UPDATE: Marvel announced 4 new shows are heading to Netflix in 2015. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. Each will get 13 episodes before leading to Defenders team-up. Hells yeah!
Marvel Studios is full steam ahead. Currently they’re putting together a package of four new dramas and a miniseries, consisting of 60 episodes total. They’re shopping the package to networks beyond just ABC (which is good considering how much airtime something like this would eat up). Instead, they’re opting for Video On Demand networks like Amazon and Netflix, as well as cable outlets. With little to no talent attached, they’re still hearing good return and interest. Considering the pedigree, it would be stupid not to. After Iron Man broke records in theaters, the studio was quick to announce plans for everything up to and through the Avengers. This move seems similar; test the waters with a new property (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), then go after the medium full bore. Nothing is confirmed at that this point, but let’s face facts, this is going to happen. The only question is, what properties will make the leap?
It’ll be easy for me to sit here and pick comics I like that will translate to television well, but I doubt it’ll be that simple. Marvel heads have said of S.H.I.E.L.D. that they’re more interested in creating new characters than mining from comics. That saddens me a bit. It seems like they’re missing the point as to why the movies were so much fun in the first place. Sure Shield had a piggyback with Agent Coulson, but he was built up in a few movies first, and so far has had the support of Maria Hill and Nick Fury to help establish.
Starting with Thor, Marvel has included one-shots; vignettes showcasing side stories interconnecting the movies, all starring S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. The first three seemed to test the waters for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. show. The fourth (included on Iron Man 3) was a fun short featuring Hayley Atwell as Agent Carter. Rumors have circled that this was a pilot of sorts for an Agent Carter series. Considering the positive reception and interest, this ones practically a given. One down.
Another that’s been in development for the past few years is Alias (nothing to do with Jennifer Garner). One of Bendis’s first series for Marvel. Considering how dark the book was, it seemed like an odd choice. Since they seem to be avoiding typical networks, this seems like a more viable option.
If Alias is a show (I’d say 60% chance), then Heroes for Hire is another likely candidate. Luke Cage was a prominent character in Alias. Considering the appeal and easy to translate him, along with Iron Fist and Misty Knight, to television, it seems likely. Especially since they’d go through the trouble of casting him for television. The chances of him getting a feature film were slim regardless.
An inspired choice would be Damage Control. A fun comic about a corporation that repaired and cleaned the damage after superhero battles. With the chance to create new characters and showcase an odd side of Marvel, this could be likely. My only hesitation is the lack of damage in the movie/TV Marvel U. In the comics, aliens or some nonsense attack on a weekly basis. There is makes sense. in live action, not as much. Aside from the Battle of New York, there hasn’t been much damage done, or consistently. What would they be repairing?
To retain the movie rights, Sony relinquished the TV ones for Spider-Man. While the character deserves to be on the big screen, this would be the perfect way for Marvel to show their character they way they want. Considering the level of quality, if this was in contention, it would be the miniseries.
At NYCC this past weekend, Marvel announced several new series. Three seem likely for television considering their translatability, but doubtful. X-Factor would be fun. Since mutant siblings Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will be in Avengers: Age of Ultron, there’s obvious some mutant loop hole Marvel can exploit (Fox has the rights). Black Widow and Loki both have their own series coming, with both acting as clandestine agents, separately. Considering the attachment to the actors portraying them, I doubt they’d come to television. Though Tom Hiddleston does love playing Loki.
Overall, I think the most superhero we’ll get is Luke Cage. I hope Marvel doesn’t lose sight of what makes their universe so fun by creating characters we don’t know or care about. Still, i think it would be awesome to see a live-action Spider-man series. They do have the TV rights, and these shows are set as dramas. Maybe focus on Parker outside the suit? Oooooo, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane.
Agents of S.W.O.R.D?