We all know that the DCEU is completely unrelated to its TV shows, but the same is not true for any Marvel-based shows. Agents of SHIELD, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Agent Carter all exist within the MCU. These shows frequently use events from the films as part of their storyline. For instance, the entire trajectory of Agents of SHIELD was altered by the fall of SHIELD plot used in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The alien attack on New York from The Avengers was mentioned many times as part of Wilson Fisk’s (Vincent D’Onofrio) motivation on Daredevil. Lady Sif (Jamie Alexander) has popped up a few times on Agents of SHIELD. Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) has shown up there also, as has Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). Clearly, the small screen projects are used to connect to and promote the large screen films.
So why does the reverse not occur? Why are TV/Netflix events ignored in the theatrical MCU projects? As an example, the main storyline for season three of Agents of SHIELD was the spread of the Inhuman race across the globe and government efforts to contain them. Why was this not referred to at all in Captain America: Civil War? The fact that people all over the world were spontaneously developing super powers they couldn’t control seems relevant to the film’s central issue of reigning in unregulated power. You’d think they’d at least want to talk to Quake (Chloe Bennet).
In the same film, we have Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) recruiting a very inexperienced Spider-Man (Tom Holland) but why doesn’t he even mention more experienced heroes like Daredevil (Charlie Cox) or Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter)? Why isn’t Hydra interested in someone like Kilgrave (David Tenant)?
Before he left the Avengers franchise, director Joss Whedon was asked if Agent Coulson would appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron. He answered that, as far as the movies were concerned, Coulson was still dead. This could be interpreted as all the movie characters still thinking he’s dead or it could mean that there’s a mentality behind-the-scenes that what happens on TV isn’t really important to the overall big picture of the MCU and they choose to ignore TV.
A better reason is the time required in making films, as opposed to a TV/Netflix show. After all, it can be a year or two from completion of a screenplay until the final release date of the movie. A lot can happen on a TV show during that amount of time. TV programs may not have things planned put that far ahead, so the powers-that-be at Marvel Studios have chosen to just ignore small screen events for that reason.
Still, it would be fun to see small screen characters appear in MCU films. Even a mention of Daredevil in Civil War would have gotten a grin from fans. Wouldn’t an appearance by the Netflix Defenders be great in Avengers: Infinity War? Could the groundwork set-up on Agents of SHIELD figure into the Inhumans film when it finally comes out? Maybe the small screen shows will get more love in future MCU films.