Marvel Studios may be getting into the short film business to help boost their already bustling feature film trade. According to a source close to Marvel Studios, the company is setting some of their staff writers to developing smaller characters in the Marvel universe for future projects. These projects, only proposed as short films at this point, could lead to certain ancillary characters making appearances in future features or even becoming popular enough to headline their own film.

This is, of course, a rumor that cropped up about a year ago. It was later said to be “just a rumor” by Marvel Chief Kevin Feige, but he also said in a live webchat that Marvel did “like the idea.” So it’s interesting to see it come around again. No definite plans have been made on which characters will be developed or even if a line of short films will become a reality. What is certain, though, is that two shorts have already been shot, both featuring actor Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson. These are to be included as special features on the Thor and Captain America DVDs and Blu-Rays that will release later in the year. Depending on how well these are received, more shorts featuring characters from the Marvel universe we haven’t seen yet could be ordered up. Of course, this also raises an interesting question as to where these shorts will run. This is where the conjecture really kicks in.

A possible model is for Marvel Studios to begin running shorts in front of their feature films in theaters a la Pixar. The future of Marvel movies could bring us one-off adventures with some very cool characters before the main attraction begins. Again, nothing is set in stone, but Marvel appears to be dipping their toes in the short film waters to see where it takes them. At time of publication, we have been unable to get a comment from reps at Marvel Studios.

What do you think about this business model? Could Marvel Studios’ post-Avengers path utilize short films to tell them which characters to bring to the silver screen? Which secondary or even tertiary Marvel characters are you still hoping will get their own film some day? Let us know in our comments section below.

Note: This news originates from a source on the periphery of Marvel Studios. Some of it may be attributed to speculation.

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