Ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe began, part of the reason audiences loyally ran to theaters to see every film was because the franchise capitalized off of its over arching theme, “It’s All Connected!” It’s practically become a tradition to stay after the credits to see how the filmmakers connected their specific film to the one that came before it or to the one that’s coming afte. Marvel films became twice as enjoyable as a viewer when you would catch small references or easter eggs that connected movies together. It’s part of what makes the MCU unique because they’ve managed to create a cohesive film universe that pieces together all of these smaller stories into one big story. Well — at least that’s how it used to be.
Through the years, the MCU has expanded itself across multiple film sequels and television shows. But it seems like the more the universe expands, the less connected it becomes. Filmmakers and showrunners focus on their own show sometimes forgetting to connect its universe with the larger one. Agents of SHIELD has always made references to the film universe, even having cameos from MCU characters like Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Sif (Jaime Alexander). But the smaller, more grounded television universe doesn’t seem to want to play that game. It would make sense for SHIELD to get involved when an enhanced human like Luke Cage is making local news or a vigilante like Daredevil is taking the law into his own hands despite the creation of the Sokovia Accords. Why wouldn’t an evil organization like HYRDA not have any ties to an organization like The Hand? It makes perfect sense for these shows to interact and some of the actors from Agents of SHIELD seem to agree.
While at WonderCon, actor Henry Simmons who plays the character Mack on AOS expressed his desire for more connectivity within the Marvel television universe;
“Honestly, I know there’s a lot of red tape, but my feeling is that I would love to see that because everyone benefits. Jeph Loeb always says ‘it all connects together’ and they do. I think if you see them all together somehow intertwined, it would just make each story deeper and more dimensional.”
Natalia Cordova-Buckley who plays the super fast Inhuman Yo-Yo on AOS also expressed how she feels the entire franchise would benefit from more crossovers;
“ ‘Agents of SHIELD’ is the mother of Marvel TV shows. People can say whatever they want but without ‘Agents of SHIELD’ you don’t have the other shows. I just think it would be great to find a way to walk that path and get them some way connected. It’s also a great reflection of our world when we stop the red tape or divisions and just try to bring everyone together because it does help all of us.”
Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen have been the executive producers for Agents of SHIELD since it began. While they both acknowledge that the entire franchise is in fact connected, they also seem to enjoy making shows stand on their own feet outside of relying on references, easter eggs, and cameos to define the excitment of them. Here’s what Whedon had to say on the topic;
“We’ve always tried to be our own story. Everything is connected and that’s fun to play with but the point of our show is to be our show. We want our fans to be rewarded for watching without having to watch anything else, but we want there to be a bigger reward for people who watch all of it. They’ll start to see those lines connecting. It’s more fun for people who are playing the home game but if you don’t you’ll still have a great roller coaster ride.”
Inhumans will be the next Marvel show to debut in September. It will also be the first series to premiere first in IMAX and then on the ABC network. Being that Agents of SHIELD focused heavily on the existence of Inhumans during it’s more recent seasons, it would make sense for characters like Daisy Johnson aka Quake played by Chloe Bennett to connect to the show since she is in fact an Inhuman. Whedon shed some light on that subject as well;
“Without being able to say anything about that show, it will have it’s own world just as we tried to start our own world. Whether or not there’s a cross, we’ll see.”
While one can appreciate the efforts a producer, writer or director will make to ensure that their project can stand on it’s own, it should still be a requirement during the creative process for shows and characters to feel like they are in the same world. It would be great to see Bobbi Morse aka Mockingbird played Adrianne Palicki and Daisy help the Defenders in Hell’s Kitchen or for Agent Coulson to reach out to Jessica Jones to possibly join his team. How about this? Wouldn’t it be great to see the Avengers finally find out that Coulson is alive? It’s a disservice to the entire franchise and the fans who are invested in this world to not tackle this specific topic because Coulson was pretty much the character that connected all the movies together in Phase One.
Either way, it’s at least encouraging to know that people with an ounce of leverage in the MCU feel the same way fans do and want to see more crossovers and references. After all, what’s the use of building your entire franchise off of the notion that ‘it’s all connected’ if in fact you don’t do your due diligence to connect them. What do you think GOC fam? Do you think the MCU would benefit from a more connected TV and film world? Let us know in the comments below.
Agents of SHIELD airs on Tuesday nights at 10pm on ABC.