On Thursday it was announced that four original Marvel series will be coming to Netflix in 2015, but one has to wonder how they will work into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage will each be receiving 13-episode runs on Netflix and then will join up for a mini-series of The Defenders, a lesser-known superhero team in the Marvel Universe. The four of them make sense for this project as all of them operate out of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, so it isn’t a stretch at all for them to interact with one another.
While this news itself is exciting, I had a lot of thoughts since the announcement of how these series will work their way into the larger tapestry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I have a couple ideas.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
It’s hard to ignore the fact that these series all premiere in 2015, but no one said exactly when in 2015. Could they be arriving after May 1, 2015, the premiere of The Avengers: Age of Ultron? The reason this intrigues me is there could be either a cameo by the characters, or just an off handed comment about, “There are more heroes appearing every day, the world is becoming a crowded place.” There are a lot of ways this could play out that would allow Marvel to use what is sure to be a huge film to launch these series. It’s definitely a way to bring these characters to the attention of a lot of people.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
If Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is still on the air come 2015, it would be easy to have one episode where the agents investigate reports of vigilantes running rampant in Hell’s Kitchen. Normally this would be a taboo as they will be airing on different “networks,” but Netflix is not a network, and as Disney owns ABC and Marvel, it would only be helping itself to allow the reference to happen.
After The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be kicking off with Ant-Man. What comes after that in this phase has not been announced as of yet, but lets say one of these shows is a breakout hit, could one of them turn into a film? This, of all the theories, seems the most unlikely to me as Marvel has said they plan the films six years in advance, but what if they could show up as a supporting character? Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) has appeared in Iron Man 2, The Avengers and the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier, could one of these characters move into that position, or possibly even a rotation of them? I don’t think that is the craziest of ideas.
A lot of theories have been floating around that the third Avengers film will deal with the Infinity Gauntlet storyline. Should this come to be, to really communicate the gravity of the situation, Marvel is going to need a far larger roster of heroes to work with than it currently has. To me, this is the most logical location for The Defenders to show up. “We need more firepower!” “I know a few people we can call.” Done and dusted and these heroes come in and join the fight.
These are all just speculation at this point, but it feels like this whole scenario is a set up to a larger plan. Bringing in television versions of the characters will allow Marvel to build its overall Cinematic Universe that much faster. They have so far stuck to a plan of two films a year, but if they can get a few extra characters introduced each year via deals such as this, it will be a quick way to populate the world they live in. If I had any complaint about the first Avengers film was it felt like it happened in a vacuum. I know the larger Marvel Universe, and this just felt tiny to me as I know what lurks at the borders of these films.
So color me excited for this all to come together, and I can’t wait to see where this goes.