Future of Live-Action at Marvel Television Uncertain Say Industry Sources

Marvel Television logo
Credit: Marvel Television

As filming on Marvel Studios' first in-house television shows begin for the Disney+ streaming service, Variety reports that some observers in Hollywood believe live-action Marvel productions could be "mostly if not completely moved away" from Jeph Loeb's Marvel Television division.

Although both divisions carry the Marvel name, Marvel Studios was moved out from under the Marvel Entertainment umbrella in 2015 to work under the auspices of Walt Disney Studios. Marvel Television remains under the direction of Marvel Entertainment and its Preisdent, Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter. 

With the recent cancellation of a Ghost Rider reboot for Hulu, Marvel Television currently has one live-action TV show in confirmed development - Helstrom - also for Hulu. Deadline recently reported Marvel Television is developing an all-female Marvel superhero show to replace Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC, which completed production of its seventh and final season, scheduled to air in 2020. 

Freeform's Cloak & Dagger concluded its second season in April and a third season pick-up has not been annnounced. Hulu's Runaways will begin its third season in December and will include an appearance by Cloak & Dagger. A fourth season has yet to be announced.

Marvel Television does have a slate of animation projects set up at Hulu, Disney Junior, and Disney XD, which is where some observers feel the Marvel Entertainment division's focus is headed. 

Marvel Studios has several announced live-action shows set up at Disney + including WandaVision, The Falcon & the Winter Soldier, Loki, Hawkeye, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk.

Variety reports the Disney+ shows are expected to have budgets comparable to big-screen Marvel Studios productions in the $100-$150m range, and at six to eight episodes a series that's a much larger budget than it typical for previous live-action Marvel productions, including the Netflix Defenders series. 

According to whom Variety identifies "an individual with knowledge of the productions," Marvel Studios executives and president Kevin Feige are focused on how to "maintain the visual standard fans have come to expect from Marvel’s films while still bringing their budgets more in line with other TV shows," which the trade states will "still be on the high end of the spectrum."

Back in August after a high-profile Disney+ launch event and then serveral Marvel Studios-related announcements at Comic-Con International: San Diego, Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb revealed in an interview that it will also being doing shows for Disney+ but that they weren't ready to announce what they were. 

While not specifically identifying them as live-action, Loeb did mention a thematic area Marvel Television could draw from - what he identified as Marvel Knights, or more street-level heroes of the Marvel catalog. 

"So, if the Marvel heroes are here to save the universe, the Marvel Street-Level Heroes, the Marvel Knights, often they are just to save themselves, to save the neighborhood," said Loeb. "Some of those appeared on Netflix, but there are others that live in that category, which are still to come."

The question of Marvel Studios and Marvel Television relationship and/or co-existence is ripe for industry speculation. Despite efforts to integrate MCU events and characters into the early seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. prior to Marvel Studios breaking free of Marvel Entertainment in 2015, there has been almost no crossover between the films and various TV shows, and the universe-altering Snap and Blip have not even been referenced on any TV production.

Feige rarely if ever publicly acknowledges any MCU content outside of the films, with a small cameo by Agent Carter co-star James D'Arcy in Avengers: Endgame being the only time an original Marvel TV character has ever been seen in a feature film. 

Twitter activity