It’s safe to say that Avengers: Infinity War is an unprecedented work of balancing character load in a single film. Combining casts of characters from the far reaches of the galaxy and Marvel Studio’s decade-long shared universe, not to mention essentially introducing Thanos as a main character, Infinity War has to balance an ungodly amount of character work in its near three-hour runtime as it is. But you better believe there were lots of Marvel fans who were hoping to see their favorite Netflix Marvel heroes pop up in the film.
Was it ever a possibility? According to co-director Joe Russo, yes, the creative team did in fact have conversations about incorporating one of Netflix’s Defenders into the Avengers biggest battle yet. Which makes sense — after all, the first place Thanos’ lackeys touch down is NYC, home to the Hero of Harlem, the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, and all the other local hero types that populate the Netflix Marvel-verse, but there were a number of factors that prevented the crossover from coming to fruition, from scheduling difficulties to an already packed character roster.
Last night Collider hosted an exclusive Infinity War screening with directors Joe and Anthony Russo in attendance and during our seriously extended (no seriously, two hours) Q&A, Joe Russo explained why none of the Netflix heroes ever made it into the script.
“Yes, of course we talked about all that stuff but you can see how many character there are in the film. It’s very difficult when you’ve got shows that are being written when you’re also trying to create movies that are not happening on the same, just from a production standpoint, at the same time that the shows are being produced. It’s impossible for us to correlate story between three or four other marvel films that we’re borrowing characters from and then to add the TV shows in on top of it. It just becomes an experiment that would break. We felt that the best way to tell the story was to stay with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
While I would love love love to see Daredevil take his place on the big screen among the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, a film like Infinity War is not the place to do it. It may never come to fruition (and considering the growing divide between creative teams in Marvel’s TV and film world, it probably won’t), but if Matt Murdock is going to scowl at Peter Parker, I’d rather see it in a film where they have the narrative capacity and room to give him his due.