Back in 2015, it was announced that John Ridley would head up an untitled television project for ABC that would reportedly reinvent a Marvel character, similar to the way that Netflix reinvented Daredevil for the small screen. For those who may be unfamiliar with Ridley, he has worked as a screenwriter on the likes of 12 Years a Slave and Red Tails, as well as executive producer on TV shows such as American Crime and the upcoming miniseries Guerrilla. After nearly a year of no updates, Ridley is back with a new update on his upcoming Marvel project. While promoting his show American Crime at the 2017 winter TV Critics Association press tour, he assured us that this upcoming project would be unlike anything fans have seen in the superhero genre.
“For myself and certainly for the folks at Marvel, there’s been an explosion of storytelling in costumed heroes and comic book things. For us, we want to make sure we’re doing something that sits in a very unique space. That’s very important for me, and that’s absolutely important for the people I’m working with there. I’m fortunate in the sense that I don’t feel that I have to do things for the sake of doing things, and I’m very fortunate to be working with partners who have a level of patience in terms of that storytelling. I will say that we’re continuing to work on it. I’m very, very excited about it.”
From Ridley’s comments, it’s clear that there is a lot of care being taken in the approach to this show, and that he isn’t rushing into things. Ridley goes on to clarify that the delays in this upcoming project are only ensuring that this new show will be fresh and new, unlike anything we’ve seen thus far in the MCU.
“It’s always about a level of storytelling, patience in storytelling. We’re still making sure that when we can produce it, that I can give it my absolute full attention, because I do have a lot of things that are going on right now. Timing is everything. It’s not like it’s about being better than somebody else or doing something opposite of them just for the sake of being opposite, but even if this were the only project that were existing, is it representative? Is it unique in and of itself in where it lands in television, and is it something that I can stay with over the long haul? That’s what’s what I want to make sure that we can do.”
Again, it seems that Marvel is taking their time to bring us another quality television show that will be worth the wait. As far as which property the show will be based on, it’s hard to say. However, Ridley did give us a tease of the creative direction the show will take.
“the take we’re working on is exceptionally unique. I am excited to do it because it is very different from American Crime, from Guerilla, from these things that live in a very real space. I hope the show is grounded, but I do hope it’s fantastic.”
With so many MCU properties spanning the big screen, as well as television, Marvel is constantly looking to find ways to shake up the genres and tones of their films and shows. In the past, Marvel has explored the political thriller genre in Captain America: the Winter Soldier, galactic comedy in Guardians of the Galaxy, and the buddy picture genre in this year’s upcoming Thor: Ragnarok. Taking a more specific look at the MCU on television, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has embraced the spy/espionage genre, while the Netflix shows such as Daredevil and Jessica Jones have brought decidedly darker and more grounded takes on their titular characters. That being said, the MCU has covered a lot of ground, but there’s still a lot left to be done.
Which Marvel property do you think Ridley’s show will be based on? Blade? Squirrel Girl? Or do you think it could be a team up show based on the Thunderbolts? Speculate away in the comments below!