Filed in "news that's nice to know but won't have any noticeable affect on anything at all", Marvel revealed that their upcoming Hulu show on Runaways will be set in the same universe as the Defenders on Netflix. Marvel TV head Jeph "Jeff" Loeb broke the news to Decider at TCA:
— Decider (@decider) July 27, 2017
Of course, the world Loeb is referring to is technically the Marvel Cinematic Universe, shared not only by Marvel's Netflix shows, but by all of the Marvel Studios movies, as well. Well, if you ask Marvel TV, that is. Marvel's movies have pretty much ignored Marvel's television shows since the first season of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Sure, the television shows reference stuff that happens in the movies, but it isn't a two-way street.
The reason: Marvel TV remains under the auspices of Marvel Chairman Ike Perlmutter, while the movies are under the control of upstart Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige. While the pair can agree on certain things, like hating The Fantastic Four, they have otherwise been leading opposite sides of a Marvel Civil War nearly as bitter as the shadow war between Perlmutter and Fox over the Fantastic Four and X-Men movie rights, or the bizarre legal feud between Perlmutter and rival billionaire Harold Peerenboom over a Florida tennis court, anti-semitic hate mail campaigns, and DNA theft.
Back in May, Feige intimated that there was some possibility, at some point in the future, that the movie and TV universes could crossover in some way, saying:
"The future's a long time. So, the truth is, I don't really know, but there are a lot of TV shows being made, and hopefully we'll continue to make a lot of movies. At some point, there's going to be a crossover. Crossover, repetition, or something."
And though that was quickly churned into clickbait headlines all over the internet proclaiming a cinematic universe crossover imminent, Feige's statement basically just said that "anything can happen," but left off the implied "but probably won't."
And when it comes to Runaways and The Defenders, the story is likely to be the same. While both shows are produced by Marvel TV, Netflix and Hulu have no reason to promote each other's original programming, so any kind of major crossover is almost certainly off the table. The more likely scenario is that Runaways and Marvel's Netflix shows will contain Easter eggs referencing each other, delighting hardcore fanatics while casual viewers ignore them completely.
But hey, that doesn't look nearly as clickworthy in a headline.