Over the better part of the last decade, Marvel Studios has done an amazing job of ensuring a level of cohesion within their Marvel Cinematic Universe. Events from one property effortlessly cross into others, allowing the repercussions of a moment to be felt across numerous forms of media. However, that doesn’t mean that these properties find themselves inextricably connected or beholden to one another. We’ve known for sometime that the Inhumans would be getting their own solo movie sometime soon, but according to Agent Coulson himself (Clark Gregg), that doesn’t mean it will be an offshoot from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Gregg elaborated on this idea during a recent interview with Digital Spy:
The Inhumans movie I suspect will be its own cinematic version. That writer and director will have free reign to do what they want to do with the Inhumans. But hopefully there'll be some way that our Inhumans connect to that. It'd be too bad if that was wasted.
Up until now, AoS has played a fundamental role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The show provided essential background information for the eventual HYDRA bombshell in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as well as The Avengers’ assault on Baron von Strucker’s fortress at the beginning of Avengers: Age of Ultron. However, while the show did introduce the concept of the Inhumans to the MCU, the Inhumans movie will not directly proceed from the continuity of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D; although characters from the show could very easily pop up at some point during the movie, the movie will do its own legwork when it comes to establishing its word – think Guardians of the Galaxy.
Perhaps Marvel has learned that some of their best properties are the ones with only cursory connections to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe – such as their Netflix properties. Daredevil and Jessica Jones both actively acknowledge events that occur during the Marvel movies, but are distanced enough that the films feel more like world-building background information than events that have any real bearing over the plot of the shows. The Netflix shows themselves barely have any connection to one another in terms of plot; the characters merely cross paths every now and then in order to remind us that they inhabit the same world.
Then again, perhaps Marvel is simply starting to feel the strain of having such an expansive and conflicting cinematic universe. Agent Coulson plays a pivotal role on AoS, but Joss Whedon continually insisted prior to his break from Marvel Studios that the character remains dead in the world of the movies. This could be a sign that the MCU is becoming untenable – although lets hope not.
The Inhumans remains a long way off, and as such, things could easily change within the MCU that either expand or diminish the possibility that the characters from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will involve themselves. The Inhumans is expected to hit theaters on July 12, 2019, and you can currently catch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D this Sunday night at 9PM on ABC.