As “Captain America: Civil War” continues to stretch the lengths of what a film crossover can be, many are already looking ahead to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) next big superhero team-up, “Avengers: Infinity War.” With the two-part event promising to finally address the villain that’s been running throughout the franchise this whole time, many fans are hoping the studio will need to reach into its pool of TV superheroes to make it a fair fight.
As many already know, Marvel’s TV and movie properties take place within the same extended universe, but are produced and operated by two very separate units under the comic book giant’s banner. While Kevin Feige runs the movies, he hasn’t really done anything to incorporate the franchise’s ever-growing population of heroes that exist only on TV, particularly its Netflix series characters Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Luke Cage (Mike Coulter) and Iron Fist. With the two-part “Infinity War” rapidly approaching, the most diehard MCU fans are wondering if the TV characters they’ve become invested in will stand up and take on the big bad Thanos (Josh Brolin) when the time comes in 2018. Fortunately, “Infinity War” co-director Anthony Russo wasn’t shy about addressing this issue with the Brazil-based outlet Super.
“It’s complicated,” Russo said (via Nerdist). “When we start to serialize the telling of stories it’s difficult. You have to have a lot of control and focus on the course of history. The films are controlled by a group led by Kevin Feige, so they function as a unit. Other products, even if they are from Marvel, are controlled by others. Then there is the possibility of a crossover, but it’s more complicated.”
The famed co-director of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” went on to liken the situation to that of Marvel’s deals with Fox and Sony for some of its more popular characters that were sold off in the past. Previously, before Marvel had a film studio, it sold characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four to other studios. Since then, those studios have done everything in their power to retain the rights to those highly lucrative franchises, legally keeping them out of the MCU. So, while the director isn’t saying that a crossover is legally impossible, he’s making it clear that it’s more complicated than simply whisking Cox or Ritter off their respective sets for a cameo in “Infinity War.”
This shouldn’t come as altogether surprising news for those that have been watching the Netflix shows, the movies and Marvel’s ABC venture “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” As CinemaBlend points out, Feige’s movies pretty much ignore all traces of the TV universe, while each TV show has mentioned or directly tied into the movies in some way or another. The most direct connections happen to be characters Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who each have appeared in both the movies and on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Still, as previously reported, even Feige has teased a TV movie crossover.
Luckily, there’s still a lot of ground to cover before any Avengers (or Defenders) need to assemble and take on Thanos and his Infinity Stones. By the time that movie is scheduled to debut, fans can expect to have seen Season 2 of “Daredevil,” Season 1 of “Luke Cage,” the introduction of “Iron Fist," possibly Season 2 of "Jessica Jones" and the “Defenders” miniseries that ties all four heroes together. Meanwhile, the movie universe will have plenty of room to expand with the release of “Civil War,” “Doctor Strange,” “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Spider-Man” and “Black Panther” before Thanos arrives. With so much story to tell between now and “Infinity War,” there’s really no telling which power-players will be in a position to stand and fight when the time comes.
Which TV character would you want to see join “The Avengers”? Comment below or tweet your pick to @TylerMcCarthy.