In news that has exploded nerd brains the world over, Marvel Studios and Disney have announced four TV shows to air on Netflix. Getting the small screen treatment are Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist, and each of their 13-episode series’ will culminate in a shared mini-series: Defenders.
Well. We didn’t see that one coming. We knew Marvel were talking to Netflix, but something on this scale, with some characters that we assumed would go to the big screen, is basically unprecedented. It was more natural to assume that Marvel would continue launching its TV properties on ABC, the home of Agents of SHIELD and a channel owned by Disney. But instead, in a massive endorsement of online TV broadcasters, Netflix have got in on the act (which solves their dilemma over subscriptions now that Breaking Bad has finished…).
Nothing is known about these projects yet, but what can we expect this to mean for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
5. Street-level heroes
While Daredevil is undoubtedly the biggest name of the bunch, there is something they all have in common: They are all street-level, New York-based heroes (Hell’s Kitchen, to be specific). They all have powers, but they are pretty low-key when compared to the likes of Thor and the Hulk.
This suggests that the small screen will be the natural home for Marvel’s more grounded heroes. This could be for practical reasons (who would have the budget to do galactic battles on TV?), or simply because they’re less well-known. Daredevil is the only name that could carry a movie, but perhaps Marvel are still feeling the sting from that Ben Affleck film. And I don’t imagine that many DD fans will be complaining about the chance to get 13 hours of him in action, rather than just two.
So, what other street-level heroes (or anti-heroes…) could pop up on Marvel and Netflix’s slate, if these ones prove popular? Punisher is the obvious one, of course. Moon Knight. Cloak and Dagger. Misty Knight. The Runaways, even. Or maybe we’ll first see these characters popping up within the shows that have already been commissioned.
We know that these four series’ will be crossing over with each other, if only for the big Defenders mini-series. Frankly, I’d be surprised if we didn’t see crossovers within their individual series’, especially as many of these characters have long and complex histories with each other in the comics (Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are married).
But will there be any crossovers with the MCU, or with Agents of SHIELD? If these shows are on Netflix, that means we could expect a more adult tone than Agents of SHIELD has (fingers crossed), which could make crossovers tricky. I can’t really see Jess Jones’ famous potty mouth fitting in over at ABC.
Disney have already confirmed that big screen promotions could be in the pipeline for these characters, if they prove popular. Whether that means we’ll get to see Luke Cage leading the Avengers (as he did in the comics) remains to be seen. Although I wouldn’t hold your breath.Tags: daredevil, iron fist, jessica jones, luke cage, marvel, Netflix