Marvel One Shots were essentially a story within the story, what people considered the post-credit scenes that were there to fill in the blanks between the movies in a way. While the post-credit scenes have continued the one shots have not. They were discontinued after a while for several reasons and people have been clambering to bring them back for a couple of years now. Not all of them were universally-accepted or loved but a lot of them at least gave a decent explanation of what else was happening the MCU that the movies didn’t show and people tended to like this since it gave them a much better idea that there was more to the story than just the heroes and the villains. In other words the world went on despite the constant clash between good and evil, and the continual setup of the movies that kept happening behind the scene was allowed to be explained through the one shots.
There were reasons to let go of this practice though.
They weren’t cost-effective.
There’s a lot that goes into the one shots as far as settings and special effects. As the one shots didn’t last all that long the idea of spending so much money on what amounts to a segue into another film is kind of pricey and it seems as though couldn’t really justify the cost. Think of films like Thor and the idea of recreating Asgard for a one shot. The amount of money it would take to film just one scene would be enormous and honestly the studio couldn’t really justify the expense. This wasn’t the only reason that the one shots went away obviously but it was a big concern since the studio has to make its money back somehow and adding on the expenses that a one shot would accrue doesn’t seem like the best business model that would allow for a continual stream of revenue since the cost of the one shots might be seen as a constant drain upon their resources. It might be feasible for a one shot every now and again but continual one shots seem entirely too draining after having created films that cost in the millions to produce.
The run-time wasn’t enough to tell a story.
One shots were and were not meant to tell a story. They were because the idea was to give a little more background on a person, a subject, or a situation that occurred in the MCU and give people a better look at what’s really going on. But they were short enough that telling a complete story within that time wasn’t entirely possible since within the MCU people want to see characters and situations develop in ways that take time and honest to goodness effort to establish the potential and the veracity of the story itself as well as the characters. One shots were basically a way to connect the dots so to speak and to get people interested in just how certain movies might go together or how certain elements of the movie they’d just watched could be expanded upon. In some ways one shots were even a kind of apology for faking out the audience, especially those that know the comic books so well and were fully primed to see an epic showdown or confrontation within each movie.
The logistics were kind of difficult.
One of the biggest problems that came about was who would star in the one shots, particularly those that couldn’t use the same actors as were seen in the films due to the idea that one shots could be used to show origins as well. Think about a young Nick Fury, or the origins of someone like Gamorra or Nebula. People would be genuinely interested to know just how certain beings came to be and why they are the way they are. But the process of getting the right actors for the parts seemed to stymie the efforts of those that wanted to go full speed ahead with this idea. Fans would likely be more than a little disappointed if the actors that were selected to play certain parts didn’t look at all like their favorite heroes or civilians and were simply plunked into a one shot in order to explain the story in a better way and how it connects to the next in a series of steps as the MCU series has gone along. After all the fans are what’s going to make any effort from the MCU sink or continue to swim.
Maybe one of these days the one shots will come back. Those at the MCU have certainly been talking about it and seem to agree that they’d like to bring them back, but it’s likely only going to happen if it’s deemed as necessary.