Marvel Studios
Special Presentations
Marvel Studios Special Presentation logo.png
GenreSuperhero
Based onCharacters published
by Marvel Comics
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of specials2
Production
Executive producers
Production companyMarvel Studios
Release
Original networkDisney+
Original releaseOctober 7, 2022 – present (2022-10-07 – present)
Related
List of Marvel Cinematic Universe television series

Marvel Studios Special Presentations are a series of television specials produced by Marvel Studios for Disney+, set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the franchise's films and television series. The Marvel Studios Special Presentation banner was revealed alongside the announcement of the first television special, Werewolf by Night (2022), in September 2022. The approximately hour-long specials are envisioned to provide a short look at new characters or concepts to the MCU. The Special Presentations are accompanied by a special fanfare and opening reminiscent of the CBS Special Presentation intro from the 1980s and 1990s.

Werewolf by Night and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022) are included in Phase Four of the MCU, both of which are holiday-themed. Marvel Studios is open to the idea of additional specials. The Special Presentation format has been praised for how it allowed Marvel Studios to tell contained stories that experiment with genre and style, and could introduce more obscure characters, while also not being beholden to long-form storytelling as with their films and television series.

Development

By September 2018, Marvel Studios was developing several limited series for Disney's new streaming service Disney+, to be centered on "second tier" characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films who had not and were unlikely to star in their own films.[1] Developing content for Disney+ allowed Marvel Studios to be flexible with formats, such as emulating one-off or annual holiday-themed television specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and Frosty the Snowman (1969);[2][3] those specials were usually 30 minutes to an hour, which was the length Marvel Studios was envisioning for their specials.[4]

In December 2020, Marvel Studios announced The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special for Disney+, to be released in late 2022,[5][6] during the holiday season.[7] The Holiday Special was the first piece of content Marvel Studios planned to create for Disney+.[8] By August 2021, a Halloween-themed television special for Disney+ was in development, reportedly centered on Werewolf by Night.[9] At the D23 Expo in September 2022, Marvel confirmed the Halloween special as Werewolf by Night, which was released in October.[10] At that time, the "Marvel Studios Special Presentation" banner was revealed, under which Werewolf by Night and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special would be marketed.[11][12] Marvel Studios executive Brian Gay called the Marvel Studios Special Presentations a "new format" for the studio, with each special meant to be a short look at "either a different story or a different area of the universe",[13] such as introducing new characters or concepts to the MCU, and teasing how they could further integrate into the MCU with future appearances.[4]

Michael Giacchino, the director of Werewolf by Night, said Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was hopeful that Werewolf by Night would be "the first of a few one-and-done stories".[14] By the release of Werewolf by Night, Marvel Studios had not determined any set release plan for potential future specials.[4] By March 2023, a special centered on Mephisto was reportedly in production.[15]

Logo and fanfare

Special Presentations feature a special multicolored intro with bongo drum music, reminiscent of the CBS Special Presentation theme featured before animated holiday specials of the 1980s and 1990s.[11][3][16] Giacchino (who directed and composed for Werewolf by Night) composed the fanfare, calling the opening a "love letter" to the broadcast networks' special presentation logos, which were used to indicate unique programming, something Marvel Studios wanted the Special Presentations to be as well.[3] The intro was designed by Perception.[17]

Jamie Lovett at ComicBook.com called the Marvel Studios Special Presentation intro "more colorful" and its fanfare "more playful" than the normal Marvel Studios intro,[18] while Rachel Paige from Marvel.com called the fanfare "an absolute bop, and one sure to elicit that same level of excitement" when heard as the broadcast networks' special presentations did.[3] Comic Book Resources's Joshua M. Patton believed this intro would "have a similar effect on new generations of kids" as the older broadcast networks' introductions did, since it "evoke[s] the memory of its CBS counterpart" and signaled to viewers they were "about to see something exciting and new".[16]

Specials

All specials are being released on Disney+ and exist alongside the films and television series of their respective phase.[19]

Phase Four

Main article: Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Four § Television specials

