When it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the mantra has always been “It’s all connected”. Every film since 2008’s Iron Man has been part of a single huge storyline which will culminate in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. Infinity War will feature almost every hero that the MCU will have seen up until that point – with one exception.
Marvel TV has been building a highly acclaimed, sort of separate universe on the streaming platform Netflix, mostly known as the Defenders universe. Utilizing street-level heroes such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones or Luke Cage, it’s been praised for daring to do things that the “disneyfied” MCU won’t and its overall darker, grittier tone with complex storylines. But aside from a few hints and references here and there, there has been virtually no connection to the larger MCU.
Fans have been calling for an MCU/Netflix crossover ever since the first season of Marvel’s Daredevil, but there seem to be things going on behind the scenes that have been keeping this from happening. In a recent interview with Collider, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige was asked about this topic, and while remaining vague, he didn’t completely rule out the possibility.
“I think it’s extremely impressive what Netflix has done and it will be the same answer I always give, which is, ‘It all depends on timing.’ It all depends on how to do it because I don’t think what anybody wants to do is have such important characters show up for one second.“
Granted, in media language, this means there are currently no plans for a crossover and there probably won’t be any for quite some time. To be perfectly honest, I would actually prefer the Defenders to remain isolated from the MCU. Like I said, airing on Netflix is the greatest strength of those shows. It allows them to develop darker, more compelling storylines that we otherwise wouldn’t see on the big screen. A crossover would mean giving Disney the creative control over those characters, which would feel weird and forced.
Feige went on to talk about how hard it would be to adequately fit another four characters into the already “crammed” Infinity War..
“Black Panther and Spider-Man to me are the high bar in ‘Civil War’ of how you can bring in new characters into something. Vision and Ultron, Wanda and Pietro in ‘[Age Of] Ultron’. And it takes a lot of screentime, and it takes a lot of work. ‘Infinity War’ has a lot of people in it already. So it just depends on how we could figure it out.”