Avengers: Infinity War Part II will be the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe until that point, a mega event film that will likely feature every single superhero... except maybe the guys on TV. There has been a lot of speculation about whether or not The Defenders (the eventual team Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist will form on Netflix) will appear in the cosmos-spanning movie, and Infinity War co-director Anthony Russo had something to say about it. Speaking at CCXP, the massive Brazilian Comic-Con, he explained:
It's complicated. When we start to serialize the telling of stories it's difficult. You have to have a lot of control and focus on the course of history. The films are controlled by a group led by Kevin Feige, so they function as a unit. Other products, even if they are from Marvel, are controlled by others. Then there is the possibility of a crossover, but it's more complicated. It is a smaller scale version of the problem that exists when remembering that Fox holds the rights to some of Marvel's most popular characters, as does Sony and others. As storytellers, we only have control over what happens in Marvel movies, but everything is possible, Spider-Man became possible!
What do I think that means? "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it." It's not impossible for the Netflix characters to pop up in Infinity War, but it would take a little negotiating and figuring things out.
The big takeaway is that Russo reinforces what I have been telling you guys for years: Marvel Studios and Marvel TV are their own beasts, and they do not work closely together. Note Russo comparing the relationship to the one with X-Men or Fantastic Four. It's not as simple as walking down the hall and asking Jeph Loeb to borrow Daredevil for a few weeks. If anything, the issue here is whether or not Netflix wants to even bring those characters to the MCU and, in the process, potentially diminish them. They've done a great job of establishing their own little corner of the world and they've given their own heroes stature there... but the second Daredevil stands next to the Hulk does everybody suddenly remember that Hulk is a blockbuster A-lister and Daredevil is hanging out with the B-team? That's certainly part of the thematics of the Netflix shows, but the question is how aggressively you want to draw attention to it. =
Lemme give you my pitch on how to do this and make everybody happy: have Thanos unleash some sort of army on the whole known Marvel Universe. Dudes invade Asgard and Xandar and the Dark Dimension and Earth. As the Avengers battle Thanos in the main battle you have a montage of the scope of the war - The Warriors Three battling at the roots of Ygdrissil, the Nova Corps in desperate combat, Baron Mordo recognizing this is a greater threat, and finally the Defenders in the streets of Manhattan. You keep the worlds apart while bringing them together, and you never have to get your chocolate in my peanut butter. Although I kind of would really like to see Luke Cage meet Captain America.
Still, it's a long way off. I don't think the Infinity War story is fully broken yet, so anything is possible between now and when they start shooting some time in 2017.