That title feels a little clickbait-y, doesn’t it? If it were more clickbait-y, it’d be called ‘The REAL Reason …’. I’ve been meaning to do this topic for a while. Some time ago, I heard this idea about the reason why there’s not much crossover between the Marvel TV universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are a few reasons and that could be given but I reckon there’s one big one. Though, before I get to it, let’s go on a journey first.
So, the stated reason via Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios and MCU mastermind, for the lack of crossover is that it’s logistically very difficult. Between various timeline problems, actors commitments, and story complications. Take, for instance, the most recent Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Despite being released in 2017, and filmed in 2016, the film’s plot is said to take place months after their first adventure, placing in late 2014/early 2015. Now if we form a rough timeline of the films based on their release date, barring explicit examples of time frame (Iron Man 3 and Cap 1).
There is an event in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that affects people of Earth. This event takes place canonically on Earth in 2014, yet no one mentions it in either TV or film. There’s a rather obvious reason for this. The plot of Guardians wasn’t finalised until late 2015/early 2016. That time disconnect leads to a little time issue. It could be handwaved away as the continuing weirdness that is building on the MCU Earth, or it could be noted that everyone was busy. Nonetheless, the weirdness remains.
Moving away from that, there are other logistic issues. For example, Steve Rogers is a fairly stagnant character who could conceivably be pegged for a cameo in one episode. Already you can see the issues, Chris Evans is expensive which eats into the budget. As of Civil War, Steve is a fugitive (It’s possible to fit these shifts in but it makes it tricky when the character is in the middle of an ongoing story). So, just getting the right Avenger in the right place isn’t easy. It’s just easier for events to ripple through, for Agents of Shield to be affected by the Avengers as TV has a much faster turn-around than film.
However, I’m no expert but these problems don’t seem insurmountable. The achievements of the MCU are such that their scheduling must be handled by Calendar Man, and their logistics handled by the Calculator (yes, I know they’re DC villains). You know what is insurmountable though?
That doesn’t quite have the kick I wanted it to. That’s disappointing. Just read it in a scary voice, but not an actual scary voice. Just imagine it was being read by a second-rate Dracula or someone dressed in a sheet pretending to be a ghost. Imagine it’s written in Chiller font.
Anyway, now allow to introduce my Pepe Silvia-esque rant and reveal to you what’s really going on. Let me tell you the story of Ike Perlmutter. Ike is the CEO of Marvel Entertainment. Ike is not the CEO of Marvel Studios. Both are owned by Disney, both are Marvel but there’s something interesting going on here. Marvel Studios is very much the kid who went off to Hollywood, got famous, and disowned his family. Marvel Studios was a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment until it broke off and went to live with old man Disney. Let’s continue with this analogy, let’s say that Marvel Studios still has to stay in contact with his Marvel family back home because Marvel Entertainment controls the Marvel’s TV division.
With that, the mystery is solved, right? Marvel Studios and Marvel Entertainment are two separate companies with little overlap. Simple, right? There’s more. I mentioned Ike earlier. You’d think there’s nothing remarkable about Ike. Who the hell is Ike, right? There are the rumours that Ike has been quite a hostile force in the workplace. Spouting homophobic comments, pinching pennies publicly by complaining at perceived waste of paperclips and such, and finally, he’s at the centre of a lawsuit after firing three black, female employees as part of his penny-pinching. There was even word that Feige would even speak quietly with Ike on the phone, in contrast to his usually more excited self.
Oh yeah, that’s the other thing. Why does Feige talk to Perlmutter on the phone? Turns out Perlmutter is a bit of a recluse and the second-to-most-recent photo of him is a photo that is over 30 years old. There is one more photo that was snapped clandestinely at a recent political rally. Why was Ike at a political rally? Turns out Ike and his wife, Laurie, are interested in philanthropy. Not just that, Ike and Laurie like to donate to political causes too. You know what comes next, don’t you?
Yep, Ike and his wife Laurie gave to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. So Perlmutter is a Trump enabler (explains Secret Empire, doesn’t it?). Is there some good news to come out of this? Thankfully yes.
Let’s return to Marvel Studios. There was a shake-up back in 2015 that resulted in the division of Marvel Entertainment and Marvel Studios. Kevin Feige no longer needs to speak in hushed tones to old uncle Ike. Feige is President of Marvel Studios and answers directly to Disney. You might have noticed Marvel Studio’s shiny new logo in front of one of their recent movies. While Perlmutter still controls Marvel Entertainment (including Marvel Comics, Marvel TV, and Marvel Toys), Marvel Studios is purely a Hollywood machine nowadays. I never thought I’d be grateful for that, but the world is a funny place these days.
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