Beyond just being good superhero movies, a huge part of the appeal of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is its connectedness. Hulk can show up in a Thor movie and Falcon in Ant-Man and everyone meets up for the Avengers event films. Yet the characters from Marvel’s TV shows have basically been ignored and haven’t gotten to participate in these cinematic adventures. Still, fans have held out hope that somehow Quake or Daredevil or any of the other TV heroes might at least get a cameo in the massive, uniting, Avengers: Infinity War. But alas, it seems that the logistics of such a thing are just too difficult, as co-director Joe Russo explained in a recent interview, noting,
We have considered everything. But the trick is that we already have at least sixty characters with whom we must tell a story! And it’s hard enough to communicate with Taika Waititi, Ryan Coogler, Scott Derrickson, Peyton Reed and James Gunn at the same time, not to add all the showrunners and TV crews to this. The latter is also led by totally different people. So it’s practically impossible. Our job is to focus on the Marvel film world and offer a satisfying climax.
Joe Russo’s response when asked if a TV and movie crossover is possible basically squashes most hope for this kind of thing happening in the near future. Just having a lot of characters to wrangle and manage and service is one thing, and Infinity War has a ton of them, but it’s the other logistics that really make our dream of seeing Daredevil and Spider-Man together a near impossibility. Joe Russo mentions talking to the directors of the MCU’s solo films in his interview with Première, which indicates that they are likely informing the directors of Infinity War about the characters while also being kept in the loop about how the event film will impact those characters in the future (if they have one).
It is that part that makes things especially difficult. If you look at where Daredevil was at the end of Netflix’s The Defenders, having him back in his suit and fighting the Black Order in Infinity War would be problematic from a continuity standpoint. Joe Russo also brings up the elephant in the room that the film and television sides of Marvel no longer fall under the same corporate umbrella and would require a level of cooperation between two that may prove elusive. As long as that corporate divide exists the already huge obstacles preventing more interconnectedness between the television and movie worlds become nigh insurmountable.
It is a shame that we won’t see the Defenders or S.H.I.E.L.D. making an appearance in Infinity War. Some may argue that these are smaller, less powerful characters, may be ill-suited to the cosmic clash, but Quake from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the likes of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage seem more powerful than Hawkeye or Black Widow. As a fan, I wasn’t expecting to have these kinds of characters play a big part in the movie; just to see a quick shot of them throwing down in New York against Thanos’ minions would be enough. Plus who doesn’t want to see Daredevil and the Punisher fighting side by side with frequent comic book cohort Spider-Man, in that huge splash page scene we’ve been promised? And that’s not even getting into Agent Phil Coulson, who was killed in The Avengers and whose resurrection has egregiously never been addressed in the films.
There doesn’t seem to be much hope of seeing Marvel’s TV characters in Infinity War, but the nice thing about a franchise this successful is that there is always another chance. Maybe Avengers 4 or Phase 4 will give fans the full interconnectedness that they not only desire, but has been the promise of the MCU since its inception. Despite this bummer of a reality, I guess I’ll still check out Avengers: Infinity War, and you can too when it hits theaters on April 27th.