For a couple of years now - since the immediate success of Daredevil on Netflix, in fact - it has looked increasingly likely that a cross-over between the cinematic MCU and the TV shows on the streaming service wouldn't happen. It was either too logistically difficult to pull off or Marvel just weren't all that interested in cross pollination.
But now, it seems there might be some hope, thanks to Kevin Feige, who appears to have changed his tune somewhat. He believes a cross-over of some type will eventually happen, as he told i09 when they asked if there was any potential for a TV character to appear in the big screen MCU.
Not necessarily. The future’s a long time. So, the truth is, I don’t really know, but there are a lot of TV shows being made, and hopefully we’ll continue to make a lot of movies. At some point, there’s going to be a crossover. Crossover, repetition, or something.
It's not quite as clear cut as him saying that Charlie Cox or Jon Bernthal would end up appearing in one of his future MCU movies, though. It means that there's a possibility, just as there's a possibility the same characters could appear played by someone else entirely.
You have to wonder whether that would be the best idea anyway. The Netflix shows obviously are set in the same universe, but their tone is wildly different to the more family-friendly MCU, and by the time Infinity War comes around and the Defenders don't turn up, we're all going to have to start questioning why they wouldn't. Sure, they have their small-scale crimes to tackle in their locales, but surely every hero in the galaxy should be called up to stop Thanos ending half of existence?
We've already seen The Flash recast from a TV show in the DCEU and that seems to be going well, so it might not be the worst thing if a new actor is introduced to play The Punisher on the big screen, or if someone else steps in as a new Daredevil. It'd also be a shame to diminish what those actors have achieved on Netflix so far, but with the MCU schedule still packed, it might take until after the Netflix universe has ended before a big screen call even comes.
Would you prefer to see the Netflix Defenders appear on the big screen or new actors to be cast? Share your reactions below in the comments thread.