In a deal quite reminiscent of the accord struck between the Reed Hastings-run streamer and Disney back in 2013 for four new series and The Defenders team-up limited series, Hulu and Marvel today unveiled four new original adult animated series and a The Offenders team-up special.
As a third season of the Schwartz and Stephanie Savage created Marvel’s Runaways seems a sure bet, Hulu is hoping to strongly up its Marvel game and to resurrect the reputation of the acerbic Howard The Duck, who got plucked in that terrible 1986 feature film, as part of its big programming chess move. The HTD series based on the cigar chomping character first introduced in the comics in 1973 will be stewarded by Clerks kingpin Kevin Smith, along with Dave Willis. Both will executive produce the series with Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb.
Ex-Netflix talk show host Chelsea Handler shifts over to Hulu for Marvel’s Tigra & Dazzler Show, which she will EP and write with Erica Rivinoja. Like every one of the new series, Loeb will also serve as an EP on the show of the politically progressive Tigra and Dazzler as they try to get their superpowered heads, hands and hearts around life in the City of Angels.
Josh Gordon and Will Speck plus Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum are the respective driver’s seats for Marvel’s Hit-Monkey and Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. The latter centers on a supervillain with ego and family issues, while the former tracks a pissed off Japanese snow monkey who tries to take on and take down Tokyo’s crime underworld with the ghost of an American assassin by his side.
All four series will cross paths in the Marvel’ The Offenders special, which Jeph Loeb is executive producing in what is a major expansion of the CAA-repped Marvel TV.
An expansion that comes in what looks to be a very eventful year for the brand on both the small and big screen – and I don’t just mean because a new Russo Brothers helmed Avengers movie and Captain Marvel herself are hitting the big screen.
Today’s TCA announced agreement, of course, comes as the Bob Iger-run company prepares to take over controlling interest in Hulu under Disney’s multi-billion-dollar acquisition of the Fox assets. Virtually simultaneously, the House of Mouse is gearing up to take on Netflix and other with its near fully loaded Disney+ streaming service, of which Marvel movies and programming are a major component.
In anticipation of that new kid on the digital block or not, the past few months have also seen Netflix pull the plug on further seasons of Iron Fist, Luke Cage and most recently Daredevil. With those cancellations, Marvel TV’s only Netflix shows left are The Punisher, which saw its second season launch last month, and Jessica Jones, which has an upcoming Season 3 set to roll on the streamer.
The expectation is neither the Jon Bernthal vigilante series or the Krysten Ritter-led Jones will be renewed for further cycles – though nothing has been said officially, yet.