Marvel Television as we’ve known it the past decade will be no more. With its slate dwindling over the past year and its head Jeph Loeb set to depart, the television-focused Marvel division will be phased out.
The Marvel TV projects that are currently in production will continue but any further development is being scrapped. As a result, a significant portion of the unit’s staff are being laid off, sources said. The executives impacted are said to include Cort Lane, Marsha Griffin, Mark Ambrose, Tom Lieber and Aimee Carlson.
Marvel TV’s SVP Current Programming and Production Karim Zreik and member of his team will join the Marvel Studios group to oversee the remaining Marvel TV shows already on the books and on the go.
That includes the announced four animated series and the live-action Helstrom for Hulu and last season of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which will still be made. Other Marvel TV staffers are being reassigned, sources said.
“The decision has been made to complete Marvel TV projects that are currently in production, but not continue with any further development,” noted the TV division Tuesday.
Today’s news follows months of turmoil and uncertainty at Marvel TV with a number of animated and live-action shows teetering or canned, the exit of longtime small screen chief Loeb and the further expansion of big screen boss Kevin Feige’s fiefdom.
The announcement back in late October that the four-time Eisner Award winner and veteran producer Loeb would be officially out the door at the end of the year now seems but one of many dominos to fall on Marvel TV. One further wrinkle in today’s news is that Loeb might be around a bit longer than expected, as he is said to be on decks for the handover.
It’s a handover with a lot of blood on its hands, so to speak.
As the Clark Gregg-led S.H.I.E.L.D. heads towards its last season on ABC, the planned Ghost Rider spinoff series for Hulu had the brakes put on it in September, the cancellation of Cloak & Dagger after two seasons on Freeform came the next month and the final season of The Runaways is launching on the Disney-controlled streamer this week. With no new shows on Netflix after Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and The Punisher were all cancelled over the last year and a bit, Marvel TV saw the Hulu-set upcoming animated Chelsea Handler voiced and EP’d Tigra & Dazzler put on hold earlier this month with the departure of showrunner Erica Rivinoja and the staff writers due to that old chestnut of “creative differences.”
Additionally, in what could have been an creative lifeline for the TV unit, new upcoming original Marvel shows on the recently launched Disney+ streaming service like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier had already been placed under Fiege’s mandate before he was anointed Chief Creative Officer in October.
Stay tuned true believers, as the late, great Stan Lee would have said.