There are a lot of big things happening in the Marvel Cinematic Universe right now - from the imminent premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron in theaters, to the Phase Three initiative soon to come - high-profile shows on the small screen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and now high-profile shows on select streaming services (Daredevil), to name a few things.
But everything in the MCU since Iron Man hit theaters in 2008 has been building towards one huge event: Thanos' bid for godhood, which will finally come to a head in Avengers: Infinity War - Parts 1& 2. The two-part event film will be directed by Captain America: Civil War helmers Anthony and Joe Russo, and will hit theaters in summers 2018 and 2019. Fans expect Infinity War to be THE all-encompassing event that pulls every corner of the MCU together - and today, rumor is that the Netflix heroes will certainly have a part to play.
At the time of reporting this, Marvel's Daredevil Netflix series has just premiered season 1 to critical and fan acclaim. Even without exact ratings numbers, Daredevil is a game-changing branding win for Marvel, and a perfect launchpad for The Defenders Netflix team the studio is building.
Later this year the second Marvel Netflix hero, Jessica Jones, will get her own series - followed by Luke Cage and Iron Fist in 2016. If those series are even half as successful as Daredevil, then having all four heroes team-up for The Defenders is going to be a serious milestone event.
Marvel Studios is clearly banking on these properties being successful; not only are they direct extensions of the MCU, but rumor has it that Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 will remove the core Avengers team (Cap, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Widow and Hawkeye) leaving new heroes to defend earth until the originals finally make a big return in Infinity War - Part 2.
According to Bleeding Cool, the Netflix Defenders team will definitely be a part of the Infinity War - except the site is saying it will be in Part 2 (Avengers 4) that Daredevil and Co. show up. This is all coming from unspecified sources, and as such we're on RUMOR PATROL, since the logic for such a move doesn't seem 100% sound.
Granted, everything we've heard so far has been rumor, but even rumors from differing sources all seem to converge on the idea that the Infinity War will play as such: Thanos attacks when Earth's Mightiest Heroes are spread thin; new heroes rise up to combat the threat and protect Earth; just when things look their darkest, the original Avengers show up to save the day (and possibly make the ultimate sacrifice, in some cases).
This structure seemed especially logical, given where we expect the respective members of the core Avengers team to be at the start of Infinity War:
- Captain America: Likely gone underground (or in prison), by the time Civil War is over.
- Iron Man: Likely the head of some organization (like S.H.I.E.L.D.) or in prison, by the time Civil War is over.
- Thor: Either in Asgard (or Valhalla) following the Apocalyptic events of Ragnarok.
- Hulk: Hulk could be back in self-imposed exile on earth (or in space?).
- Black Widow & Hawkeye: Could be underground, incarcerated, retired, dead, or some combination of those options.
With Marvel's Phase 3 introduction of new heroes (Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange and, really, Ant-Man as well), it only makes sense for those heroes to get some focused time in an Avengers movie, and Infinity War - Part 1 (Avengers 3) seems like the perfect "trial by fire" scenario for the team to come together.
It's harder to imagine new heroes being the focal point of Infinity War - Part 2, unless Marvel has a different game plan, and will kill off its core team in Part 1, only to see a new team finish the fight in Part 2. That would be a much harder gut-punch to fans, but it's definitely in the tradition of the Marvel Infinity comics, and definitely a possibility for the big screen.
In either case, whenever new heroes do take up arms against Thanos, it's not all that shocking to hear The Defenders will be there. By the time the Infinity War films arrive, we expect The Avengers 1.0, 2.0, The Guardians of the Galaxy, Defenders, the new Spider-Man, and all branches of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Inhumans to ALL step up for the fight. So no big shocker there to hear rumor that the Netflix gang will indeed be part of the fight.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5 2017, Spider-Man on July 28, 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on November 3 2017, Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 on May 4 2018, Black Panther on July 6 2018, Captain Marvel on November 2 2018, Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2 on May 3 2019 and Inhumans on July 12, 2019.
Source: Bleeding Cool