Marvel has been on a tear with their Cinematic Universe ever since Iron Man was released 10 years ago. Not only have the films been great, but they’ve conquered the television game as well, minus a few hiccups, which we’ll get into.
From network TV to streaming services, everything Marvel touches is gold. So, if you’re a Marvel fan, superhero fan, or just a fan of great TV, you’ll enjoy these 47 marvelous facts about Marvel TV shows.
47. Small Screen
Runaways was intended to be a film and even had a completed script written by Drew Pearce—who co-wrote Iron Man 3—but it was shelved after the success of The Avengers film. A few years later, it found new life as a television series and premiered a few months back on Hulu to positive reviews.
46. A Large Debut
IMAX has screened episodes of television shows before in their theatres, but Inhumans was the first show ever to debut in IMAX, premiering the first two episodes.
45. Time Management Issues
Whoever was in charge of the shooting schedule for Inhumans didn’t manage their time properly. The first two episodes were shot for IMAX, and they ended up taking two months to film. That left only eight days to shoot the last six episodes.
44. A Rare Miss for Marvel
Not everything can be a home run, and unfortunately, Inhumans is considered a rare failure in the MCU. Hated by fans and critics, the show is the lowest rated property in the MCU, with a 10% from critics and 51% from the audience on Rotten Tomatoes. Although not officially canceled yet, the future looks bleak for the series.
43. Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting
Anyone with a background in martial arts who watched Iron Fist might have picked up on each episode title being named after a kung-fu move.
42. We’ll Do It Live
It’s no secret that Iron Fist is considered the weakest link out of all the Marvel Netflix shows, and it probably didn’t help that the show was rushed through production. Finn Jones—who plays Danny Rand/Iron Fist—revealed that he would learn the fight choreography for a scene sometimes as short as 15 minutes before filming.
41. Hidden Date
The Defenders production team had some fun with the teaser trailer, putting in an Easter egg that displays the release date of the series. The footage shows the Defenders in an elevator, and in the right-hand corner, there is a time stamp that reads 8:18, which stands for August 18.
40. Match Game
The Defenders does a great job of playing with the lighting and coloring to match each character when they appear on screen individually at the beginning of the series. There’s a hint of red for Daredevil, purple for Jessica Jones, yellow for Luke Cage, and green for Iron Fist.
39. Familiar Tune
Listen carefully to the song Matt Murdock plays on the piano in episode six of The Defenders. He only hits a few notes but he’s playing the show’s own theme song.
38. Missing Link
The Punisher is the first Marvel Netflix series that doesn’t feature an appearance from the character Claire Temple-played by Rosario Dawson. Temple is seen as the link that connects every Marvel series on Netflix together, but because The Defenders and The Punisher were filming at the same time, she could only appear in one.
37. Pushed Back
Marvel Television decided to push back the release of The Punisher following the tragedy of the Las Vegas shooting. They didn’t alter or change anything in the show though, it was simply done out of respect for the deceased and their family members and friends.
36. Why Can’t We Be Friends?
The Punisher changes up Billy Russo’s backstory, making him a close friend and army buddy of Frank Castle before breaking bad and ultimately becoming Jigsaw. In the comics, Russo is a gangster and Castle’s bitter enemy, and they never had any sort of friendship.
35. You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours
Jon Bernthal filmed his audition tape for The Punisher during one of his breaks from the movie he was filming at the time. He needed someone to read lines with though, so he got help from his co-star on the film, Tom Holland, who MCU fans may know as Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Subsequently, Bernthal helped Holland with his audition tape for the role of Spider-Man.
34. More of That, Please!
Agent Carter was given the green light to be developed into a television series after Disney CEO Bob Iger saw the Marvel One-Shot for Agent Carter and loved the concept.
33. Skipped a Step
Generally, TV shows chosen for production will only film a pilot, and if the studio likes it they order additional episodes. But when it came to Agent Carter, it had the luxury of skipping this step and being ordered directly to series.
