Comics on Film: Can a Marvel Movie/TV Crossover Ever Work? Anthony Mackie Says "No"

Comics on Film: Can a Marvel Movie/TV Crossover Ever Work? Anthony Mackie Says "No"

Mar 24, 2017

Last summer, Comics on Film openly asked whether or not Marvel Studios – the arm of Marvel Entertainment that's responsible for the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – has ever been concerned with the events of the TV shows appearing on both ABC and Netflix that purportedly take place within the same universe. Those shows, including the currently airing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.DaredevilJessica JonesLuke Cage, and now Iron Fist along with the canceled Agent Carter all make varying degrees of reference to events from the MCU.

While Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is likely the most "connected" to the events of the films (especially the fallout to the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization from the climax of Captain America: The Winter Soldier), the hints and references to the various films in each of the shows would, logically, give a sect of Marvel fans hope that we'll see the likes of Daredevil or the Punisher rub elbows with the Avengers or the Guardians of the Galaxy. It gets the blood of comics fans pumping, making us think of wonderful issues showing Spider-Man trade insults with the Kingpin, or the Punisher wilfully submitting to a beating from Captain America, an idol for a lifelong military man.

Recently, some new words were put forward by a prominent member of the MCU that, once again, ask if we'll ever see the TV shows and films cross over. If his words are accurate, chances are a lot of fans won't like the answer.

 

Anthony Mackie on Movie/TV Crossover Potential

Speaking exclusively to ScreenGeek, actor Anthony Mackie – who plays the Avenger known as Falcon in the Captain America films and the upcoming Infinity War – was asked at Wizard World Cleveland whether or not something like that will actually come to pass. His response? Effectively, "don't hold your breath." He said,

"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."

While that statement from Mackie is a little difficult for some fans to take, it's also not without merit. Besides the fact that it comes from a key player in the MCU overall, the second half of his first sentence is likely where the realities of orchestrating something like this really come from. As we've seen blatantly in several examples of the shows, Mackie's "different universes" comment isn't exactly accurate, and by extension neither is his "different worlds" comment.

The truth is, though, when it comes to "different companies" and "different designs," he's absolutely correct. On the movie side of the equation, Kevin Feige is the one who is calling the shots as the "showrunner" and primary producer of all MCU films. The Netflix releases and the remaining ABC show (in addition to the forthcoming Inhumans series) all have different sets of primary decision-makers, and by extension, different visions for the characters that they have access to.

 

Is All Hope Lost?

It's probably a little premature to comment definitively on whether or not something will actually occur if the likes of Kevin Feige, or even more senior Marvel and/or Disney executives, don't actually publicly comment about what can and can't happen. That being said, actually arranging for something like this would be far less complicated than arranging something like an Avengers crossover with the X-Men, where rival studio 20th Century Fox has access to the X-Men characters on film and on television.

It would also, conceivably, be less complicated than a deal that was actually reached between Marvel and Sony regarding the use of Spider-Man in the MCU, which has resulted in the Webhead being incorporated into the shared universe in Captain America: Civil War, this year's Spider-Man: Homecoming, and next year's Avengers: Infinity War.

Which brings up another point: if there's any fortuitous point at which it seems that the TV/Netflix characters could come into the fold, the sprawling nature of next year's major crossover film would seem to be the place for it. While that cast is already certainly a massive one as it stands – which we've touched on before – if nothing else it seems like there could, at the very least, be cameo opportunities for Agent Coulson's team, the Defenders, the Punisher, or even the Kingpin.

These possibilities are all moot, though, if there's no actual will from Marevl to cross-pollinate these characters. Considering the years-long fervor with which Feige pursued Spider-Man for incorporation into the MCU, it would seem a little crippling to limit the scope of the universe if the mere possibility of Spider-Man vs. the Kingpin wasn't at least on the table, or even if a character that originated in the films in the form of Agent Coulson was permanently tabled in favor of more appearances on television.

If these kinds of interactions and stories are somthing you'd really like to see, then the only advice Comics on Film can offer falls right in line with one of fandom's greatest strengths: don't be quiet about it.


Chris Clow is a gamer, a comic book expert and former retailer, as well as a freelance contributor to The Huffington Post and Batman-On-Film.com, as well as host of the Comics on Consoles podcast. You can find his weekly piece Comics on Film right here at Movies.com. Check out his blog, and follow along on Twitter @ChrisClow.

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