We have all heard the rumors that Marvel boss Kevin Feige has been eying some fan-favorite characters to make a triumphant return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
And Phase 4 looks like it will do a lot to fold in characters that Marvel Studios has recently acquired from The Fantastic Four to the X-Men, but there are some other characters that Marvel Studios got the rights back to this year – those Netflix characters, The Defenders!
There is a reason that the rumors of Matt Murdock/ Daredevil actor Charlie Cox and his other Netflix compatriots are headed to the MCU never go away for long. Despite the fact Daredevil, Jessica Jones and the lot exist in a state of canon limbo – similar to Agents of SHIELD – fans love these characters and actors — for the most part anyway (I’m looking at you, Iron Fist).
Now that Marvel once again has the rights to characters like Daredevil and the Punisher, fans have been keeping a close watch on every word that Kevin Feige says looking for any clue that they will get an official debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And it’s been reported that Charlie Cox was involved in that courtroom scene in Spider-Man: No Way Home (December 17, 2021).
Now That Hashtag Show has reported a new way that Marvel can bring back the Defenders:
There are some characters and actors that they do want to bring back, but the caveat here will be that their time and experiences on the Netflix shows will not be directly referenced. […] These are not stories that will play into the roles. It’s simply actors fulfilling the same roles, but within a different universe.
The idea of having actors like Krysten Ritter and Jon Bernthal return as variants of their Netflix characters would allow Marvel to have their cake and eat it too. There is a lot in those shows that work so well. Marvel showrunner Steven DeKnight recently said that trying to recast Wilson Fisk/ Kingpin with someone other than Vincent D’Onofrio would be “impossible”.
New rumors say D’Onofrio might show up as Kingpin later this year in the upcoming Disney+ series Hawkeye, starring Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton and Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop. And just this week news broke that The Punisher actor Ben Barnes, who played Jigsaw, was almost included in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
But What Could This Mean For The MCU?
That Hashtag Show’s idea to have the actors return as variants would allow Marvel to toss away some of the parts that did not work like Iron Fist, which was created by the same troubled team that gave us The Inhumans. Any while Finn Jones (Danny Rand) wants to return, it’s doubtful that fans would like to see that.
And it’s a slippery slope to include Marvel’s Netflix characters as they were on their own shows. Especially since it was confirmed that the Marvel Universe, where these shows take place, is the same as Freeforms’s Cloak & Dagger and Hulu’s The Runaways. Since Cloak & Dagger shows an article written by Daredevil‘s Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) about Luke Cage (Mike Colter). And Cloak/ Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) & Dagger/ Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) popped over to Runaways for a series of episodes.
If Marvel Studios wants to include the events of the Netflix shows into MCU canon, it comes with a lot of baggage. The alternative of variants seems the most likely – especially now that Marvel’s Phase 4 will expand the Avengers into the multiverse in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Either way, it will never dampen the love fans have for these Marvel shows. And who knows, with that new deal with Sony, maybe Marvel might work some other properties in a sort of extended Marvel Universe once those Spider-Man films debut on Disney+.
Let us know what parts of the Netflix shows would you like to see brought to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and which would you like to be left in the trash.