The idea of cross-overs between Marvel television shows and Marvel Cinematic Universe movies is one that fans have been discussing since Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. first hit the airwaves in 2013. The series is, of course, essentially a spinoff from Phase 1 of the film franchise – with Clark Gregg reprising the role of Agent Phil Coulson that he played to great effect in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Avengers and a number of Marvel One-Shots.
Since the show debuted, we’ve seen Agent Carter also spinoff to network television, while Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist have all unfolded with Netflix holding the reins. Though those shows are not strictly spun from the movies directly, they all reference significant events that have occurred in the MCU.
But, with the films providing spinoff material for small screen endeavours, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Elizabeth Henstridge says that logistics prevent that plotting relationship happening in reverse. Speaking to the press at Wizard World event in Columbus, Ohio, the actress explained that the practical considerations would seem to be the largest obstacle.
“I don’t know. It’s such a boring answer, but time scale wise – they shoot those movies and then they’re out in 2-3 years and we shoot stuff that’s out in a couple of weeks. Would we keep [everything the same] for 3 years? You have to think about logistics. So, I don’t know but logistically, it’s tricky.”
Certainly, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. – now preparing to head into its fifth season – is well established as its own entity, with decent ratings and a dedicated fandom all its own. While those fans would undoubtedly love to see their heroes up on the big screen, the series has proven that it can tread the very specific line that it holds on the margins of the MCU narrative.
That’s not to say that Henstridge isn’t interested in a participating in a particular Marvel movie, should the opportunity arise, though.
“I want to be in the Black Widow movie,” said the actress.
In terms of logistics, the comments from Henstridge are entirely accurate – it’s tricky to align the narrative of a giant film franchise with that of a weekly TV drama. However, it’s certainly possible – logistically speaking – for specific characters from Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. to show up in Marvel movies, just like Agent Coulson once did. The specific work that these characters do can easily be incorporated in those big screen adventures, in much the same way as room has been made for Sharon Carter (played by EmilyVanCamp) – and by inserting them into the plot as required, the timelines of television and film need not match.
This is true in particular for the longed-for Black Widow movie, since that character is perhaps more closely associated with S.H.I.E.L.D. than any of the other Avengers – with the possible exception of Captain America. So, let’s hope Marvel is paying close attention to the thoughts of its small screen stars. After all, there’s a wealth of possibility waiting to be used in Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.