Kevin Feige, the head of Marvel Studios, has provided clarity on which television series are considered canon within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and which are not.
In the MCU, discerning the relevance of Marvel movies has generally been straightforward. If it’s produced by Marvel Studios, it holds significance. However, television series have introduced some complexity. Shows like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and The Defenders on Netflix were well-received, but their connection to the MCU was unclear. Other series like Cloak and Dagger, Agents of SHIELD, and Legion added to the confusion.
Feige has now addressed this issue, stating, “We recognize that there are stories – movies and series – that are canonical to Marvel but were created by different storytellers during different periods in Marvel’s history.” He further clarifies that the timeline presented in the book, ‘The Marvel Cinematic Universe: An Official Timeline’, specifically pertains to the MCU’s Sacred Timeline through Phase 4.
In essence, the content mentioned in the book is relevant to the storytelling in Marvel Phase 5 and beyond. Everything else, while potentially great, may not be considered directly pertinent to upcoming Marvel movies and Disney Plus shows.
It’s important to note that the specific contents of the book have not been disclosed yet. Speculations suggest that everything produced for Disney Plus, as well as series like Cloak and Dagger and Agents of SHIELD, will be included. For shows like Daredevil that could potentially be incorporated, they may be viewed as a soft reboot of the Marvel character rather than a strict continuation of the same version.
This decision may exclude many well-received stories, but Feige and Marvel have to establish boundaries. Incorporating all the previous projects would entail adhering to choices made by different creators, potentially complicating the management of the expansive franchise. The concept of the multiverse also means that characters could potentially return in different forms, allowing for more creative freedom.
Ultimately, this approach enables each interpretation of a character to stand on its own merits, without the burden of fitting into a singular, all-encompassing narrative.