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Report: Marvel TV Courts ‘Hulk’ Prequel, ‘Jessica Jones’ Crossover, ‘Doctor Strange’ and More

Marvel TV Defenders Hulk Doctor Strange
Marvel / ABC / Netflix

Marvel’s TV universe has long-proven rocky to chart against the cinematic ventures, with crossovers often occurring at face value, if at all. Now, a new report suggests that the TV branch may court a larger presence in the next few years, including new series outside of ABC and Netflix, a Doctor Strange crossover with The Defenders, and perhaps even a long-awaited Black Widow project.

Take the below points with a minor grain of salt, but the intrinsically reliable HeroicHollywood published a new report ruminating on the state of Marvel’s TV ventures, and with it a few surprising (and sadly unsurprising) tidbits. Much of the general tone lends to Marvel Studios looking down on its TV branches as an anchor placed by Disney and ABC, one that Kevin Feige himself somewhat laments.

Yet while Agents of SHIELD’s Inhumans groundwork may end up ignored by the 2019 film, the report also makes mention of outside network possibilities for Cloak & Dagger, Ms. Marvel and a Hulk prequel, saying “expect more fireworks behind the scenes soon.” We’d previously heard of a stalled Cloak & Dagger at ABC Family, as well as John Ridley’s MCU project supposedly involving the Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel, though the idea of any Hulk series emerging as a prequel to Mark Ruffalo’s character seems somewhat surprising, apart from years-ago talks with Guillermo del Toro.

On the Netflix side at least, Marvel Studios are apparently much happier with Daredevil’s development and performance away from any ABC influence, and are actively planning two to three Netflix series per year to culminate in the 2017 Defenders crossover. That certainly gels with AKA Jessica Jones arriving in late 2015, followed by Daredevil Season 2, Luke Cage and potentially Iron Fist in 2016.

And while Elektra seems confirmed for Daredevil Season 2 (Jessica Jones may also feature an extensive crossover with Daredevil, thanks to an established cast), less certain are the Netflix futures of Marvel repossessions The Punisher, Blade or Ghost Rider. Not wanting to lose its “hard PG-13″ rating, Marvel understandably views the Punisher as a difficult character to gel with its Defenders, while Blade and Ghost Rider similarly rank too supernatural. At best, Netflix might attempt some kind of cameo or backdoor pilot, but nothing is confirmed for the moment.

Supernatural or otherwise, Netflix has also reportedly pushed for Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange to appear in The Defenders, though a supporting character presence may end up more likely. And perhaps most tantalizingly of all, Marvel has at least considered the idea of affording Hawkeye or Black Widow their own Netflix projects, ones that might meld both TV and movie characters for a movie or event series, though this especially is seen as a pipe dream.

It’s a bit disheartening to hear that Marvel Studios maintains minor disinterest toward incorporating some of its TV offerings, though increased interest in The Defenders may yet prove our best shot at bridging the Marvel TV and cinematic universes. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (and by association Agent Carter) have somewhat ended up outliers, but could Marvel TV grow even bigger with a Hulk prequel, Ms. Marvel, Punisher, Ghost Rider or others?

With so many projects on Marvel’s plate, which smaller properties need the biggest revamp?

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