Star Report

Marvel's The Defenders: Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Danny Rand (Finn Jones), Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) and Luke Cage (Mike Colter)

For years, there’s been lots of talk among fans of Marvel’s Netflix TV shows about how they fit into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe… if they do at all. In the early seasons, there were definite references to the films — New York Bulletin reporter Ben Urich (Vondie Curtis-Hall) had reported on “The Battle of New York” (as seen in the first Avengers film). Jessica Jones name-dropped “the big green guy and the flag-waver.” Luke Cage also mentioned “the big green guy and his crew.” But the MCU never seemed to notice Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Danny Rand or the Punisher.

SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN HAWKEYE AND SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME.

Part of this came down to real-life corporate politics. Kevin Feige used to be “just” the President of Marvel Studios, but his department apparently didn’t have much communication with the television division. Allegedly, he didn’t like the television division and was interested in continuity with their storylines. But now, in addition to his role with Marvel Studios, he’s also the Chief Creative Officer for Mrarvel Comics, Marvel Television and Marvel Animation. To quote another classic franchise, he became the one boss to rule them all. Now he’s able to oversee story arcs from characters who may go from movies to TV shows back to movies. For instance, Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda’s story went from Avengers: Endgame to the Wandavision series on Disney+, and we’ll see her next year in Dr. Strange In The Multiverse of Madness (and she appeared in a post-credits scene after Spider-Man: No Way Home). Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson went from Endgame to the  Falcon and the Winter Soldier series  and we’ll see him next in Captain America 4. 

But within one week in our timeline, we’ve seen two references to the Netflix characters, thrilling fans of those shows. But are the Netflix shows (all of which were canceled) part of the MCU’s canon? Will it turn out that the Netflix shows were part of another, darker, timeline? (If that doesn’t make sense, you should binge-watch Loki.) Time will tell. But here are the characters — and the actors who play them — who we want to see again (and, TBH, two that we’re ok with never seeing again).