While Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, builds his television universe generated by the "Avengers" movies, Marvel's dedicated TV unit is seeing his worldwide live action contract.
Feige's division – part of the movie operation of Walt Disney Studios – is currently working on multiple shows for the fledgling Disney Plus streamer focused on Marvel Cinematic Universe characters like Falcon and Winter Soldier, as well as Loki, Vision and Scarlet Witch, with shows based on She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight also in the operas. Meanwhile, with Hulu killing a planned series this week based on the character of Ghost Rider, Marvel Television – the division of Marvel Entertainment responsible for the initial push of the comic book publisher in Disney's live-action TV – now it has few live announcements – action projects on the air or in the works.
According to several industry sources who have spoken Variety, the perception throughout the entertainment industry is that live-action productions will be mostly if not completely moved by Marvel Television, led by veteran executive and producer Jeph Loeb, while the Feige unit accelerates the production on its own Marvel series projects.
"Feige's shows are far beyond anything Marvel TV has been able to do," said an enlightened TV agent with whom he spoke. Variety He said. "He has access to all these MCU characters that other Marvel live-action stuff doesn't do, let alone a much bigger budget."
A Marvel television rep said Variety that the company has several live-action projects in various stages of development. A Marvel Television spokesman declined to comment. Marvel Studios did not respond to a request for comment.
All the shows that Marvel Studios are producing should last between six and eight episodes with budgets comparable to those of a Marvel film project, which generally range from $ 100 to $ 150 million. According to an individual with knowledge of the productions, the executives of Marvel Studios and Feige met early to discuss how to maintain the visual standards that fans expected from Marvel films, while keeping their budgets more in line with other TV shows. Those budgets will still be at the high end of the spectrum.
These budgets will be a long way from Marvel's live-action shows of the past. After the initial list of Marvel-Netflix shows was announced, Variety reported in 2014 that the budget for the first seasons of "Daredevil", "Jessica Jones", "Luke Cage" and "Iron Fist" would be $ 200 million in total. Each season consists of 13 episodes, which amount to about $ 3.8 million per episode, regardless of budget overruns and other factors.
While Loeb's Marvel TV still falls within the ambit of Isaac Perlmutter, Feige reports directly to Alan Horn of Walt Disney Studios. Perlmutter is known to be a more conservative spender, considered one of the reasons why Feige almost left the company before Disney boss Bob Iger separated Marvel's movie unit from the rest of the company and placed it directly under Horn.
Under Loeb, Marvel Television has successfully launched live dramas such as "Agents of SHIELD" and "Agent Carter" on ABC, "Legion" on FX, and the six Marvel-Netflix shows – "Daredevil", "Jessica Jones", "Luke Cage", "Iron Fist", "The Defenders" and "The Punisher". The Netflix agreement, at the time it was stipulated, was a reference point for the television studio, with the streamer engaging in five straight series shows, then adding a sixth.
But since then, Marvel Television's list of live-action initiatives has had mixed results. After Disney announced its intention to launch its Disney Plus streaming service, Netflix deleted all six of its Marvel shoes; "Agents of SHIELD" is finishing a seven-season run on ABC this spring (with over 130 episodes) and "Agent Carter" was canceled after two seasons in 2016, despite the strong positive reception of the critics. "Legion", a collaboration with FX Productions and "Fargo" executive producer Noah Hawley, has recently ended with FX after three seasons. Marvel TV had a fake public in the ABC "Inhumans" series, which was canceled after a sparse season in 2017, while the Fox-Marvel series "The Gifted" was canceled after two seasons at the beginning of quest & # 39; year. A live "New Warriors" project was ordered directly in Freeform series in 2017, but that project was demolished a year later. Even an animated series of "Deadpool" by Donald and Stephen Glover who had received an order from the FXX series broke up last year, with studio and network – as with "Ghost Rider" – citing creative differences.
The result is a blackboard that has been recognized only by a handful of projects. The two live shows of Marvel Television are "Runaways" in Hulu, which launches its third season in December, and "Cloak & Dagger" in Freeform. This last show ended its second season in April without knowing if it will receive a third.
The only live-action show that Marvel TV has in development with an announced network partner is "Helstrom", which has been ordered to act simultaneously with "Ghost Rider" in Hulu.
For the immediate future, it seems that Marvel Television will focus on animation, as it produced a series of animated series before venturing into live action. He is currently preparing four animated shows for adults for Hulu owned by Disney: "Howard the Duck", "MODOK", "Hit-Monkey" and "Tigra and Dazzler". All four of these shows will then be crossed in the "The Offenders" series of events similar to the Marvel-Netflix strategy that led to "The Defenders".