Marvel Studios’ First R-Rated Show Gets Record Number Of Episodes

Over the past few years, superhero fans have started craving more mature projects, as shown by the likes of daredevil and Titans. The coveted R rating has only been awarded to a few comic book projects – including The Suicide Squad and dead Pool – but the MCU has long avoided entering that zone…until now.

As part of Marvel Studios’ upcoming Multiverse Saga slate, the studio will take its first dip down this avenue with Dead Pool 3, opening up a suite of new opportunities for the MCU. On the television side, night werewolf came close to becoming the studio’s first TV-MA venture, but that honor will instead go to Marvel Zombies.

The upcoming anime series will be derived from “What If… Zombies?!” payment of What if…? and see iconic Marvel characters experience a zombie apocalypse and face off against undead heroes and villains. Shang-Chi, Kate Bishop, Ms. Marvel and other favorites are set to appear as survivors.

Fans are excited to finally see some mature content coming from Marvel Studios, filling years of pleas. But that hasn’t been the only hot topic in the MCU fandom lately, as much has been tense over short lengths and episode numbers. And while Marvel Zombies can deliver on its mark, many will be disappointed by its length.

Marvel Zombies reveals a surprising number of episodes

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Speaking to Comicbook at New York Comic-Con, Marvel Zombies Executive producer Zeb Wells has revealed the TV-MA animation’s episode count (R-rating equivalent) What if…? derivative series. Wells confirmed that the undead epic will only last four episodes, breaking the record for the shortest MCU Disney+ series:

“So I didn’t [the Zombie episode] but I’m doing the spin-off. So it hasn’t come out yet. But I also love this episode, so when I got the call that they were going to do a spin-off of this episode, I was like ‘oh yeah, let’s do it’. So it’s four episodes, I don’t know when that will happen yet, but it looks really cool.”

Marvel Studios’ list of Disney+ episodes so far can be viewed below:

  • Wanda Vision – 9 episodes
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – 6 episodes
  • Loki – 6 episodes
  • What if…? – 9 episodes
  • Hawk Eye – 6 episodes
  • moon knight – 6 episodes
  • Ms. Marvel – 6 episodes
  • She-Hulk: Lawyer – 9 episodes

Why Marvel Zombies’ Short Season Isn’t So Bad

Given MCU fans’ passion for seeing longer projects, many will no doubt be disappointed to find out Marvel Zombies will only be four episodes. This news is particularly shocking after the MCU’s only other animated series, What if…?came with nine episodes.

However, a common theme that has run through the MCU Disney+ series thus far is that shorter shows produce longer episodes, and vice versa. All three nine-episode seasons released approximately 30-minute chapters, while six-episode releases typically produce 40-50 minute runtimes.

With that logic in mind, maybe Marvel Zombies‘ four episodes will each fall on the higher end of that spectrum along with longer anime installments. Alternatively, maybe the story Marvel Studios wants to tell is just a shorter story, in which case the creative team shouldn’t be pressured into extending the season for execution.

Marvel Studios has yet to set an exact release date for Marvel Zombiesbut the animated series will arrive on Disney+ at some point in 2024. As of now, the studio has yet to confirm if a second season could be on the table, or if it will be told as a one-off limited series.