Are the Marvel Netflix series (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist) part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or part of a universe that branched off after the events of the first Avengers movie (2012)?

I ask this question because in the Netflix series only the fight in Harlem (Hulk vs. Abomination) and the attack on New York (Chitauri invasion) are mentioned. Events thereafter such as the Triskelion collapsing (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Sokovia being lifted up into the air (Avengers: Age of Ultron) are never mentioned.

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    As far as I know, it's canon in broad strokes, although they don't worry as much about details after Agents of SHIELD suffered from having to wait for Captain America: Civil War to advance their storyline, but I haven't found an official statement of this.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 17:29
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    “Events thereafter such as the Triskelion collapsing (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Sokovia being lifted up into the air (Avengers: Age of Ultron) are never mentioned.” The Netflix Marvel series are all set in New York, and are mostly concerned with a specific neighbourhood of New York. Events in Washington DC (the Triskellon) or obscure foreign countries like Sovokia (Ultronfest ’15) aren’t really relevant to Jessica, Luke, or anyone else there. Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 8:22
  • @PaulD.Waite that could indeed be a reason. The question just stuck with me ever since I watched Luke Cage season 1 in which a street vendor was selling footage of the destruction of Harlem.
    – Jameson
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 8:27
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    @StijnDietz rest assured that there’s a similar street vendor selling footage of the destruction in Sovokia, they’re just doing it in Sovokia’s equivalent of Harlem. Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 9:51
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    The food in East Harlem’s Little Sovokia is actually pretty good, if a bit on the bland side. Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 18:17

3 Answers 3


Yes, they are part of the MCU, but only loosely. It's only been recently that any kind of connection has been made between the Netflix series and the movies

It's important to realize, though, that the Marvel Netflix shows are currently running several years behind the movies. In fact, Jessica Jones Season 2 was the first Marvel Netflix series to be set after the events of Captain America: Civil War, with liberal mentions of the Raft, the prison for "enhanced" individuals. That's why viewers tuning in to Luke Cage Season 2 expecting to see the impact of Avengers: Infinity War's ending were always destined for disappointment; Luke Cage was set in late 2016 or (at the latest) early 2017, meaning there were never going to be any tie-ins to Infinity War.

The tie-in is that the FBI is involved in enforcing the Sokovia Accords (remember that from Civil War?)

The key detail is that the FBI is responsible for policing some aspects of the Sokovia Accords in the United States. In Ant-Man and the Wasp, the FBI monitors Scott Lang to ensure he doesn't break his house arrest. FBI agents are also conducting a manhunt for Hank and Hope, who possess sufficiently advanced technology that they're viewed as in breach of the Sokovia Accords. This is an important detail; previously we'd only ever seen S.H.I.E.L.D. involved with the Sokovia Accords in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but they'd been mostly concerned with identifying potential Inhumans and dealing with high-priority cases. Now we know that jurisdiction was presumably divided between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the FBI.


[I]it's safe to assume that Daredevil Season 3 will see Matt Murdock resume his vigilante activities. Such a vigilante would inevitably be viewed as a breach of the Sokovia Accords, although not a high-priority one - nobody actually knows the self-styled "Devil of Hell's Kitchen" actually has super-powers. Given that's the case, it's safe to assume the FBI would be called in to investigate the resurgence in vigilante activity in Hell's Kitchen. It's already been confirmed that Daredevil Season 3 has a strong FBI presence, with Wilson Bethel cast as a mystery FBI agent who plays a major role.

