For the past 9 years, Marvel has taken the world of entertainment by creating the most successful shared universe of all time, with franchises extending across both film and television alike. The fact that the MCU has so many shared characters in one universe has been one of its strengths, increasing the longevity of many of its franchises and characters, but we didn’t always know that these films would be connected. For those readers who may be unaware, let me recap a little history for you. For years, Marvel had licensed the film rights of several characters to different studios, such as Fox and Sony. Due to the different studios owning the different character rights however, there was little to no possibility of seeing fan favorite characters from other franchises interact with each other. Now, jump back to 2005 when Marvel Studios announced that they would be producing all of their films under one roof. Suddenly, from a legal perspective, there was now a glimmer of hope for a shared universe, since Marvel had the film licenses to key Avengers characters such as Iron Man and Captain America.
While it was assumed by fans that Marvel would eventually Assemble the Avengers all together on the big screen at some point, it was still up in the air though, until that surprise end credits scene at the end of Iron Man back in the summer of 2008. In it, Nick Fury meets Tony Stark in his Malibu mansion to discuss the Avenger Initiative with him, and we all lost our minds. If you need your memory jogged, or just need a fun bit of nostalgia, you can check out the clip below:
The end credits scene was never announced, but once it was discovered, word of mouth spread fast. Fans started thinking about all of the possibilities for future movies, and they stuck around until the end credits of the next Marvel Studios film, the Incredible Hulk. As was to be expected, there was another post-credits scene that featured Tony Stark talking with General Ross about recruitment for the Avengers Initiative. Tony Stark’s cameo was the first time that a Marvel character had made an appearance in another film franchise (in this case, the Incredible Hulk). You can also check out that scene right here:
While the post-credits scene in Iron Man whet our appetites, the scene at the end of the Incredible Hulk confirmed what we all suspected: it’s all connected. After the release of the Avengers, we thought we had seen it all. The earth’s mightiest heroes had all been brought together and shared the screen all at the same time, and we thought that Marvel couldn’t expand any further. We were wrong. In 2013, Marvel brought its first MCU property to television with the premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; but the ball didn’t stop rolling there. Since the premiere of Agents, Marvel has brought several lesser-known characters to life on the small screen, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, all within the scope of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since it was announced that all of these shows existed in the same universe, fans have been clamoring ever since to see their favorite TV characters make the jump onto the big screen. After all, we’ve seen film characters make cameo appearances on the small screen, such as Samuel L. Jackson‘s surprise cameo as Nick Fury during the season 1 finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. We even saw a member of HYDRA from S.H.I.E.L.D. show up in Avengers: Age of Ultron, so it seemed like there was hope for a bigger film/TV crossover, most likely in Avengers: Infinity War. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has since mentioned on multiple occasions that this wasn’t likely, but that anything was possible. Well, it seems now we have some more evidence that a crossover isn’t likely in the near future, thanks to the Falcon himself, Anthony Mackie. In an interview with Screen Geek, he was very clear on his stance when it comes to the crossover:
“Different universes, different worlds, different companies, different designs. Kevin Feige is very specific about how he wants the Marvel Universe to be seen in the film world. It wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t work at all.”
Mackie’s comments don’t give us much hope that we’ll eventually see a television character make the jump, and it makes sense. Mackie commented on how particular Feige is when it comes to continuity, and anytime a story or a property becomes trans-media (or cross platform), keeping continuity becomes a real hassle. So for now, it looks like we’ll have to be content with keeping the television and film universes separate.
What are your thoughts? Who would you like to see show up in the movies? Sound off in the comments below!