Marvel's creation of a shared universe is both a blessing and a curse. Weaving every single film and television show into one overarching canon has no doubt proved to be a brilliant idea, with years of intricate design culminating just last month in the blockbuster behemoth that was Avengers: Infinity War. But the shared universe also presents a big problem for serialized TV shows that broadcast on different networks. If everything exists in the same world, everything has to exist in the same world all the time. This can get tricky when big, global events happen in one project, like Thanos wiping out half of Earth's population, but don't seem to have an impact on another. (Half the population turning to ash seems like it'd be a big enough deal to a Defender of the Innocent to at least make the trailer for the new season of Luke Cage.)
Mythology logistics aside, the shared universe also presents another issue: the expectation for crossovers within the MCU. Netflix has the advantage here, with the ability to have four different shows trade cast members like it's no big deal. But with Marvel shows airing on other networks like ABC and now Freeform, the home of the upcoming Cloak & Dagger series premiere, hosting crossovers is something of an impossible task. But in order to keep the shared universe believable, crossovers between all the shows, at the very least within the canon, should happen all the time.
"It's something that we've talked about," Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb told Nerdist when asked about the potential for these kinds of crossovers.. "A large time it has to do with scheduling. You're trying to get me in trouble by saying #itsallconnected. But it is all connected in the very basic sense [that] this is the world that we're living in."
Loeb explained that even if recognizable MCU characters like Nick Fury aren't showing up in every Marvel series, that doesn't mean they aren't planting seeds of the shared universe in every project. Fans just have to look a bit closer to find them.
One of the many "Easter eggs and little things along the way" that Loeb laid focus on was the Roxxon Energy Corporation. "If you've watched the pilot or seen the trailer, Roxxon plays a very big part in this," Loeb said. "Roxxon is a very big entity in any Marvel property that you're using. And Roxxon only exists in the MCU, so you have to thereby go, it is all connected simply because that's one of the very significant points that happens on this show."
The presence of fictional corporations like these aside, Loeb said, "One of the things that Marvel is very proud about is we don't have made-up cities. We don't have a fictional police force or anything else like that. We try to stay within the lanes of what feels like a real show and then we carry that from show to show."
While Loeb played things a little closer to the chest, the young Cloak & Dagger stars are already campaigning for crossovers with another younger-skewing Marvel series. "I feel like if there is going to be a crossover it will be with The Runaways just because it makes sense," said Olivia Holt, adding that she "hopes" a crossover happens. "We also love them as a cast."
Aubrey Joseph laughed about how he and Holt had just seen The Runaways stars the night prior to hammer home how close the two casts are. But Holt is going off of more than just her personal feelings when she says she could see a crossover between Cloak & Dagger and The Runaways happening. She's got the evidence to back it up. "They also cross over in the comics as well," she added. "So hopefully there will be an opportunity there somewhere. But yeah, we'll see."
Or who knows? Maybe Cloak & Dagger will shoot for the moon and host a crossover with Tom Holland's Spider-Man, seeing as how the Cloak and Dagger characters first appeared in 1982's Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man in the comics. Crazier things have happened in the MCU!
Catch the first episode of Cloak & Dagger on Thursday night on Freeform! Let us know what you think!