Over the course of the past few years, Marvel Television has managed to establish an impressive line-up of rather great television shows: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones. Later this year, they’ll continue to add to their current line-up when Mike Colter‘s Luke Cage, who first debuted in Jessica Jones, will headline a Luke Cage series and two more pilots are produced for ABC – Marvel’s Most Wanted and Damage Control. Add to that the other three projects that are still in development – The Punisher, a John Ridley series, and a second sitcom for ABC – and Marvel Television looks to be growing just as large as the film side. And the one man behind all of these shows is none other than Jeph Loeb, who acts as a sort of Kevin Feige for the television side of things.
Loeb, who loves to remind us all that “it’s all connected, is usually rather secretive regarding upcoming projects. Which shouldn’t be entirely surprising given that’s generally how all things Marvel operate, but there’s been very little he’s been willing to say regarding projects like Marvel’s Most Wanted and Iron Fist. Now in a recent interview with IGN, Loeb talked about basically everything Marvel is developing on the TV side of the MCU.
The current project airing for Marvel is Agent Carter, which just started it’s second season. We have already seen a tie in with Doctor Strange, which is leading to something that will have a big impact on the world.
I don’t know that we would call it “supernatural.” As with everything that happens in the Marvel Universe, it’s very science-based. As we more and more discover things about the Marvel Universe, it’s very exciting to see what’s going to happen, particularly when we’re looking at a time period where the world has just discovered the atomic bomb. I’m sure to a lot of the world that looked supernatural. So what Carter is doing is caught very much up in something that will have a tremendous impact on the Marvel Universe. At the same time, she’s got to rescue the world as they know it.
Thanks to Agent Carter being connected to the larger universe, tie ins are inevitable. While there may be some big gaps between Marvel Studios and the TV side, this is the only show that gets direct cooperation from the film side. These connections are great for the show, but Loeb thinks it still holds up without knowledge of a larger universe.
We don’t do things for the sake of doing them; we do them because it makes a richer experience for the viewer and for our fans and hope that you can enjoy Carter without ever understanding that there could be a larger implication and you can enjoy the show because it does touch on things that are cool and coming and that kind of thing. Personally, I love the show because it’s got great writing and an awesome cast.
On Netflix, the tone has been set as the dark corner of the MCU, but with each show having a unique identity. Next up is Luke Cage, which sounds a bit more like a redemption story.
You know, for us, it’s very much a fugitive story that is about a man who is falsely imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. That’s what grounds it. That’s what makes it real. And then, oh, by the way, he’s really strong, and he’s got bulletproof skin. So I think those are the two things that go together, that really make it a very different kind of show.
One thing most fans are hoping for is that Danny Rand aka Iron Fist will be making some sort of cameo in Luke Cage before he gets to his own series. The main problem with that right now is the fact that Marvel has yet to find their Iron Fist. Loeb was not ready to give a definitive date on when we can expect an announcement, but hopefully it is not too much longer.
Just that we’re talking to some really interesting folks. That’s all I can say right now. [Laughs]
Once they finally cast their Iron Fist, they can really start nailing down when Iron Fist and The Defenders will be released. Until that happens, we can only speculate as to when we can see these. According to Loeb, there are still decisions to be made.
We’re still working things out.
Back on the cable side of the TV universe, one of the most recent developments was the pilot order for Marvel’s Most Wanted. With the show moving forward and expanding the cast, Loeb was asked about what we can expect from the series.
Again, you’re putting me in the awkward place of having to spill the beans. We’ve yet to disclose to anybody what that show is, although the notion of calling the show “Marvel’s Most Wanted” should give you the sense that it’s going to be very different from SHIELD and that what Jeff Bell and Paul [Zbyszewski] have created is really unexpected. That’s about all I can tell you right now. Our hope is that we’ll be on in the fall and folks will get to see another side of the Marvel Universe.
After this second season of Agent Carter finishes, Marvel’s longest running show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, will return to finish it’s third season. When Loeb was asked what we can expect from the season based on what happened in the mid-season finale, this is what he teased.
Well, a lot of that is from the original source material and trying to figure out the best way. The most important thing from our standpoint is, how does it affect Coulson? How does it affect Daisy? How does it affect Agent May? It’s those kinds of places that we start, not just “what would be cool.” Clearly, there’s more to the story with Grant Ward, and when we come back in March everyone will find out exactly where that’s headed.
So far in this post we have discussed six properties that are in various stages of production. This does not include the second seasons for both Daredevil or Jessica Jones, either of the two ABC comedies, John Ridley‘s project, or Netflix spinoffs. As you can tell, Marvel is working on a lot projects and some may wonder if it is too much, and if not, when that will be. As Loeb explains however, Marvel is happy to keep making shows, but it is up to ABC and Netflix to decide how many they need to make.
Well, I think that people have to understand that, unlike the movie studio, which sets out to make the movies and hope people like them, the television division works in a different way, which is that we work in conjunction with a network. So it’s the network that determines whether or not we’re going to move forward, and the network decides that based on how many people are watching the show. So in many ways it all comes down to the viewer. As we’ve found out so far, it’s been a very exciting time for Marvel Television.
We have Agents of SHIELD going into the second half of its third season; Agent Carter returning for a second season; we are in production on Luke Cage, which is really our fourth show with Netflix, because we’ve already completed the second season of Daredevil; and we still have Iron Fist to go and Defenders and Jessica Jones: [Season] 2. So that just speaks to this wonderful partnership that we have with Netflix and how much their viewers are enjoying streaming Marvel content on Netflix. And the same thing holds true over at ABC. They’re really happy with Marvel, and hopefully with Marvel’s Most Wanted we’ll be able to expand that footprint. That would be fantastic.
As long as Marvel keeps these properties rolling and they are great in terms of story and quality, everyone is going to want crossovers. That can include Netflix characters crossing over with each other, ABC characters meeting each other, and yes, even ABC/Netflix crossovers could be possible at some point.
Let me put it this way, there’s nothing that we’ve done that doesn’t allow for that to happen. Everyone that’s in the Netflix shows is certainly aware of what’s going on in the larger MCU. We do talk about the Avengers characters. We’ve mentioned SHIELD. It’s those kinds of things that tell us they’re in the same world. As I’ve said from the beginning, I think it’s more important that we get to establish some of these characters.
It’s part of the reason why people ask us, “Is Daredevil going to be in Jessica Jones?” and our answer was, we really would like each of these characters to establish themselves and their casts without the audience being distracted by another hero from a different show. It centers much in the same kind of way that once they got past The Avengers, you started seeing more and more of the characters crossing over into — even if they were just cameos like when Captain America was in Thor 2. Sorry, “spoiler” if you haven’t seen that, but c’mon. But it’s that kind of seeing things to show that it is all connected.
As you can see, there is no shortage of Marvel properties airing or coming soon for us to follow and speculate on. If there is a project you want to see them tackle, make sure to watch everything Marvel so that rating justify not only more of that current property but also shows the interest in more Marvel content on all platforms.