This year the Marvel Cinematic Universe is branching out to encompass new genre territory, with Captain America: The Winter's Soldier's political conspiracy/thriller elements and, later this summer, Guardians of the Galaxy introducing a world of cosmic superheroes to moviegoers. Meanwhile, in the months ahead, production will start on Marvel's upcoming Netflix series, Daredevil, examining the Noir-influenced world of one such crime-fighter who populates the streets of New York in the MCU.
Shows featuring other Hell's Kitchen-based heroes - Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist - will follow after The Man Without Fear, before all four of them unite in a Defenders mini-series. Marvel Entertainment's Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada has confirmed that the Netflix series will be part of the larger Marvel film universe, as depicted in previously-released Marvel Studios movies, as well as the ABC TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
"There will be some interconnectivity, much like the movies. They will exist within the cinematic universe again, so this is all the same world as S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers."
Neither Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. nor any films released as part of Marvel's "Phase 2" have intimately explored what life is like in New York following the Chitauri invasion in The Avengers; there've been off-hand references, scattered here and there, but the larger focus in "Phase 2" has been to examine how the Manhattan battle has affected life on (and beyond) planet Earth as a whole. As such, there's a nice opening for the upcoming Netflix series to examine the daily going-ons in The Empire State, post-Avengers.
The worlds of characters like Daredevil and Luke Cage - previously brought to life in comic book stories as well as in a heavily-criticized movie with Daredevil - tend to be very different that those of such superheroes as Iron Man, Thor, and the like. Quesada offered his assurances that those differences will be reflected in the upcoming Netflix shows, when compared to the rest of Marvel's shared film/television universe:
"Although these are superhero stories, this is different now. This is the street level…this is the street level noir side of the Marvel Universe. Something that you haven’t really, really seen in any of our Marvel movies. And probably more ground level, than I think you’ve seen. This is not like us doing Batman, Dark Knight or any of that stuff. This is very Marvel doing street level superheroes."
Original Netflix programs (House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, etc.) have thus far been endowed with more flex room to flourish creatively than most network TV series. Our hope is that Marvel will take advantage of this, in order to allows these Hell's Kitchen superhero series to break new ground for the studio - while still feeling like an extension of Marvel's established brand, that is. Judging by Quesada's comments, it sounds as though these Marvel Netflix shows could manage to pull off such a challenge.
Lastly, Quesada also touched on the status of Daredevil. Beside offering enthusiastic, if also vague, praise for the script work by Drew Goddard (Cloverfield, The Cabin in the Woods), the Marvel executive offers his assurances that casting news will be coming "really, really soon." We'll be sure and let you know when it does, of course.
More on Marvel's Netflix series as the details are made available.
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