32. Adapted for the Screen
The main story arc in the first season of Agent Carter sees the titular character having to track down Howard Stark’s stolen inventions. This is adapted from the Iron Man comic book Armor Wars, about Iron Man having to track down his stolen designs.
31. Mass Appeal
Adding to the already heavily hip-hop influenced show, every episode title for season 1 of Luke Cage is named after a song from the hip-hop duo Gang Starr. This heading is a Gang Starr song too!
30. Making History
Mike Colter has the honor of being a part of a lot of firsts when it comes to Luke Cage. Luke Cage is the first Marvel TV series to star a black superhero and Colter is the first actor to portray the character in live action.
29. Making a Statement
Luke Cage trades in his signature yellow t-shirt for a hoodie at some points in the series. Both the show’s creator, Cheo Hodari Coker, and star, Colter, have stated that the hoodie is a symbolic gesture and reference to Trayvon Martin.
28. Changing Stations
Before making her way to Netflix, Jessica Jones was being produced into a show in 2010 for ABC, with the title A.K.A. Jessica Jones. ABC ended up dropping it in 2012, and not long after Jones was added to the Netflix deal and renamed to the simpler Jessica Jones.
27. Don’t Change a Thing
The opening scene in the pilot of Jessica Jones is virtually identical to the opening of the first issue of her comic book, Alias. Both versions open with Jones throwing a guy through the glass window of her door.
26. Third Time’s the Charm?
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been nominated twice for the same Emmy Award—Outstanding Special and Visual Effects—for the episode “T.A.H.I.T.I.” from season 2 and “The Dirty Half Dozen” from season 3. They’ve yet to win, though.
25. The Off-Brand Avengers
The Marvel films and shows all exist in the MCU, and the shows don’t shy away from mentioning their film counterparts, but they tend do it in an awkward way. You may hear the character names Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, or Iron Man mentioned in the shows, but you’ll also hear them referred to as The Flag Waver, The Big Blond Dude with the Hammer, The Iron Suit, or The Incredible Green Guy. And those are just my favorites, there are plenty more.
24. All Your Faves
Fans of the Marvel Netflix shows who want to see those characters on the big screen may be in luck! Disney CEO Iger hinted that this was a possibility, claiming that these lesser known characters were given TV shows to see if they could become popular enough to warrant a feature film.
Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg cites the film Chinatown as having a huge influence on the look and feel of the show, particularly the noir aspect.
22. Upcoming Projects
Marvel currently has two new series that will take place in the MCU and air in 2018. Cloak and Dagger and New Warriors will both have 10 episode playing on Freeform—formerly ABC Family—but only Cloak and Dagger has a premiere date set: June 7, 2018.
21. First and Last Choice
Chief Creative Office of Marvel Entertainment Joe Quesada wanted to bring the character of Daredevil back to the screen since the 2003 film, and his choice to play the hero has always been Charlie Cox, who eventually landed the role.
20. Attention to Detail
To be as accurate as possible for his portrayal as the blind superhero, Cox worked with a blind coach to learn everything from technique and movement of the cane to the position and movement of his eyes, specifically when someone is talking.
19. A Hero on and Off the Screen
Daredevil may be an inspiration for any wannabe vigilantes out there who want to clean up their city streets, but when it comes to Cox’s portrayal of the character, he’s also a source of inspiration for the blind. Cox has said he received countless emails and letters from the blind community showing their support and admiration for what he’s doing.
Cox’s portrayal of Murdock/Daredevil hasn’t earned him any award recognition when it comes to the Emmys, but he did receive the Helen Keller Achievement Award from the American Foundation for the Blind for his work.
17. They Took Our Jobs!
Although there have only been three iterations of the Daredevil character to appear on screen in live action, Cox, who happens to be British, is the first non-American to take on the role. Considering every lead role seems to be played by either a British or Australian actor nowadays, it’d be more shocking if he was American.
