Avengers: Infinity War The Defenders

For some, the most frustrating aspect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been the lack of any significant crossovers between the film and television sides of the endeavor, particularly following the success of the studio’s Netflix series. Sure, this isn’t exactly the biggest problem in the grand scheme of things, but when so much of the appeal lies in seeing characters as disparate as Thor and Rocket Raccoon interact on screen? Well, it can be a tough pill to swallow if, like this writer, you count Spider-Man and Daredevil as your favorite superheroes. It’s natural to want to see those sorts of team-ups, even if Marvel hasn’t actually pulled the trigger yet. Though according to co-director Anthony Russo, they “made the briefest consideration” of doing exactly that for the big ‘Infinity War’ team up. Russo elaborates:

“When we’re alone in a room with (screenwriters) Markus and 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.”

In any creative endeavor, there sometimes comes a point when you have to tell yourself “no,” no matter how much you might like a given idea. And it’s clear that ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is a stronger film for the ability of the Russo brothers (not to mention screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely) to do just that. And that’s without even getting into the practical demands of the production process that makes such crossovers that much trickier.

Put simply, film and television production operate on vastly different timescales. For example, if Jessica Jones were to play a part in ‘Infinity War’, Markus, McFeely, and the Russo brothers would have had to know not only where the character would be in the wake of her show’s second season, they would have needed to know this before ‘The Defenders’ went before the cameras. And the simple fact is that no TV show is written that far in advance. At best the showrunners might have a general idea of where they want to take things, but generally not in the sort of detail that would be necessary for this sort of crossover.

Directed by the Russo brothers from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ marks the culmination of a decade-long effort by Marvel Studios and sees the Avengers team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to take on Thanos. The film counts Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Holland, Karen Gillan, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olson, Sebastian Stan, and three gentlemen named “Chris” among its gargantuan cast. The long-awaited movie is in theaters now, while ‘Avengers 4’ is set to arrive on May 3, 2019.