There has been a noticeable and growing divide between the television and movie corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kevin Feige was able to break away from the creative committee, mainly Ike Perlmutter, that granted him a new position of power in the MCU. While this may be a good thing for casting and giving fans the best movies possible, it has so far meant that there is little chance that a character from Netflix, ABC, or possibly even the recently announced Runaways series for Hulu, could appear on the big screen.
Not only is this divide noticeable in terms of the content and what properties affect the others, it has become an issue with actors hoping to join the MCU. As it appears, one actor has turned down a role on the television side in hopes that he could get a role on the big screen instead.
Giancarlo Esposito, who is best known for his role in Breaking Bad, was recently interviewed by Comicbook about his involvement with The Jungle Book, another Disney property. As it turns out, he was approached by Marvel TV not too long ago about a role, but once he figured out he would not be able to make it onto the big screen, passed on the role:
"I know the Marvel world exists on the Disney lot. I love those guys at Marvel. We've been trying to figure out how to collaborate on something. I'm hoping that it is something. They came to me with something for their television department, then I realized if I did that, I'd never be able to have that same character be in that film department. Once you're in a Marvel character in the television version, you have to stay in the particular character. They can't carry that over to film."
If Esposito is interested in a role, Marvel Studios could come calling sooner rather than later. There are no shortage of characters that could be popping up between now, the end of Phase 3, and beyond. So it is possible that Esposito could be the perfect fit for one of them.
The biggest takeaway from this should be how the divide looks to be negatively affecting the television side in more ways than one. If top talent such as Esposito are deliberately turning down roles on TV because they know the characters won't appear in the movies, then the likes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will never get those big name actors that could really elevate the show as a whole. Hopefully Disney and Marvel Entertainment are able to figure ways around this so that both the movies and TV content in the MCU can reach their full potential.
Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming– July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers 4 – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.