Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New TV Projects at Marvel for Netflix or VOD Services?

Rumor is spreading pretty fast around the geek world thanks to a report from Deadline that Marvel is in prep to do 4 new drama series plus a mini series.  The total for all this combined would be 60 episodes according to the report.

CBR has covered it.
So has Bleeding Cool.

Right now the questions among fans are boiling down to just what would it be.

Agent Carter has been thrown out there as a possibility as the era piece seems like something that might want to be expanded on.  Runaways has been a constant fan tossed up idea which makes sense as it's a film project that's on hiatus still but does have some ground work ready to go.  The main theory running around all of them right now is that it'll all be tied to the main Avengers cinematic universe too though it is possible some may be alternate realities as well.

The assumption right now is that all of these will be live action.  They are also set to go to VOD, Netflix, or similar type services that mostly fit under ipTV or digital rights domains.  How this may interact with the current rights and contracts is unknown as many were created before such a concept was deemed plausible.  This might be a loop hole for live action characters.  There is also the animation route that has been fair game for the full Marvel Universe at any given time now.  If any of these projects are to be animated, we could see an inclusion of any ideas imaginable or crossovers.  Even X-23 wouldn't be off the table.  There are many loop holes or other type sidesteps Marvel could be implementing as well.  There is plenty of room for surprises of any nature that no one but them may be aware of as yet.

No talent has been attached as yet, nor titles announced, but it is something to keep your eyes on.  They may have many surprises in store for fans and general audiences alike with what they can do depending upon the routes chosen.

For a brief rights reiteration, it should be known that Fox owns the rights for live action interpretations of the X-Men universe.  Animation is within the grasp of Marvel.  There are loop holes to such usages though as we're seeing Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.  Essentially, all connections to Magneto and any reference to them being mutants would have to be cut for them to appear in Avengers.  Whereas if or when Fox uses them, they are bound by those stipulations and cannot make reference to anything that is tied to Avengers like Wanda's marriage to Vision or her infatuation with Wonderman barring any collaborative efforts that could allow this.  The same is true for the Fantastic 4 and their stable of characters.  Live interpretations seem to be nailed down to only Fox, while animation is fair game to Marvel.  At least as it stands now.  There is no word how this interaction works with Sony.  They've given up the rights to animation for Spider-man as of the end of Spectacular Spider-man, but no word if this includes any such live action TV appearances that may cause audience confusion.

X-23 herself is a conundrum, as in theory she could be used among either side due to her complex character history.  While she is a character from the X-Men roster, she is also deeply tied to many facets of the Avengers as well thanks to her Origin minis and Avengers Academy.  The drawback to such live interpretations though is if they are done by Marvel, they cannot contain Wolverine or any mention of him or mutants.  The same proves true for Fox as any usage of X-23 on their side cannot use Daredevil, Kingpin, or Captain America.  Agent Morales in relation to X-23 is also in doubt as due to her status as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, she may be under the Marvel rights side and not accessible by Fox.  Due to X-23's nature as a genetic creation though, she walks a thin line of either side depending upon how she is implemented in said story barring usages in animation.  Animation is the safest route for her on TV as it allows her full story to be told with all the characters it entails as well as the finer points of what she is as a genetics experiment that used mutant DNA.  Similar is true for NYX.  While it cannot be done theatrically or live action by Marvel potentially due to its heavy usage of mutants, through animation it is fair game for Marvel to implement as they see fit.  The question of this boils down to if such an animation could be done as more often animation is looked upon as a kids market when really it's just another medium for a story to be told.  Such a foray as Netflix or VOD though also yields potential to better market such a semi adult series or mini series.  NYX has reached its ten year anniversary alongside X-23 this year and next(2003-2004 initial miniseries with much of the established dates marked as 2004).  So it is possible that there might be something in the wings of Marvel just waiting for the right timing.

This opens up potential though for a myriad of directions to go and as proven by many companies time and again, animation is easily accepted by fans and general audiences alike.  HBO's Spawn series has proven this, as have the recent Marvel Anime forays, as well as Adult Swim's Venture Brothers and Titan Maximum among others.  There's Fox's The Simpsons, Family Guy, Cleveland Show, and American Dad.  Of course who could forget Roosterteeth's Red vs Blue and RWBY as well.  There are many older audience implementations for animation from all over the world.  Animation as a medium is quickly growing more into its own as a way to tell stories aimed at any audience and also allows for grander story telling without as heavy of a budget that live effects can often entail due to how they must match real life.  (Let me reiterate though that there is no information even suggesting animation as their chosen foray to wide audiences, and the rumor does lean heavily upon suggested live-action.)

What these series may end up being or how has yet to be known as Marvel is keeping tight-lipped and very secretive until they are ready to announce something.  Keep your fingers crossed for something awesome though.  When it comes to television, Marvel's got their finger on the pulse and and wants to get their media out to the growing increasingly hungry audience.  As Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has shown, any cameo or character building could be possible in the finer details.  As the cinematic and TV universe grows, we could be seeing the birth of a Marvel media empire with a deeply rooted and canonical universe unto itself.

No comments:

Post a Comment