There has been lots of news coming out from the Netflix pocket of the Marvel universe this week. The Defenders didn’t have a great viewership, but The Punisher is largely critically acclaimed. Will the shows continue to have a home on Netflix? Will the characters show up in any other part of the MCU? Here’s a bit of it for those looking forward to more of The Defenders.

Defenders on Netflix

Earlier this year it was reported that Disney would be making their own streaming service. It would feature a lot of their ESPN content as well as their own movie content. It would also include Disney films as well as Marvel Studios films.

However, many Marvel fans were curious about the fate of The Defenders and Marvel’s Netflix shows. The biggest rumor was Marvel would most likely pull their television shows from Netflix once their original content with the streaming service ended. However, Netflix and Marvel Studios have moved forward with a third season of Daredevil and are already working on second seasons of Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones. In fact, we just got our first trailer for Jessica Jones recently.

There are already rumors for a second season of The Punisher. Needless to say, the effort on Netflix is largely seen as successful.

And with that, what happens after the contracts are up again? Will the Netflix properties move to the Disney streaming service, seeing they are included in the MCU? They have enough name drops and references to events with the Avengers and their members. It would only make sense for them to be brought all under the Mouse Umbrella.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, spoke at a UBS global communications conference recently. He simply stated:

They’ve created some really killer brands. It’s not that exclusive… Netflix has Defenders.

Which fans have taken to mean Netflix will have the rights to the characters for at least a while longer. This may risk the world of street level heroes just staying street level. The positive is that we may dive deeper into the characters. The negative may be the inability for the world of Defenders to spread outward. We won’t get any expansion of their universe to the larger parts of the MCU. Just as the larger parts of the MCU don’t explicitly dive into their series. The only thing we can get is maybe a reference or two to big events, but not what they did during them.

Defenders Not in Infinity War

A lot of folks were hoping that Marvel would take a huge step to tie things in the MCU together. They were hoping Marvel would include the Netflix characters in the latest Avengers: Infinity War film. I was hoping to at least see a scene where the Defenders are at Josie’s Bar, looking at the news happening in New York. Or the members of the team are actively participating in protecting the city against the alien invaders.

Well, whatever we were hoping for in the MCU weaving together the worlds of both streaming and film, the latest news pretty much shoots it down.

Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg was asked by Entertainment Weekly whether or not we would see any of the Defenders showing up to battle against Thanos and his minions.

None whatsoever. Our partners are Marvel, and if we’re doing something that’s counter to [their continuity], they would pull us back or orient us on the right path, so clearly we’re [okay]. But we’re very much in our own world.

Which is ridiculous, in my opinion. A huge device appears over the sky, and is wreaking havoc to your city. The Defenders have this inescapable task of protecting their city, some by choice and others reluctantly. They saw The Hand trying to take their city over from the shadows, and they handled it by blowing up a building. The characters refer to “the incident,” but they never talk about what they did during the event. I would have liked to see a black suit Daredevil trying his hand against a Chitauri warrior or Jessica Jones jumping really far away from an alien assault. Whatever it is, it would have been a nice explicit tie-in to the MCU. But the story of their involvement during those days is untold, and it looks like we might get some more of the same for this event.

The Defenders

The Future for The Defenders

How do they explain what they did during another alien invasion, after so resolutely stating they wanted to protect their city? For their characters and the narrative they have proceeding them, it doesn’t make sense. It just becomes a failure on the part of the MCU to nod to fans of both the shows and films. Yeah, the shows are part of the MCU. But in their attempts to tie it all together, Marvel in both television and film has done very little work other than mentions and maybe borrowing scraps from Chitauri tech for bullets. However, if what we saw at the end of The Defenders, at least Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock might have an excuse for not showing up. He’s lying near-death in a hospital.

The second season of Jessica Jones is done filming and it will premiere on March 8, 2018 on Netflix. It’s possible Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand leave New York City during Thanos’ invasion. It’s how they explained the absence of Frank Castle in The Defenders. He left town and hunted down the people involved in his family’s murder. But if they do stay it will certainly be interesting to see what the writers come up with especially since Daredevil Season 3 and Luke Cage Season 2 will premiere sometime after Avengers: Infinity War.

How the writers will handle just lightly mentioning a massive scale of destruction to New York from the big MCU film will be a tough hurdle. How do you go about “very much in your own world” when a building has collapsed on most of it?

In the comics, Luke Cage is holding his own against Proxima Midnight. Their near-invulnerability and immense strength are perfect matches for each other, but ultimately Cage wins the match.

I’m not saying there needs to be a total faithfulness to the comic book version in the film. Because in that version of the Avengers, Cage teams up with Spider-Man, Wolverine, and The Thing. Heck, at this point, we might be getting closer to seeing The Thing in a Marvel movie than any of the Defenders. But what I believe fans are asking for, is a nod. A few seconds of Defenders on the big screen would make a good movie greater. The icing on an already great cake.

Charlie Cox Gives Hope

While the possibility of The Defenders showing up in the MCU is slim to none, Charlie Cox, who plays Daredevil, revealed the potential possibility of MCU characters appearing on Netflix. We’ve seen MCU characters appear on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with Agent Coulson and Lady Sif, so it’s not unheard of.

Cox told fans at Long Island’s ACE Comic Con, “I’m afraid I can’t tell you that at all. That is a secret,” when he was asked about whether MCU characters would show up on Netflix.

He did shut the door down on whether he would appear in an upcoming MCU film, “Not that I’m aware of. That’s not a conversation that has been had with me, certainly.”

Avengers: Infinity War will be out in theaters in May 4th next year.

  • About The Author

    Donald Edmonds

    Donald enjoys short walks on the beach and long sessions at the gym. He graduated with a B.A. in Communications and a minor in English. Always a sucker for a good story and great art, he often takes deep dives into Marvel history for fun speculation on what the future of a franchise might be.