Here at MCU Exchange, we are not prone to sharing every rumor that we read on Reddit. A lot of them are just people looking for attention or who heard something from someone who doesn’t really know what they are talking about. So it is important to note for what follows that it is n0t from a reliable source and we cannot confirm it as legitimate. Why work up a story then? Because the logic of the rumor is pretty sound and we felt we could flesh it out a little bit more. Alright, so here is the rumor about the long rumored John Ridley project:
The pilot of the show is being written by John Ridley, who worked on 12 Years A Slave and American Crime. While it was originally written with the intent for the character to debut on ABC, ABC Studios is also considering Freeform and Hulu as potential platforms for the show. The original pitch began development in the Spring of 2015, but following Marvel’s success on platforms outside of ABC, as well as changes to the schedule of Marvel Studios, in particularly the development and delays of the Captain Marvel film, have altered both the original script and the expected release timeline significantly. The script has undergone several rewrites since its initial commission over two years ago, but development is expected to be officially announced soon, as John Ridley will be able to showrun the project himself following the cancellation of American Crime, which he had previously been working on during the show’s long development.
The speculation about shopping to Hulu or Freeform makes sense but raises questions. Those are current partners with ABC who are working on some teen or young adult centric shows (New Warriors and Cloak and Dagger over on Freeform and Runaways on Hulu). Ms. Marvel would be an obvious fit with those lineups. Tonally she would be similar in her comedic style to New Warriors and has a similar critical darling status with Runaways. The flip side is that ABC has invested in Ridley and this show for some time. They want a Marvel presence and neither Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. nor Inhumans is guaranteed another season in 2018, though it remains possible. Ridley has teased this will be a really different take on superheroes, and one would think that a Muslim superhero in his hands could be barrier breaking. That seems like the kind of thing ABC would keep on the main channel.
The part of the rumor that makes the most sense is the issues with the show and Captain Marvel. Basically, the rumor says that the reason this project has been in development forever is due to Ridley reworking multiple times to adapt to the schedule for Captain Marvel. Fans of the comics will know that Kamala Khan’s intense hero worship of Carol Danvers is integral to her origin and choice to become Ms. Marvel. After doing a little research, note the dates below and how they fit hand in glove with such a problem.
October 2014-Captain Marvel is announced as part of the Phase Three lineup in the infamous event at the El Capitan Theater. Fans may forget that during this huge announcement the film is slotted for July 2018, a spot that would later be the resting place for next year’s Ant-Man and the Wasp. Let’s assume that sometime after this Ridley gets an idea that a show following Khan becomes interesting, and he knows he has to wait until at least the Fall of 2018 to do the show.
April 2015-The first reports of Ridley working on a Marvel property come to light. Almost no details are clear. All that matters here is that this date is after Captain Marvel is greenlit. Also note, immediate speculation is that Ms. Marvel could be the property. Also also note, that speculation also listed American Crime as dead in the water, but it was later renewed.
February 2015 and October 2015-Captain Marvel is pushed back twice, first to November 2018 then to February 2019. The addition of Spider-Man and the runaway success of Ant-Man forced Marvel to rejig the release date of Carol Danver’s film. Each of these announcements would affect Ridley’s thinking if he is working on a Ms. Marvel show. The first delay ruled out a Fall 2018 TV show and then the second ruled out a mid-season release for the 2018-2019 season. (This all assumes the show would be on ABC with their conventional season structure, not a place like Hulu where such things are more flexible.)
January 2016-ABC lets slip that they are working on an unnamed comedy, about the same time Ridley confirms his project is still going strong. Could they be the same thing? Some fans don’t think of Ms. Marvel as a comedy, but her solo series is decidedly on the humorous side.
May 2016-American Crime gets a third season, despite being on the bubble for its entire existence. Now a show like American Crime often gets renewed because the critical success helps overcome ratings failings. But what if ABC was making sure they kept Ridley happy as his Ms. Marvel project kept getting pushed back?
January 2017-Ridley once again confirms that he is working on a Marvel project. Also, he mentions that a key is the “timing” being right and that it will be “very different” from American Crime. Everyone has assumed the timing issue was with his other work, but what if it is about Captain Marvel? Also, all those suggesting that Ms. Marvel doesn’t fit Ridley’s work tonally should notice that his Marvel project is supposed to be different tonally.
One last thing to note on all of this. We found out last week that Captain Marvel is going to take place in the 1990’s. There is no way of knowing if that plot detail has always been part of the plan, or if that is something that has developed recently. Certainly, we know that the film went from a pre-Infinity War movie to a post-Infinity War movie. All of those developments would necessarily cause Ridley to rework a Ms. Marvel script. If this has been his project all along, he’s probably gotten half a dozen phone calls which made him go back to the drawing board as the release and plot of the movie shifted. If this is what is happening, then the constant delays and ambiguity around his project make all the sense in the world. In fact, it doesn’t make a lot of sense why we’ve had to wait so long if he’s working on anything else! Sure he has been busy, but that hasn’t stopped Noah Hawley from making Legion, Fargo, and working on Doctor Doom script.
What do you think? Is this all just crazy talk? Would you want to see Ridley do a Ms. Marvel show? Would you want to see it on ABC? Share your thoughts int he comments below.
Source: Reddit via CBM