Television specials of Marvel Cinematic Universe
Special Release date Director Writer(s)
Werewolf by Night October 7, 2022 (2022-10-07) Michael Giacchino[10] Heather Quinn and Peter Cameron[20]
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special November 25, 2022 (2022-11-25) James Gunn[21]

Potential

Cast and characters

See also: List of Marvel Cinematic Universe television series actors (Marvel Studios) and List of Marvel Cinematic Universe film actors

List indicator(s)
This section includes starring cast members, recurring characters, and notable guest stars, as defined by the FAQ.
  • A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the special.
  • C indicates an uncredited cameo role.
  • An F indicates the character appears in a film.
  • An MC indicates a motion-capture-only role.
  • An S indicates the actor was part of the starring cast for the special.
  • V indicates a voice-only role.
Character 2022
Werewolf by Night The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Introduced in films
Cosmo the Spacedog Maria BakalovaV[25]
Drax the Destroyer Dave BautistaS[7]
Groot Vin DieselV S[7]
Mantis Pom KlementieffS[26]
Nebula Karen GillanS[26]
Kraglin Obfonteri Sean GunnS[27]
Peter Quill
Star-Lord
Chris PrattS[7]
Rocket Bradley CooperV S[7]
Yondu Udonta Michael RookerV[28]
Steemie Blueliver Stephen Blackehart[29]
Introduced in Werewolf by Night
Azarel Eugenie Bondurant[30]
Barasso Daniel J. Watts[30]
Elsa Bloodstone Laura DonnellyS[30]
Ulysses Bloodstone Richard DixonV[30]
Verussa Bloodstone Harriet Sansom HarrisS[30]
Jovan Kirk R. Thatcher[30]
Liorn Leonardo Nam[30]
Jack Russell
Werewolf by Night
Gael García BernalS[30]
Billy Swan Al Hamacher[30]
Ted
Man-Thing
Carey JonesMC[30][31]
Jeffrey FordV[30]
Introduced in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Kevin Bacon HimselfS[32]
BzermikitokolokF Rhett MillerS[33]
Kortolbookalia Murry HammondS[33]
Phloko Philip PeeplesS[33]
Kyra Sedgwick HerselfC V[34]
Sliyavastojoo Ken BetheaS[33]

Reception

Each special is linked to the "Critical response" section of its article.

Critical response of Marvel Studios Special Presentations
Special Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Werewolf by Night 90% (108 reviews)[35] 69 (17 reviews)[36]
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special 93% (59 reviews)[37] 82 (8 reviews)[38]

Following the release of Werewolf by Night, Tyler Llewyn Taing of /Film said the Special Presentations could "lead to more exciting genre and stylistic experiments in the MCU down the line" as Werewolf by Night was, and likened the hour-long television special format to Marvel Studios' One-Shot short films.[39] As part of his Werewolf by Night review, Chris E. Hayner at GameSpot said the specials "should become a regular occurrence" if they could be as good as Werewolf by Night was.[40] Rupesh Nair at IGN India compared the special format to one-shot comics and to DC Comics's Elseworlds publications, stating the Special Presentations have "elevated" the MCU and could be the franchise's "critical darings". He hoped future specials would be able to introduce unknown characters to audiences through stories that "allows directors and cast members to shine".[41] Richard Newby of The Hollywood Reporter felt the format was "[the] MCU's most exciting prospect", stating that it was "a good idea [to] reduce the number of series, if not movies, and rethink them as Special Presentations, rather than six-to-nine-week commitments... [to] free up audiences and renew their investment in the universe, and allow filmmakers to stretch themselves creatively."[42]

Documentary

A documentary special for Werewolf by Night, titled Director by Night, was announced in September 2022,[43][44] with Anthony Giacchino serving as writer and director.[45][46] Director by Night was released on Disney+ on November 4, 2022,[44] marketed with the "Marvel Studios Special Presentation" branding.[45]

See also

References

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  28. ^ Perry, Spencer (October 25, 2022). "Former Guardians of the Galaxy Star to Return in New Holiday Special". ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on October 25, 2022. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
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