16. King of Cameos
You’d be hard-pressed to find a Marvel film that doesn’t feature a cameo from Stan Lee, and the television shows are no exception, aside from the way he appears. In the Netflix shows, rather than appear in person, Lee can be seen as a police officer on a poster. It’s very much a blink and you’ll miss it cameo.
15. Method Acting
Cox went the extra mile—and then pulled back—when it came to playing Daredevil. Rather than pretending to be blind, he had special contacts made that impaired his vision. However, after two days of shooting and needing the crew to help him get around, he threw the contacts out.
14. Something’s Missing
When Cox auditioned for the role of Daredevil, he knew nothing about the character, aside from what his agent had told him, which included a few descriptive words. Missing from that list, though, was that Daredevil is blind. Cox didn’t find this tidbit out until the day of the audition, but it didn’t affect him too much.
13. It’s About Time
Daredevil is the first show on Netflix to feature audio description for the visually impaired.
12. We Got This Area Covered
The Avengers and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. head into space and deal with aliens from time to time, but not the Defenders, who are strictly ground level. Jeph Loeb—Marvel’s Head of Television—has made it clear that the Netflix characters are street-level heroes, dealing with more grounded villains and threats.
11. So Close
There was an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off in the works titled Most Wanted that would have revolved around Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter, who appeared in the show. They filmed a pilot, but ABC ultimately passed.
10. If Everyone Else Is Doing It
The fifth season of Marvel’s flagship show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. sees Agent Coulson and the gang stranded in outer space, but not because they ran out of ideas or jumped the shark. The reason they’re in space is because that’s where the majority of the Marvel films have been or will be taking place, so the show is following suit.
9. Keeping It Grounded
Even though season 5 takes place in space, the production team didn’t rely too heavily on green screen. The majority of the episodes are filmed on sets built by the crew.
8. One Tough Cookie
While filming a fight scene for an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Chloe Bennet, who plays Daisy Johnson/Skye, broke her arm. She fought through the pain though, finished the scene, and even did one more take.
7. Phil-ing in
Clark Gregg has appeared as Agent Coulson in live action and animated form. Not only is he the lead in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but he also provided the voice for Coulson in the Ultimate Spider-Man series, where he appeared in 29 episodes.
6. You Said One More Time the Last Time
Bennet originally auditioned for the role of Jemma Simmons, but then transitioned to the role of Skye, which she had to audition again for—six times in total—before she finally got the part.
5. In It for the Long Haul
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently Marvel’s longest running live-action television show, surpassing Mutant X, which had the record since 2004 with 66 episodes. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. passed that number at the start of season 4, and has currently aired 98 episodes, with 110 total by the end of season 5.
4. Dude Looks Like a Lady
In Jessica Jones, Jeri Hogarth—played by Carrie-Anne Moss—is based on the character Jeryn Hogarth, from the comics. However, the variation of the name isn’t the only difference, as the gender is flipped as well. The character went from male in the comics to female on screen.
3. A First For Marvel
The creators of the show also decided to make Hogarth’s character a lesbian, which plays an important role in the show, but also gives her the distinction of being the first openly gay character in a Marvel television series. That’s some shocking and groundbreaking stuff. You go, Marvel.
2. A Glimpse Into the Future
Vincent D’Onofrio portrays Wilson Fisk in Daredevil, but comic book fans know the character by his more popular name, Kingpin. However, viewers never hear that name referenced once in the first season. The reason why is that the producers are hoping to show the origin of the Kingpin character.
1. Like a Champ
While filming a fight scene for season 2 of Jessica Jones, Ritter took an uppercut right on the chin. She ended up unconscious on the floor, but it wasn’t from the punch. She almost bit through her tongue, and when she saw the blood she passed out. If acting doesn’t work out, Ritter could have a future in boxing with a chin like that. Except for, uh, all the blood.
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