It’s been obvious from the outside looking in that Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is gated into two areas: movies and TV, and never the twain shall meet. But the thing is, if you ask anyone at Marvel Studios or involved with one of their movies, no one can seemingly give a consistent response about whether or not this is the case.
The latest person to wade into the imbroglio is the Falcon himself, Anthony Mackie, who told Screen Geek at Wizard World Cleveland over the weekend rather explicitly that no one should ever expect significant connections between Marvel’s films and TV shows:
Different universes, different worlds, different companies, different designs. Kevin Feige is very specific about how he wants the Marvel Universe to be seen in the film world. It wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t work at all.
Mackie’s response is, at the very least, refreshingly blunt—in a way that people involved with Marvel rarely are when it comes to the question of expecting the shared universe to apply to all of Marvel’s output. But it’s also the latest answer in a long saga that’s ummed and ahhed repeatedly between actively stating the shows and movies will never be deeply linked and being vague enough that a glimmer of hope still lingers.
The MCU’s style of keeping its movies and TV shows as separate windows into a larger universe is not a bad thing. Hell, it’s practical—the shows and movies move and are made on such different scales of time that trying to keep everything orderly and interconnected would be a daunting task for anyone, even two studio divisions with the power of Disney behind them. But why not just say that as an official stance? Why all the wishy washy back and forth, with different people all offering different answers?
If Marvel actually clarified the break between its shows and its films, and then stuck to that answer whenever it was asked about it, it’d save a lot of fans from being disappointed by the time an opportunity like Infinity War comes along and they don’t see the likes of Coulson, May, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil rubbing shoulders with Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Widow.
Hell, maybe it’s just a campaign of confusion being sown, specifically designed to leave you unsure enough that if those TV heroes do show up in one of the movies some day, you’ll still be surprised. Guess we’re stuck having to wait and see until that day comes, otherwise.