Earlier this year, Marvel Studios released a brand new original series on Disney+ around the world called, “Echo”, which told the origin story of Maya Lopez, who was introduced in the Disney+ series, “Hawkeye”, whose ruthless behaviour in New York City catches up with her in her hometown. She must face her past, reconnect with her Native American roots, and embrace the meaning of family and community if she ever hopes to move forward.

This new series featured Kingpin and Daredevil, played by Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio.  Both of which were originally introduced through the Netflix series, “Daredevil”, that was also part of a larger “Defenders” phase which included other shows such as “Jessica Jones”, “Iron Fist”, “Luke Cage” and “The Punisher”. All of these shows were made by ABC Signature Studios for Marvel Television.

While they were initially thought to be part of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, since there were references to the events of New York, aka the massive fight from the “Avengers” movie, overtime, Marvel Studios distanced themselves from the show, since they hadn’t made them.

With Marvel Studios bringing back both Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio for appearances in “She-Hulk: Attorney At Law”, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Hawkeye”, this only confused matters more. Marvel was trying to use the multiverse as an excuse for not recasting the popular characters while making some changes to their characters, frustrating many Marvel fans.

However, when “Echo” was released, Marvel Studios finally embraced the former Netflix Originals as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon, even updating the Disney+ timeline to include them for the first time and apparently, how they present the MCU on Disney+ is now the official timeline.

Marvel Studios head of streaming Brad Winderbaum recently spoke with THR to promote the new animated series, “X-Men ’97,” which arrives on Disney+ on March 20th. During the interview, he was asked why they decided to finally embrace the Netflix shows.

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.

It’s great that Marvel Studios has finally decided to fix the issue with “Defender” shows, as things are becoming even more murky with the upcoming Disney+ Original series, “Daredevil: Born Again”, which was filming last year before the summer strikes started, and once again, it had the same actors but different.  That all changed during the strikes, when the creative team was removed and filming restarted in the New Year, bringing back more characters like Karen and Foggy into the new series, along with “The Punisher”, making the new series more of a revival of the classic show.

Now hopefully, at some point in the future, Marvel will do something similar with “Agents Of Shield”, since the earlier seasons were without doubt connected to the larger MCU, with many characters like Nick Fury and Agent Colson appearing in the show, plus tieing events into “Thor: The Dark World” and “Captain America: The Winter Solider”, though once the show introduced Inhumans, went into space and started time travel, it’s easy to see why Marvel Studios decided to disown it!

All of the former Netflix Original series, including “Daredevil” are available to stream now on Disney+.

Do you think Marvel made the right call in simplifying the “Defenders” series as canon?  Let us know on social media!

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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