"It's all connected." This is a phrase that Marvel Studios has been using for years to describe their cinematic universe, and most assumed it extended to their TV shows as well. However, in the past couple of years it has become apparent that there is something of a disconnect between the movie side of things, which is controlled by Kevin Feige, and the TV side which is controlled by Jeph Loeb. Recently, Loeb clarified how this connectivity works, and it isn't what most fans want to hear.
The Television Critics Association summer press tour is currently going on, and Marvel is currently promoting their Netflix shows, specifically the upcoming Luke Cage. /Film caught up with Jeph Loeb during the event and as one might expect, the subject of Jessica Jones or Daredevil crossing paths with The Avengers at some point came up. Here is what he had to say.
"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."
What Loeb says definitely makes sense. Kevin Feige recently stated that the studio has a rough map of their movies planned out through 2025, and the TV side of things definitely doesn't work the same way. That being said, if Feige was able to make a deal with Sony to get Spider-Man in the MCU, it seems like he could make room for Daredevil to appear in Avengers: Infinity War if he really wanted to. So, in a way, this does seem like something of a dodgy answer. The other comments Loeb made weren't much better, for those hoping to see more crossover.
"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."
Marvel Studios first expanded to live-action TV with ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and that show has featured some movie characters crossing over on the show. Samuel L. Jackson appeared briefly as Nick Fury, and Jaimie Alexander has appeared a couple of times as Sif from the Thor movies. Those appearances made it clear that these things take place in the same universe, not to mention that the show's main character is Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson, who started out in The Avengers. But now it seems like there is more distance being placed between the two mediums. Even Daredevil star Charlie Cox alluded to the disconnect in an interview with Cnet a few months ago.
"Marvel TV and Marvel Studios are two very different things. Even if the character were to appear in that film, that doesn't necessarily mean that I would appear in that film."
The Netflix series have had references to what has happened in the movies so far, but the movies seem to be almost willfully ignoring the TV side of things, and these new comments aren't encouraging. Recently, it came to light that Doctor Strange is going to be introducing the Multiverse into the MCU, so it is possible that will allow for Marvel Studios to loophole their way around the TV connectivity. In any case, those of us wanting to see Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin duke it out with Tom Holland's Spider-man on the big screen may want to keep their hopes in check.