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SYFY WIRE Marvel Cinematic Universe

Kevin Feige not ruling out the return of Netflix's Marvel characters: 'Never say never'

By Josh Weiss
The Defenders

Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Misty Knight, the Punisher, Colleen Wing, and the rest of Netflix's Defenders didn't step through any of the portals during the climax of Avengers: Endgame, but that doesn't mean the heroes won't show up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever again. Recently speaking with Deadline, Marvel Studios mastermind Kevin Feige was asked if fans would see a revival of the streaming shows.

The comic book macher didn't give a definite answer one way or the other, but admitted that he's keeping an open mind. "Well, certainly you’ve seen what we announced at Comic-Con a year and half ago and on Disney Investor Day a few weeks ago, so that’s our focus," he said. "But I’ve been at Marvel long enough to never say never about anything."

The Netflix shows were axed between 2018 and 2019 as Marvel slowly began to lay the foundation for a more cohesive universe. At the same time, a contractual clause prevented Matt Murdock & Co. from appearing anywhere else for a period of two years — but that stipulation has since expired. The rights are now in Disney's possession, just as the Mouse House can now use the X-Men and Fantastic Four following the company's purchase of 20th Century Fox.

Back in 2018, Kevin Mayer, the former chairman of Disney's Direct-to-Consumer and International division, said that the Netflix properties could find new life on Disney+. Even if that's being considered right now, it won't likely be coming true anytime soon. As Feige noted, the studio has its hands full with a ton of upcoming shows like WandaVision, Moon Knight, She-HulkSecret Invasion, Ms. Marvel, Armor Wars, Ironheart, and a whole lot more.

Some fans have theorized that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (slated for spring 2022) will be the film that brings mutants and the Fantastic 4 into the MCU. That's strongly been hinted with the casting of Jamie Foxx ("Electro") and Alfred Molina ("Dr. Octopus") in Jon Watts' third Spider-Man project (out next December), which has Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) serving as a mentor figure to young Peter Parker (Tom Holland). If the Sorcerer Supreme can bring back alternate versions of Spidey villains, why couldn't he also be the one to re-introduce the Defenders into the universe, especially since they are technically part of the current continuity anyway (just, you know, a bit off to the side)?

Should that ever happen, many of those original Netflix actors (like Charlie Cox, for instance) are ready to return at a moment's notice if the call comes through.

WandaVision, which somehow ties into Multiverse of Madness, will kick off a new age of Marvel-inspired TV (as well as Phase 4 of the MCU) this coming Friday, Jan. 15.