Marvel fans are still waiting to learn if the TV branch can acknowledge Infinity War, but the two sides were closer than we knew. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo now admit that screenwriters considered including Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Defenders and all the rest.

You’re warned of modest spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War and the Marvel TV series from here on out, but fans have long-known that scheduling complications and differing leadership have kept TV properties like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Netflix’s Defenders, Hulu’s Runaways and more in their own respective bubbles. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently engaged in acknowledging the events of Infinity War, though screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely stated way back in 2016 that actual crossovers were almost impossible. All the same, Infinity War directors the Russos now at least confirm the possibility was discussed (via Variety):

We made the briefest consideration of [including TV characters in ‘Infinity War’]. When we’re alone in a room with [screenwriters Christopher] Markus and [Stephen] McFeely, we consider every idea. We like thinking of everything. But it seemed like the story that had been told within the movies was so specific and elaborate already that once we started working through the story, we knew we had our hands full just with this set of characters and narratives.

The nature of movie and TV production also dictates that where Infinity War locked its script years ago, the TV properties weren’t in any place to sync their own storylines. That’s what Markus and McFeely said a few years earlier:

McFeely: We are open to any of it, although it’s really not our call.

Markus: A lot of it is a pace thing, in that we have to have this thing done so much ahead of time, that they might get all the way through that ‘Defenders’ show before we start shooting, or certainly before anything comes out. So we don’t know where they’re going to be. It’s very hard, even logistically, to keep even the movie characters synced up; it’s nearly impossible, given the speed that TV cranks out changes.

McFeely: The story that they eat up, yeah.

And it’s true – the timelines of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Punisher are all a bit vague, but Daredevil fans in particular would be perplexed to see Matt Murdock suddenly back in costume, considering where The Defenders ended. The action in New York was somewhat limited regardless, so the best we might have hoped for were shots of the heroes aiding a few civilians, or the brief involvement of press or law enforcement like Karen Page and Misty Knight. As the Russos said, Infinity War had enough going on that there was little room to give TV characters their due.

Marvel movie boss Kevin Feige has said TV crossovers will happen eventually, but was Infinity War not the right time?

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