Two months ago, Marvel confirmed rumors that they were developing a set of new TV shows when they announced a partnership with Netflix for four new series and a Defenders miniseries. All of the shows - connected like the films are - feature characters and stories based in Marvel's version of New York's Hell's Kitchen and as Disney CEO Bob Iger made clear, are heroes deemed not popular enough (yet) for their own films.
Daredevil, a property recently reacquired by Disney-Marvel from Twentieth Century Fox, is the first of the programs to air, scheduled to begin in 2015. Following him will be Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage - all of whom have been namedropped for potential TV and film introductions over the years. Much like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC takes place in the same Marvel Cinematic Universe as The Avengers, the question on everybody's mind is whether or not Marvel's 60-episode deal with Netflix has that programming also sharing the same universe.
Our best guess is yes, they absolutely will share the same space as the films. Why wouldn't they? They're using characters not used in the films and if they prove popular, they can make the jump back and forth with guest appearances on the big screen, even potentially joining The Avengers' rotating roster down the road.
Marvel is always planning ahead and they didn't sign an exclusive deal with Netflix to give up any control of their characters. What that means is that characters like Daredevil could perhaps be introduced, teased or namedropped in Agent of SHIELD or the films before his own show even premieres. Luke Cage, for instance, may even be introduced or teased come February when Thor: The Dark World releases on home video... Wait, what?
Coming with the Blu-ray of Thor 2 is the latest Marvel One-Shot short film, All Hail The King, confirmed yesterday to center on the life of Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) in prison after the events of Iron Man 3. He's finally got the fame he's always wanted, even though he's in incarceration. That prison he's residing in, revealed in the first All Hail The King photos yesterday, happens to be the very same prison Luke Cage spent his time inside - Seagate Prison. Coincidence? Nope.
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Cage (real name: Carl Lucas) was punished and sent to Seagate Prison (pictured above) for a crime he didn't commit and to get out early, he volunteered for experimentation that dealt with keeping humans healthy and immune to sickness. In traditional comic book fashion, the procedure didn't provide the intended results and Cage came out of it with practically invulnerable skin, enhanced strength and healing. He can still feel pain if he gets shot, but it won't necessarily hurt his body.
Drew Pearce hinted to EW that this particular short may be setting up other things:
"I think short movies in general, whether they’re Marvel ones or not, you kind of want them to feel like they’re opening you up to a bigger world. Yeah, I definitely think there are – the non-spoiler way for me to say it — by the end of the short, there are definitely a lot of exciting other places that are brought up in it that could then go in the Marvel universe. You know, whether that’s an Iron Man movie or another one going into Phase Two or Three."
The question now is how bold is Marvel Studios getting with their short films and would they take this opportunity to introduce an important character such as Luke Cage this long before his show airs on Netflix? The Luke Cage series doesn't even have a date at this point, so perhaps Trevor Slattery's time in prison is just introducing the location although we cant help but think about the possibilities.
More: The Marvel-Netflix Deal
All Hail the King will be available on the Blu-ray and DVD release of Thor: The Dark World, on February 25, 2014.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, with unannounced films coming May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
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Sources: CBM, EW