When Marvel Studios launched Iron Man in 2008, they effectively changed the way franchises were looked at in Hollywood. The idea of the Marvel Cinematic Universe started there with the famous Nick Fury post credit scene, and since then has turned into a universe that includes thirteen separate movies that are in seven franchises. As if connecting these various properties together was not hard enough, Marvel Television started to get integrated into the universe in 2012 with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Since then, ABC also launched Agent Carter and thought about Marvel’s Most Wanted, but while those both ultimately did not work, Netflix opened up the more mature corner of Hell’s Kitchen.
We have since seen Daredevil and Jessica Jones both debut successfully on the streaming service, and soon they will be joined by Luke Cage, prior to Iron Fist debuting so the four heroes can team up in The Defenders. While these heroes (and possibly others) join forces, audiences gearing up for Avengers: Infinity War might be hoping for the Netflix characters to make an appearance in the battle against Thanos. The challenge then becomes making this work logistically for both Marvel Studios and Marvel Television. It may not seem that difficult, but contracts and egos of department heads can get in the way. While at the TCA’s, Jeph Loeb of Marvel Television was asked about potentially crossing over the Netflix characters to the big screen, and he notes planning as the ultimate hurdle.
I can tell you that part of the challenge of doing this sort of thing is that the movies are planned out years in advance of what it is that we are doing. Television moves at an incredible speed. The other part of the problem is that when you stop and think about it, if I’m shooting a television series and that’s going to go on over a six-month or eight-month period, how am I going to get Mike [Colter] to be able to go be in a movie? I need Mike to be in a television show.
Scheduling is something that if both sides wanted to make it happen, could come together rather easily. After all, most people aren’t expecting The Defenders to be fighting side by side with The Avengers, but rather hope for a single shot of them dealing with the threat in Hell’s Kitchen specifically. This is something that hypothetically could be shot in a single day. If these are kept simple, they could be feasible, but for Loeb, that is not what he envisions. Instead, his common #ItsAllConnected saying is more about crossing over ideas, tones, and maybe not characters.
Anything is possible. As I often get reported by you folks for saying #ItsAllConnected, our feeling is that the connection isn’t just whether or not somebody is walking into a movie or walking out of a television show. It’s connected in the way that the shows come from the same place, that they are real, that they are grounded.
If we do not get the Netflix or S.H.I.E.L.D. characters to crossover with the big screen characters, then people will want more crossovers on the shows themselves. Based on shooting schedules, and once again, contracts, putting someone like Clark Gregg on an episode for Netflix could be difficult, but crossovers between various Marvel/Netflix shows are already happening. The important thing is that they are meaningful and not simply walk by cameos.
We have seen some characters that have appeared and crossed over. Most notably, one of our cast members that isn’t here because she’s working is Rosario Dawson, who continues the character of Claire Temple. So the short answer is we are already doing it. The long answer is as things go by, as the story dictates it, we’ve always been big fans of providing Easter eggs for our fans, but we never want to be known as an Easter egg farm. It has to work within the story. We never want to do Luke Cage gets into a cab as Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock are getting out of the cab. For those of you that are old enough to know this reference, it’s not when The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was on Please Don’t Eat the Daisies. You actually get to see our characters interact with each other.
In a perfect world, we would get to one day see Daisy, Daredevil, and Hulk share the same screen or at least movie, but unless the attitude towards these potential crossovers change drastically in the coming years, I do not anticipate them ever actually happening. That may not be a bad thing either as it allows all three separate divisions tell the stories they want to tell, and only concern themselves with bigger picture tie-ins. Still, I will hold the smallest amount of hope in my heart that this can one day happen. Let us know if you want to see the TV and movie universes crossover and how it should happen in the comments below!