While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is finally finding its footing in episodic content with Marvel Studios' Phase Four Disney+ series, it's safe to say the universe has had a rocky relationship with the TV world in the past.
Following the success of The Avengers, Marvel opted to expand its popular live-action universe to TV in Agents of SHIELD, a series that would star Clark Gregg's Phil Coulson, tying directly to the events of the films.
However, that relationship quickly dwindled away as the stories of the film and TV worlds became increasingly disconnected, to the point that many fans don't consider the non-Feige-produced series to be canon.
Over time, Marvel TV continued to expand its presence with Agent Carter, Inhumans, and an assortment of Netflix-released properties like Daredevil. Given the large cult following surrounding these series, whether they are truly a part of the MCU is a hotly debated topic that regularly adds new evidence in both directions.
However, the latest development in the case seems to provide the strongest evidence yet that Marvel TV may not be a part of the canon MCU going forward.
DISNEY+ MOVES MARVEL TV SERIES TO NON-CANON COLLECTION
As was first shared on Reddit by u/wandavisionbaby, Disney+ has updated its homepage in select regions to include a new “Marvel Legacy Movies and Series” collection, one that features Marvel Television series like Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter. As of now, this new collection is only available in a limited number of regions, including Brazil.
Until now, the “Marvel Legacy” branding has only been attached to non-MCU properties such as Fox's X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises, as well as classic animated Marvel series. This evidence seems to imply that the ABC-produced Marvel shows listed under "Marvel Legacy," such as Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, and Runaways, may not be considered to be MCU canon by Disney+.
A future Marvel project was rumored to feature Doctor Strange villain Shuma-Gorath.
Kevin Feige explained that he and Marvel Studios only want to continue building the legendary cinematic universe as long as they “can keep evolving it and changing it and growing it” to do “things [they] hadn’t done before.”
Kevin Feige explained that the MCU uses so many indie filmmakers because they offer “unique points of view” that can “take you to places you’ve never gone before.”
THE AGENTS OF SHIELD ARE NO MORE?
Whether the various Marvel TV series are canon to the greater MCU has been a heavily debated topic among the fandom for some time now. While shows like ABC's Agents of SHIELD were initially advertised as a key part of the cinematic world, those connections quickly withered and contradictions began to appear between the film and TV stories.
The Defender-centric Netflix projects like Daredevil and Jessica Jones aren't currently on Disney+, however, as Marvel TV projects they would be included in this “Marvel Legacy” section if they were.
As these series are stories that Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios didn't have any influence over, it's not surprising that they would want to distance them from the stories they're now telling on the streaming service.
However, the decanonization of Marvel TV doesn't necessarily close the door on heroes like Charlie Cox's Daredevil and Chloe Bennet's Quake returning in future MCU projects. As expected, if these actors were to reprise their past roles, Feige would likely opt to ignore all the stories that have come before, instead choosing to reintroduce the heroes from the beginning.
It's important to remember, this Disney+ listing isn't complete confirmation that Marvel TV is no longer considered canon, and that won't be the case until Kevin Feige or another major executive says so. But as evidence continues to amass that Marvel TV is no longer considered canon going into Phase Four, fans of the series may need to prepare themselves for the worst.
Disney+ is available for subscription across most of the world, with the Marvel TV series streaming now in select regions.