The next movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn't scheduled to be released until November, something that could work in the favor of fans behind those Marvel characters which once had shows on Netflix. As it stands now, the movies from Marvel Studios were each pushed back a release date; The Eternals went from November to February, Shang-Chi from February to May, so on and so forth. In some cases, the delays could prove beneficial to the studio and Defenders alike.
Since Netflix decided to send all of its Marvel shows to the chopping block in 2018, there have been reports circulating that say Marvel Studios is unable to use any of the IP used in the shows for a full two years after cancellation. Because of that, all speculation in this post is based solely on the two years deal. As with deals Marvel has made in the past, perhaps they've already secured the rights of the characters again and this post would be useless or maybe it's the opposite case and the deal is actually longer than two years. Either way, now that we have our guidelines out of the way, let's hop down the rabbit hole.
The first Marvel Television show canceled by Netflix was Iron Fist, an event that unfolded on October 12, 2018 and just a week after, Luke Cage received the boot. While it's a guarantee either of those characters will pop in Black Widow, there's at least one property shortly thereafter that would make sense for a Defenders debut.
While Destin Cretton's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings already has a script and had even started principal photography before being shutdown, the production now seems to have an opportunity to sneak mentions of places and characters used in Iron Fist. As much as this Iron Fist fan would love to see it, it should be noted I'm not advocating for an appearance from Danny Rand by any means — but there are some pieces from that mythos that runs hand in hand with Shang-Chi and his story.
We've heard rumors of the movie featuring an underground tournament and with Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige previously showing heavy interest in Iron Fist as a property, there's now the potential they could shoehorn in characters like the Bride of Nine Spiders, Dog Brother, John Aman, or Fat Cobra into said tournament. Even if production picked back up as early as May, there's ample time for reshoots. In comparison, when Black Widow still had its May 1st release date, it was filming pickup scenes in the earliest parts of February.
Then comes the obvious choice of using a character like Matt Murdock/Daredevil in Spider-Man 3. The inclusion of the character is something that's been heavily speculated on since Tom Holland's Peter Parker managed to find himself in a world of legal trouble in the movie's post-credits stinger. As it stands now, Sony has yet to bump the movie from its July 2021 release date, but now events scheduled to have started canceling, it's increasingly likely the movie won't meet its target production start date.
Using the standards above, Marvel Studios would be able to use Murdock as a character starting November 29th. While they're not supposed to even develop properties with those characters, there's little stopping Marvel from inserting a generic lawyer in the script should the need arise and replacing them with Matt Murdock once the deadline is up — something that'd be easier if fans just got Murdock now with a tease of Daredevil later on.
While you wait for the Defenders to join the MCU proper, you can watch all Defendersverse shows on Netflix.
Who do you think will be the first member of the Defenders to pop up on the movie side of things? Think it over and let us know your thoughts in the comments section or by hitting me up on Twitter at @AdamBarnhardt to chat all things MCU!