Posted on Friday, April 10th, 2015 by Peter Sciretta
Since Disney announced that Marvel had signed on to make a series of Netflix television shows, fans have wondered how they would tie into the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. Daredevil went live on Netflix today and we got to talk to the cast and crew to get some answers about those connections. We’ll figure out how Daredevil connects not only to the MCU, but to other Marvel television series, whether Agents of SHIELD or other Netflix series. We’ll dig in to find out how the show deals with easter eggs and references to the Marvel comic book series it has been adapted from, and much more. We have a lot of insight on the Daredevil TV connections from the creators that you can’t read anywhere else, so dig in!
How a Marvel Television Series Gets Made
Before we get into the connections, lets find out how a television series like Daredevil gets made, and how that collaboration is done between the many Marvel subsidiaries. Jeph Loeb, Daredevil Executive Producer and the Head of Marvel Television, explained to us how Marvel Comics, Marvel Studios and Marvel Television work together to produce a television series:
I think people look at Marvel and see us as a giant octopus that’s out to swallow the entire galaxy. And we are. But in fact we are a rather small company. Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito who run the motion picture division, and myself and Jim Corey, who is the Head of Production in the television division, and then I think you all have probably heard at some point that there is a creative committee that sort of oversees everything that we do and that includes Alan Fine, Dan Buckley and Joe Quesada. We talk all the time. We’re just down the hall. So it’s one of those things where if something cool happens on SHIELD last night, you know, the folks over on the feature side can look at that and go oh, that’s cool. You did that and oh, can we, we’re gonna work off that. Or oftentimes happens the other way around. Where we’re aware of what’s gonna happen in movies to come and know there’s you can’t get any information out of my ’cause I actually have a cyanide capsule that’s implanted in my tooth. I suddenly start foaming at the mouth.
Jeff then explained the secret sauce behind the connected Marvel Universe:
What we try to do is, you know, I get teased a lot, because I say hashtag it’s connected. I don’t just mean the Marvel Universe is connected, we’re all connected. And so we very much are aware that each story that we tell impacts another story. And this goes back to the days of publishing where, you know, just because you are writing Spider-Man it didn’t mean that you could just do anything you wanted. You had to make sure that the villains that you were using and the stories that you were telling were tied into whatever was going on in the much larger universe. But by the same token that you could tell your own story and not have to worry about whether or not what was going on. But if something significant was happening like Sam Wilson was now Captain America, you did not want to refer to Captain America as Steve Rogers. And so that more than anything else is the kind of thing that helps us along the way.
You know, when we decided to do these characters, part of what made it exciting for us is that, you know, the Avengers characters are in the motion pictures and Kevin and his group do it better than anybody else. They’re just these awe inspiring, giant, epic adventures that at the end of the day have a very strong, heroic element to it. But those characters are here to save the universe. What we wanted to be able to do was just move over a few blocks and down a few avenues and there’s an area called Hell’s Kitchen which is very different than the world of Tony Stark. Instead, we could have heroes that were street level heroes that were there to save the neighborhood.
The Avengers Won’t Be Coming to Hell’s Kitchen
Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD has its occasional big screen crossover with a Marvel Cinematic Universe character showing up on the small screen, but don’t expect to ever see The Avengers show up in Hell’s Kitchen. Daredevil executive producer Jeph Loeb told us:
And definitely you won’t see Iron Man, you won’t see Thor, you won’t see any of those characters. And I always liken that to, you know, we live in a world where Brad Pitt exists, but it’s how many people have actually stood next to him in line? You know, you don’t really see Brad Pitt. You know he’s out there. But you don’t really see him. And that’s kind of the world we exist in.
And thats the key, this series is set on a very specific area. Showrunner Steven DeKnight explains that Daredevil is set in “the dark corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
Obviously we make references to the other things in there. But I always refer to, you know, the Marvel Cinematic Universe generally deals with the gods of the Marvel Universe. With your Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk. They’re usually saving the world or the universe. Where these are the street level heroes with Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Danny Rand. And they save the neighborhood. So one of the great things that I thought was very liberating that Marvel really wanted is they wanted, you know, a tonal and visual distinction from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.