As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand, the differences between the films, the Netflix series and the cable shows continue to grow. According to "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" star Anthony Mackie, who plays Falcon, this is exactly why a crossover would never work.
"Different universes, different worlds, different companies, different designs. [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige is very specific about how he wants the Marvel Universe to be seen in the film world. It wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t work at all," Mackie said at Wizard World Cleveland, as reported by ScreenGeek.
As it stands, the MCU has three distinct worlds: the upbeat, blockbuster world on the films; the grittier Netflix heroes of New York; and ABC's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and "Agent Carter," which fall somewhere in between. To date, the characters from these three separate factions have rarely crossed over between networks or from TV into film, though it certainly isn't for lack of interest on the actors' parts.
Of course, that doesn't mean the shows are completely sanitized of any MCU references. Both the Netflix and ABC shows frequently reference MCU characters like Captain America and Thor, as well as the invasion of New York during "The Avengers." Most notably, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." was deeply impacted by the revelation that Hydra had infiltrated the organization, as per the events of "Captain America: The Winter Solider." That event has influenced the direction of the show through the show's fourth season, which revisits the idea of a world run by Hydra.
Conversely, the MCU's films never make mention of the events of the television shows. As Mackie points out in his quote, Feige controls the world of the films, where Jeph Loeb runs Marvel TV, a separate entity. While all of these properties take place in the MCU, they are controlled by different studios: the films by Marvel Studios, and the television shows by Marvel TV. As such, the chances of a true crossover between all these properties is slim, if not impossible. Marvel TV occasionally builds franchises around characters who originated in the films -- like "S.H.I.E.L.D.'s" Coulson or "Agent Carter's" Peggy -- but you'd be hard-pressed to find the shows impacting the films in a crucial way.
Written and directed by James Gunn, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" -- the next installment of the MCU -- stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, and franchise newcomer, Kurt Russell, who plays Star-Lord’s father – Ego, the Living Planet. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” arrives in theaters May 5.