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    also - Daredevil Season 1 specifically references the Battle of New York (the first Avengers film)
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 17:56
  • @NKCampbell yes I am aware of those references. I aimed at references of events after the first Avengers film.
    – Jameson
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 19:07
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    Re: your first quote... as a general rule of thumb, unless otherwise stated (e.g. with Guardians 2), the MCU movies take place roughly around the time the movie is released, but the Netflix series take place roughly around the time they are filmed, which is typically 9-12 months before they start airing.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 22:40
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    +1. But I am not sure about the last quote on Daredevil. It is highly speculative. Since Wilson Fisk is back in the season 3, it is no surprise that the FBI could be involved. Considering that the presence of the FBI implies that the Sokovia Accords will be referenced in the plot is a big stretch.
    – Taladris
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 4:20
  • @Taladris Their point (and I agree it could have been made stronger by stating this) was that if the FBI is enforcing the Sokovia Accords AND is involved in whatever is up in Hell's Kitchen, they can't just overlook that Daredevil is in violation of them. This could just be a minor point (like all previous MCU tie-ins) or a major one, but it will still be a tie-in
    – Machavity
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 12:08

Yes, the Marvel Netflix series are indeed part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as officially confirmed.

While there was some ambiguity in the past, recent developments have solidified their connection. As of the release of Echo in January 2024, all the Marvel Netflix shows have been officially integrated into the official MCU timeline on Disney+.

screenshot of Disney+ official MCU timeline page

screenshot of Disney+ official MCU timeline page

screenshot of Disney+ official MCU timeline page

Why the initial distance?

Brad Winderbaum, Head of Streaming, Television, and Animation at Marvel Studios, shed light on this. While the Netflix series were technically part of the MCU from the beginning, Marvel Studios kept them somewhat separate. The primary reason was the overwhelming task of orchestrating the first decade of MCU films, culminating in the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

However, the redevelopment of Daredevil: Born Again prompted Marvel Studios to officially integrate the Marvel Netflix series into the MCU.

Daredevil: Born Again’s creative overhaul also prompted Marvel Studios to finally embrace Netflix’s former Marvel shows as MCU canon once and for all. These Marvel Television-produced series, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders, were always technically in the MCU, but Marvel Studios kept them at arm’s length due to their overwhelming task at the time of trying to culminate their first decade of films with Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

So it wasn’t until recently that Marvel Studios made these canon additions official by including the tiles for each former Netflix show in their MCU timeline on Disney+.

“We finally said it out loud,” Winderbaum says. “Flash forward now to Disney+, where we are actually laying out the timeline with tiles on a screen, all of a sudden we’re like, ‘We should just do it. Let’s do it.’ It was also spurred by the redevelopment of Daredevil: Born Again, once we started to really lean into some of the mythology and backstory that was established in those Netflix shows.”

Q: Marvel Studios recently proclaimed the former Netflix shows to be MCU canon. They’re even reflected as such on Disney+. Now, I’ve seen some people try to say that Marvel changed their mind on this subject, but the way I see it is that you finally made up your mind. Would you also say that you kept your options open as long as possible?

Brad Winderbaum: We finally said it out loud. When the Netflix shows were coming out and being made, we were building towards Infinity War and Endgame. We were trying to balance all of these film franchises and get them to culminate onscreen in these two epic movies. To say it was a challenge is not even correct. It was one of the most challenging creative endeavors the studio ever undertook. I’m not sure there will ever be anything like it again in cinema. It took so much to get all that stuff to galvanize in that one place and in that one time so that people could have that experience in the movie theater.

So, at the time, to say, “Alright, we’re also going to take this television show and wrap our heads around that,” it would’ve been too much, even though we were communicating back and forth. Everyone on the television side and the film side knew what each other was doing, and you can see that there’s a continuity there. The references do line up, but it was just too much for us to wrap our minds around at the time.

Flash forward now to Disney+, where we are actually laying out the timeline with tiles on a screen, all of a sudden we’re like, “We should just do it. Let’s do it.” It was also spurred by the redevelopment of Daredevil: Born Again, once we started to really lean into some of the mythology and backstory that was established in those Netflix shows. I was asked about this during the press for Echo, and I realized, “Oh, it’s not just assumed. People have an active interest and they want confirmation.” So we were able to do it fairly quickly, and it’s interesting that the service of Disney+ actually became the statement just by rearranging those tiles. That’s our medium to define the canon now, which is wild to think about.

