Kevin Feige Thinks That Eventually, Marvel TV And Movies Will Cross Over

We're heading up to the 10-year anniversary of the MCU, an innovative shared universe that's transformed Hollywood. Unfortunately, every model has weaknesses as well as strengths, and right now, the problems facing the shared universe model are beginning to become visible. The most notable issue is one of continuity.

The wider MCU is a complex thing, not least because of an ever-expanding slate of TV shows. Meanwhile, the movies themselves are jumping around the timeline with impunity. Several recent films have been set in the immediate aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, while 2019's Captain Marvel will be based in the '90s. Matters have been made even more difficult by a number of recent continuity errors, with Spider-Man: Homecoming forcing fans to completely redraw the entire timeline.

After months of silence on the issue, Marvel visionary Kevin Feige has finally conceded that the timeline is growing increasingly confused. He insists that everything is under control, and even suggests Marvel will eventually get around to publishing a timeline. At the same time though, it's telling that Feige isn't yet willing to resolve the issue. Instead, he seems set on avoiding answering the questions.

This is the weakness of the shared universe model. The more wide-ranging the shared universe becomes, the more risk the continuity will fracture.

The Example Of Star Wars

>One of the beautiful Japanese covers for the Star Wars novels. [Credit: Del Rey]
One of the beautiful Japanese covers for the Star Wars novels. [Credit: Del Rey]

Ironically enough, Kevin Feige himself refers to another example of a timeline that broke under the strain. Speaking to CinemaBlend, he notes:

"I've loved timelines, I love the Star Wars timeline, with the Battle of Yavin, everything is either After The Battle Of Yavin, Before The Battle of Yavin. We're doing that, and the origin point for us is Tony saying, 'I am Iron Man.'"

The Prequel Trilogy brought the #StarWars timeline close to breaking point. When George Lucas returned to the Galaxy Far, Far Away, it was to a universe that had changed significantly since Return of the Jedi back in 1983. A range of novels and comics had established the so-called "Expanded Universe," adding remarkable depth and diversity to the Galaxy.

But Lucas refused to be bound by the limitations established by the EU. Star Wars was, fundamentally, his vision. It didn't take long for the Prequels to contradict the EU, and Lucasfilm had to decide how to resolve these issues. The solution was a hierarchical approach to canon that looked something like this:

  • God-Level Canon: At the highest level of canon, you have anything created by George Lucas himself.

  • The Expanded Universe: All other content was effectively a lower level of canon. It was accurate, but only to the extent it dovetailed with the God-Level Canon.

  • Infinities and inaccuracies: Any differences between the EU and the God-Level Canon were dismissed as inaccurate. Entire stories were dismissed as 'Infinities' if they contradicted George Lucas's vision.

Every Star Wars film introduced more contradictions, leaving fans scrambling to work out the adjusted continuity. It all became increasingly problematic, with fans often resorting to 'head-canon' to resolve issues.

The MCU is already headed in this direction. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 directly contradicted one tie-in comic for the first film, but James Gunn resolved the issue by casually dismissing the comic from canon. Marvel Television shows have dated The Avengers in 2012, but Feige told CinemaBlend those references aren't canon. In other words, Marvel Studios view the TV shows as canon only to the extent they don't disagree with their films. Any contradiction is dismissed as non-canon.

An Unsatisfying Experience For Fans

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