For a few years there, Marvel’s Blu-ray releases occasionally included “One-Shots,” short films that helped fill in the blanks between movies and offered smaller, fan-favorite characters a chance to shine. But the studio hasn’t released a One-Shot since 2014’s All Hail the King, which centered on Ben Kingsley’s villain from Iron Man 3. According to the Marvel writer behind three of those shorts, there’s a reason for that.

Studio writer Eric Pearson wrote the first three One-Shots, which were all S.H.I.E.L.D.-centric and included as extras on the Blu-ray releases of Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Avengers. In an interview with CinemaBlend, Pearson explains that the original idea for One-Shots was cribbed from Pixar:

When they first brought it to me I think their initial idea was to try and set up something like Pixar, where you could do a short film at the beginning with a lesser character, to kind of have fun, expand the universe, and test out the audience's appetite for one of these more obscure characters. So that would obviously be very expensive, especially when things were so 3D-heavy at the time. So the test process was going to be, 'Well, we'll do some shorts for Blu-ray content.' And that's kind of how it started.

In addition to the three shorts scripted by Pearson, Marvel released two more: Agent Carter (with the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray) and All Hail the King (with the Thor: The Dark World Blu-ray). But then…they just mysteriously stopped producing the shorts. Pearson says “I think a drop in Blu-ray sales has hurt the One-Shots program,” but there’s still hope for a comeback:

I've heard whispers of it starting up again. I can't confirm that at all, but I've definitely heard whispers of it. And I have a whole folder full of other One-Shots that I just came up with. And I was like, 'Oh, this will be a fun eight to 12 pages!'

The future of One-Shots depends on Blu-ray sales, which have declined in recent years with the increase in streaming availability. (Disney is launching its own streaming platform featuring the studio’s library of animated films, along with Marvel and Lucasfilm properties.) So while it’s possible that One-Shots could return, it doesn’t seem like a huge priority for Marvel at this time.

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