Since Marvel has built up an impressive presence on television including both animated and live-action series, fans have been wondering if we will ever see any TV heroes crossover into the Marvel Cinematic Universe's movies. With exceptions like Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), who was brought back to life for ABC's TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. after he was killed by Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in The Avengers, major players in the MCU haven't made the jump from film to TV (or vice versa). Even if Coulson made the jump to the small screen after making appearances in Iron Man, Thor, Iron Man 2, and The Avengers, the move still proved that crossovers between Marvel TV and films can work.
While it's been acknowledged by folks in the know at Marvel that there are complications preventing Netflix TV series Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist from crossing over with upcoming films like Avengers: Infinity War, that hasn't stopped fans from hoping it happens anyway. Seeing Hell's Kitchen's street-level superheroes show up in the next Avengers film would be something extra to excite fans.
Jeph Loeb, the head of all things Marvel TV, recently addressed the issue on a Netflix panel for Luke Cage before the Television Critics Association, explaining how a film crossover would affect the current TV schedule:
“I can tell you that part of the challenge of doing this sort of thing is that the movies are planned out years in advance of what it is that we are doing. Television moves at an incredible speed. The other part of the problem is that when you stop and think about it, if I’m shooting a television series and that’s going to go on over a six-month or eight-month period, how am I going to get Mike [Colter] to be able to go be in a movie? I need Mike to be in a television show.”
Loeb didn't rule out a potential crossover, he went onto explain just how important it is that crossovers are done properly and discussed how 'It's all connected':
“Anything is possible. As I often get reported by you folks for saying #ItsAllConnected, our feeling is that the connection isn’t just whether or not somebody is walking into a movie or walking out of a television show. It’s connected in the way that the shows come from the same place, that they are real, that they are grounded.
“We have seen some characters that have appeared and crossed over. Most notably, one of our cast members that isn’t here because she’s working is Rosario Dawson, who continues the character of Claire Temple. So the short answer is we are already doing it. The long answer is as things go by, as the story dictates it, we’ve always been big fans of providing Easter eggs for our fans, but we never want to be known as an Easter egg farm. It has to work within the story. We never want to do Luke Cage gets into a cab as Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock are getting out of the cab. For those of you that are old enough to know this reference, it’s not when The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was on Please Don’t Eat the Daisies. You actually get to see our characters interact with each other.”
Based on his comments, it doesn't seem like Loeb would ever toss a character into a film or television series just for the sake of having a crossover. Because everything is connected, he explains how a crossover would have to be carefully planned and the character would need a good reason to be there, instead of just appearing as a cameo or showing up as an Easter Egg. If and when Marvel decides to hop fully onboard the crossover bandwagon, we can expect it to work perfectly within the storyline.
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; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.
Daredevil season 1 & 2 and Jessica Jones season 1 are now available on Netflix. Luke Cage season 1 will arrive on September 30th, 2016. The Defenders and Iron Fist arrive in 2017. Release dates for Jessica Jones season 2, The Punisher and Daredevil season 3 have not yet been announced.