the works, including Captain Marvel 2 and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Directed by Nia DaCosta and Sam Raimi respectively, the sequels will both feature WandaVision characters. Teyonah Parris is reprising her role as Monica Rambeau in Captain Marvel 2, while Elizabeth Olsen will once again play Wanda Maximoff in Doctor Strange's sequel. But will moviegoers need to watch WandaVision in order to understand what's happening? Kevin Feige has addressed that very concern.
The MCU revolutionized blockbusters by embracing serialized storytelling and crossovers. While hardcore fans watch every new installment, Marvel movies are also enjoyed by more casual fans who have missed a few movies along the way. Captain Marvel 2 will introduce some new characters, and fans are eager to see a connection to the hit show WandaVision. Kevin Feige was recently asked if he was worried casual moviegoers wouldn't know Teyonah Parris' character Monica Rambeau if they didn't catch the TV series. He responded, saying:
Well, I worry about everything all the time. That’s my job is to worry about everything. One thing I don’t worry about is more Teyonah Parris. I think that’s always a good thing. But it is very similar to movie-to-movie, honestly. We try to make the stories unfold in a way that if you are following along and have seen what has preceded it, you’ll be right up to speed. And more importantly, if you haven’t, you’ll be up to speed.
Touche. It looks like these concerns about serialized storytelling and appropriate exposition for new audiences is something that Kevin Feige has grown quite accustomed to during his years heading Marvel Studios. As such, he's prepared for some moviegoers to meet characters like Wanda or Monica for the first time in their upcoming film projects.
WandaVision, Captain Marvel, and Doctor Strange are all currently available on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
In his same comments at TCA, Feige went on to speak about the constant challenge of exposition and newcomers to the Marvel Cinematic Universes. In the studio head's words:
So there were lots of conversations with Sam Raimi and and Michael Waldron, and the entire Doctor Strange team, that this movie needs to work for people who watched WandaVision, but more importantly, needs to work for people who didn’t, who maybe Endgame was the last time they saw Wanda, or one of the earlier movies. Or maybe she’s a character they’re meeting for the first time.
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been able to consistently produce hits, actually weaving together the multiple franchises and television shows seems like a wild puzzle. But luckily Kevin Feige has had years of experience, and he knows exactly how to use narrative threads to connect projects, while keeping them accessible for new audiences.
It's also possible that WandaVision's connection to Doctor Strange 2 and Captain Marvel 2 will actually work out in favor of those sequels. Given how popular the Disney+ show is, fans who missed the first movie from either property might be more invested in those sequels. After all, who doesn't want to see more of Monica and Wanda?
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Captain Marvel 2 are both expected to arrive in theaters in 2022. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your next movie experience.