Marvel movies originally couldn't include Daredevil, Blade, Ghost Rider, or the Punisher, a new book has revealed.
The rights to certain Marvel characters began reverting back to the studio in the early 2010s, after they had been sold off in the '90s. While Marvel Studios, led by Kevin Feige, was keen to put such characters in the movies, Marvel Entertainment instead decided to use them for a "planned TV empire" separate from Marvel Studios, according to The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (H/T The Direct (opens in new tab))
"The film side had no control over those characters, despite their interest in developing them," reads the book. "Instead, they all went to Marvel Entertainment. Ghost Rider appeared in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and the others were placed in different streaming series." The decision was made because the Marvel films were already successful with the Avengers characters, and had the Guardians of the Galaxy crew on the way.
But in 2019, Feige gained total creative control over the MCU, and Marvel Studios now develops all projects. Marvel Entertainment TV shows were all canceled – and some no longer seem to be canon – while new series like WandaVision launched on Disney Plus (with many more on the way). While there are no confirmed plans just yet for Daredevil, Ghost Rider, or the Punisher to return to the MCU, there is a Blade movie starring Mahershala Ali in development.
The next Marvel TV show to hit our screens will be Hawkeye, which lands this November 24. Until then, check out our complete guide to Marvel Phase 4 for everything else the MCU has in store for us.