The Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked off on the big screen with the premiere of Iron Man and the reveal in the film's after credits scene of Nick Fury introducing the Avengers Initiative, but Marvel Studios' shared superhero universe has grown to include a number of TV offshoots. To start off, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debuted on ABC in 2013, resurrecting Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) in order to follow the many incarnations of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agency through to the show's current fourth season.
However, last year Marvel and Netflix released their first joint effort in Daredevil, which kicked off a corner of the MCU housed exclusively on the streaming service. Jessica Jones debuted later in 2015, while this year has seen the premiere of a second season of Daredevil as well as the Luke Cage solo series. All three shows - and even those that have yet to premiere - have garnered plenty of interest from critics and fans alike. However, the popularity of the Marvel Netflix shows and ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have caused fans to wonder whether we'll see a crossover.
During the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel at New York Comic-Con, Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb responded to a question on the topic, simply saying, "Fair question. The answer is: Stay tuned." In a roundtable interview with Screen Rant, Loeb additionally commented on the subject of an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. crossover with the Netflix universe:
I get in trouble every single time I say this, which is #ItsAllConnected. But trust me when I say #ItsAllConnected and that’s about all I can say on it at this time.
The "It's All Connected" hashtag became popularized thanks to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s tie-in episodes with the larger cinematic universe films, especially in the early seasons. However, S.H.I.E.L.D. has moved away from specific tie-in episodes, and recently opted to showcase the impacts of Captain America: Civil War through mentioning the Sokovia Accords and the events of the film. Elaborating on the difficulties of making sure everything in the MCU is connected and crafting crossovers, Loeb said:
One of the things that’s a challenge and it’s unlike the movie studio because the movie studio is making all of the movies for one place and that’s the theaters. The theater owners don’t get to say well we don’t want Spider-Man to be in Captain America — in that particular case Sony and Marvel had to work that out so that could happen. But in the case of what we do, we have networks to consider and that’s a conversation [for] ABC and Netflix — and now we have shows at Hulu and Freeform and FX [as well]. So it just becomes a question of once it starts, what have we unleashed? But it’s certainly a topic of conversation.
Certainly, as the MCU continues to expand with even more series spread out across a variety of networks and streaming services, maintaining that everything within the superhero universe is all connected will get even more difficult. Still, if Sony and Marvel could strike a deal so that Spider-Man was able join the MCU, it's possible ABC and Netflix will be able to figure out a crossover between The Defenders and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Based on Loeb's comments, it seems such a deal may currently be in the works - though it remains to be seen if a crossover will actually happen.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues with ‘Uprising’ Tuesday, October 11 at 10pm on ABC.
Daredevil season 1 & 2, Jessica Jones season 1, and Luke Cage season 1 are now available on Netflix. Iron Fist season 1 arrives on March 17th, 2017. The Defenders arrives in 2017. Release dates for Jessica Jones season 2, The Punisher and Daredevil season 3 have not yet been announced.