- ‘X-Men ’97’ EP Brad Winderbaum on Kevin Feige’s Mandate and How ‘Daredevil: Born Again’ Updated MCU Canon — The Hollywood Reporter

The return of Daredevil and Kingpin to the MCU

The MCU film Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) marked the return of Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, the blind lawyer who moonlights as the vigilante Daredevil. Cox continued to play Matt Murdock / Daredevil in the MCU TV series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022) and reprised his role as Daredevil in Echo (2024). Vincent D'Onofrio reprised his role as Wilson Fisk / Kingpin in the MCU TV series Hawkeye (2021) and Echo.

Cox and D'Onofrio will again reprise their roles in the Phase 5 MCU TV series Daredevil: Born Again (2024), which will also star Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle / the Punisher, both a foe and ally of Daredevil. Bernthal first played the Punisher in Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2, before he headlined his own TV series, Marvel's The Punisher. Wilson Bethel, who played Bullseye / Benjamin “Dex” Poindexter, a skilled marksman and assassin, in Marvel’s Daredevil Season 3, will also return for Daredevil: Born Again. Cox will also voice Daredevil in the animated TV series Spider-Man: Freshman Year (2024).

Jennifer Walters has finally met her match in Matt Murdock. While the character was teased earlier in the season, he’s finally reintroduced to audiences in Episode 8 of Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk — and he’s very much the same Matt Murdock audiences have come to know and love over the years, once again played by Charlie Cox returning to the role.

“Knowing that Charlie was taking this character on again and that we got to reintroduce him through this show, the dynamic between him and Jen is so, so special,” Star Tatiana Maslany explains to Marvel.com.

- ‘She-Hulk’: Bringing Matt Murdock into Jen Walters' Life — Marvel.com (emphasis mine)

Vincent D'Onofrio has said that he played the same character in Marvel's Daredevil and Hawkeye, and that "there are [as] many dots connected as we can possibly connect."

Many fans have long debated whether Marvel Television’s Defenders-centric shows are actually MCU canon and, given Fisk’s new status, some may assume this is a “variant” of the antagonist. However, when I spoke with Vincent D’Onofrio, he provided a clear answer as to whether this is the exact antagonist from the original series:

It’s the same character. Yeah, I mean, the way that we saw it on Hawkeye, or [what] I ended up believing, is that there are [as] many dots connected as we can possibly connect, and some are just impossible to connect. But I think… it's the same as a lot of the MCU stuff that's done, that [Marvel Studios head] Kevin [Feige] does, and all the incredible filmmakers, you know, they try to connect to the original stuff as much as they can. … But then there's dots that can't be connected. And I think we tried to do the same thing with connecting Daredevil to… or Hawkeye to Daredevil and Daredevil to Hawkeye. You know, it's like that.

So worry not, fans, this version of New York’s biggest crime boss is meant to be the same one you first met back in 2015.

- Hawkeye’s Vincent D’Onofrio Explains MCU Kingpin’s Daredevil Connections — Cinemablend

In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant for the new series, D'Onofrio opened up about his Kingpin return in Hawkeye. When asked whether the Disney+ series exists separate from Netflix's Daredevil, the star confirmed that both versions of the Kingpin are the same and explained how Marvel connected the dots between them. See what D'Onofrio said below:

"I think from my point of view, like a lot of the Avengers stuff, a lot of the MCU stuff, they tried to connect as many dots to the original canon as they can, and some dots are just not possible to connect. And that's what we've done with connecting to Daredevil and vice versa. There's some dots [that] are connected. Like in the Hawkeye show, Fisk is obviously physically stronger and can take more physical abuse. But the key to his being an interesting character, in my mind, will always be the fact that he has this emotional life that grounds him, that makes everything work, as far as I'm concerned.

