Clint Barton, Scott Lang and Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp were among the big omissions from Avengers: Infinity War, but it turns out the MCU blockbuster had no room in its ranks for Marvel’s street-level heroes, either: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Mike Colter’s musclebound Luke Cage.
Together, they form the four pillars of Netflix’s superhero universe, which has merely alluded to the events of the MCU (see: The Avengers) in passing. So when the time came to assemble Infinity War‘s massive ensemble cast, Joe and Anthony Russo made the decision to exclude The Defenders, as factoring Marvel’s TV series into the equation would have only muddied the waters.
Or so says Infinity War co-writer Stephen McFeely, who broke down the threequel’s creative process during a recent interview with Collider:
We talk about that all the time. I don’t know anything about animosity [between Marvel Studios and Marvel Television]. In a movie this big, we certainly had the conversation, ‘Should we put Luke Cage in this? Here we are in New York…’ That kind of stuff. As you could probably tell, it would be just a glorified cameo at this point. We’re trying to honor the MCU movies and if we then further tell the audience, ‘Oh, you should also have a good knowledge from this streaming service over here that you may or may not be subscribing to.’ That’s really asking a lot. We’re already asking a lot.
Besides, bringing the likes of Luke Cage and his superpowered allies into the fight would have surely pushed Infinity War‘s runtime north of three hours, and even if their appearance catered to some ardent fans, others would have felt shortchanged by their blink-and-you’ll-miss-them cameos.
At least, that’s according to Infinity War‘s other screenwriter, Christoper Markus, who told Collider the following:
You’ll have just as many people going, ‘That’s all you gave Luke Cage!’
It’s by no means the first time that Marvel’s creators have touched base on a possible movie/TV crossover, nor is it likely to be the last, but with so many characters already lining the roster of Avengers: Infinity War, adding the likes of Daredevil et. al would surely oversaturate a film that’s arguably already the biggest Marvel movie in the history of Marvel movies.