Marvel Producer Reveals Why The Netflix Shows Were Made MCU Canon

The Marvel Netflix shows are now officially canon to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, it seems the decision to say so was a much rockier road than fans may expect.

The Netflix suite of shows has always held a strange place in the MCU. While they were clearly Marvel properties, they held a distinctly different tone than the rest of the blooming cinematic universe and, aside from a handful of lines, seemed completely divorced from the world-shaking films that were coming out at the time.

This left many to question if the Netflix shows were even part of the MCU. For a while, Marvel tried to distance themselves from the shows, insisting that they weren’t canon to the universe as it stands. However, with the recent creative reboot of Daredevil: Born Again, they’ve finally been made canon.

How the Netflix shows joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe

When asked about this decision by The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel’s head of streaming Brad Winderbaum broke down the struggles of trying to communicate the MCU’s canon to audiences. He explained that audiences now, not only want the connection, but are expecting it.

“We finally said it out loud. When the Netflix shows were coming out and being made, we were building towards Infinity War and Endgame. We were trying to balance all of these film franchises and get them to culminate onscreen in these two epic movies. To say it was a challenge is not even correct. It was one of the most challenging creative endeavors the studio ever undertook.”

“I’m not sure there will ever be anything like it again in cinema. It took so much to get all that stuff to galvanize in that one place and in that one time so that people could have that experience in the movie theater.”

“So, at the time, to say, ‘Alright, we’re also going to take this television show and wrap our heads around that,’ it would’ve been too much, even though we were communicating back and forth. Everyone on the television side and the film side knew what each other was doing, and you can see that there’s a continuity there. The references do line up, but it was just too much for us to wrap our minds around at the time.”

“Flash forward now to Disney+, where we are actually laying out the timeline with tiles on a screen, all of a sudden we’re like, ‘We should just do it. Let’s do it.’ It was also spurred by the redevelopment of Daredevil: Born Again, once we started to really lean into some of the mythology and backstory that was established in those Netflix shows.”

“I was asked about this during the press for Echo, and I realized, ‘Oh, it’s not just assumed. People have an active interest and they want confirmation.’ So we were able to do it fairly quickly, and it’s interesting that the service of Disney+ actually became the statement just by rearranging those tiles. That’s our medium to define the canon now, which is wild to think about.”

The rise of streaming and Disney Plus has changed the game for big franchises like Marvel and Star Wars. Now instead of films coming out a handful of times a year as big events, people are bringing the MCU into their homes every week.

This has served as a double-edged sword. The MCU is now on people’s minds more than ever. However, this also means the discourse about the franchise never stops. With the franchise being so prevalent in the eyes and lives of consumers, it’s left plenty of room for the internet to pick apart every little facet of it.

Though it seems the era of streaming may be over for Marvel. Disney’s CEO Bob Iger has expressed his thoughts that Disney Plus’ output has hurt the MCU, suggesting the company will be pulling back on its ambitions with the service. So just as back then, the future of the franchise’s television department may be up in the air.

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