We can sell that character in so many facets. Story-wise we can sell it, if we keep him based in that emotional life. And I know that the writers, and the producers, and me, and everybody involved in the Hawkeye show, we were all on the same page about that. I have to say that they're very collaborative people and – not only to mention awesome people, very nice – but the producers, like I said, the writers and the directors were all just thrilled to work with so we kept along those lines. And I think that's what will continue to make the character interesting if there's anything next for me to do."

- Hawkeye & Daredevil's Kingpin Are The Same, Confirms Vincent D'Onofrio — Screen Rant

D'Onofrio also mentions what changed in Fisk since his last appearance in Marvel's Daredevil:

The comic book behemoth is also a bit more power-hungry now within the world of Hawkeye, and as Vincent D’Onofrio explained, there’s actually a specific reason for this within his MCU arc:

It was always established to me that it's after the Blip and that he has lost the power that he had in Daredevil, and he wants it back. … In Hawkeye, he considers that he's lost a bit of the control of his city, and he wants his city back.

- Hawkeye’s Vincent D’Onofrio Explains MCU Kingpin’s Daredevil Connections — Cinemablend

D'Onofrio confirms in an interview with Comic Book Central that Fisk and Daredevil from the Marvel Netflix series are the same characters in Echo (relevant part starts at 19:02):

Q: We're dancing around it because you've referenced the Netflix series quite a few times. […] It's the same guy?

D'Onofrio: Yeah.

Q: Charlie Cox same guy?

D'Onofrio: Yeah.

  • Since Daredevil and Punisher are being pulled in does that bring in Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist in by association?
    – Skooba
    Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 13:54
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    @Skooba Probably, but I haven't heard any updates on whether Mike Colter, Krysten Ritter, or Finn Jones will reprise their roles or if their respective characters will return to the MCU. Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 10:56
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    @Skooba As of the release of Echo (2024-01-09), all of the Marvel Netflix series have been added to the Disney+ official MCU timeline page. Commented Jan 10 at 13:59

They are no longer canonical to the MCU as of 2019 according to Kevin Feige.

While at CCXP Brazil, [Kevin] spoke with Brazilian pop culture site Omelete about the Marvel projects and when asked about how the visual language of the Disney+ series will compare to the MCU, he first responded by stating that “Disney+ is going to give us this opportunity to tell even deeper stories about characters you already know and love,” and followed it up with the declaration that “it all, for the first time, will interlink.” By stating that this is the beginning of the movies and TV series connecting, he’s effectively wiped all previous Marvel shows from canon, which WGTC told you he was going to do last month.


This statement comes in the wake of Feige’s promotion to Chief Creative Officer of all of Marvel Entertainment, whereas previously he only ran the movie side of things. The TV projects were overseen by Jeph Loeb, who recently announced his departure from the company, and while the shows were nowhere near as stratospherically popular as the films, it still feels a little disingenuous to disregard them in a single sentence without bothering to even acknowledge their existence.

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    eh...I dunno that his comment is as clear cut as the story seems to want it to be, especially considering he, just this week, said that Charlie Cox will play Daredevil in future MCU projects - polygon.com/22820545/daredevil-marvel-movies-shows-kevin-feige. (also worth noting that in the story, the note about the netflix characters not being in Endgame according to an MCU writer wasn't a canon argument but merely a familiarity one)
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 18:33
  • @NKCampbell: I could track it down, but he made some similar comments about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. not being canon to the MCU. As per the final paragraph of the quote, it might be because he had little involvement with the TV shows previously.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 18:38
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    I mean, now we're all on the merry rollercoaster through the Marvel Endless Prism of Possibility™©®℗, it's probably all canon of some sort. If the Spider-Man: No Way Home poster can have what look like the Sony Doc Ock and Green Goblin on them, I doubt the Netflix shows are off-limits. Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 18:59
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    {nods} Maybe it's easier to say that the Marvel TV shows are not canon unless indicated so in the films and new Disney+ shows. It's also been hinted that Daredevil's Kingpin will be showing up in the Hawkeye TV show.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 19:11

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