It’s a not-so-secret-secret that the universes of Marvel’s film’s and TV shows are drifting further apart from each other. Directors, producers and actors alike have begun to speak out about the drift, but now Marvel says that they never actually meant “It’s All Connected” quite like you thought they did. The Television Critics Association summer press tour is ongoing at the moment, and Marvel is there to promote the incoming Netflix Luke Cage series. Naturally, the topic of whether or not characters like Luke, Jessica Jones or Matt Murdock could ever show up in the movies. The answer given to /Film by Marvel TV president Jeph Loeb is a similar refrain at this point: The logistics make it practically impossible:
I can tell you that part of the challenge of doing this sort of thing is that the movies are planned out years in advance of what it is that we are doing. Television moves at an incredible speed. The other part of the problem is that when you stop and think about it, if I’m shooting a television series and that’s going to go on over a six-month or eight-month period, how am I going to get Mike [Colter] to be able to go be in a movie? I need Mike to be in a television show.
Loeb continued with a glimmer of hope by saying anything is possible in terms of crossovers, but it’s what he said next that’s rather interesting:
As I often get reported by you folks for saying #ItsAllConnected, our feeling is that the connection isn’t just whether or not somebody is walking into a movie or walking out of a television show. It’s connected in the way that the shows come from the same place, that they are real, that they are grounded.
Marvel’s used “it’s all connected” as a banner catchphrase for its cinematic universe pretty much since its inception, so it’s interesting to see it distanced from the “these characters could show up anywhere together” that fans have expected (and seen on the big screen so far at least, save for Sam Jackson’s brief Agents of SHIELD appearances) to mean and more into what essentially reads as “they’re connected stylistically and universe-wise, not character-wise”.
It’s a little less exciting when you put it that way. Whether Marvel is trying to keep expectations low ahead of its blockbuster crossover shindig Infinity War in a few years, or just attempting to keep the TV/movie mash-up it might contain a secret, remains to be seen. But for now, the message is clearly this: Don’t expect Marvel’s shows and movies to intermingle anytime soon.