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Marvel Has a New, Different Explanation for How Its TV and Movies Are 'All Connected'

Illustration for article titled Marvel Has a New, Different Explanation for How Its TV and Movies Are All Connected

It’s a not-so-secret-secret that the universes of Marvel’s film’s and TV shows are drifting further apart from each other. Directors, producers, and actors alike have begun to speak out about the drift, but now Marvel says they never actually meant “It’s All Connected” quite like you thought they did.

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The Television Critics Association summer press tour is ongoing at the moment, and Marvel is there to promote the incoming Netflix Luke Cage series. Naturally, the topic of whether or not characters like Luke, Jessica Jones, or Matt Murdock could ever show up in the movies. The answer given to /Film by Marvel TV president Jeph Loeb is a similar refrain at this point: The logistics make it practically impossible:

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.

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Loeb continued with a glimmer of hope by saying anything is possible in terms of crossovers, but it’s what he said next that’s rather interesting:

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.

Marvel’s used “it’s all connected” as a banner catchphrase for its cinematic universe pretty much since its inception, so it’s interesting to see it distanced from the “these characters could show up anywhere together” that fans have expected (and seen on the big screen so far at least, save for Sam Jackson’s brief Agents of SHIELD appearances) to mean and more into what essentially reads as “they’re connected stylistically and universe-wise, not character-wise.”

It’s a little less exciting when you put it that way. Whether Marvel is trying to keep expectations low ahead of its blockbuster crossover shindig Infinity War in a few years, or just attempting to keep the TV/Movie mash-up it might contain a secret, remains to be seen. But for now, the message is clearly this: Don’t expect Marvel’s shows and movies to intermingle anytime soon.

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James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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DISCUSSION

Man, what a cop-out.

I understand that TV moves really quickly compared to movies, but at the same time, it’s not like they can’t set long-term goals for the series and incorporate them into the movies. Like, in their planning session, the movie guys tell the TV guys, “We need Daredevil to be here, Jessica Jones to be there, and Luke Cage and Iron Fist to be there, and we don’t care how you get them there.” Then the TV guys take that and run with it for the next two or three seasons, and then when it comes time for the movies to come out, the two can converge.

It’s harder for Agents of SHIELD because it’s a network show, but there’s no reason they can’t do this for the Netflix shows.