The Marvel Comics Universe grows: TV spin offs, FF reboot...


The Marvel Comics franchise movies, which aren't even all under the aegis of one studio, seem to be in a state of constant flux right now through sequels, spin-off TV series, reboots, or all three at once. I've often thought that if this connectivity and sprawl goes too far, big-budget films and TV series built on comics characters will risk losing one of their advantages over the comics medium- the lack of decades long backstories and twisted continuity that risks putting potential new comics readers off. But the major studios clearly think otherwise- see here for details of the planned villain spin-off films and other media from the (recently rebooted) Amazing Spider-Man film franchise (managed by Columbia/Sony). Also note the Fantastic Four franchise, under the management of Fox, is also currently in production with more casting news out these last few weeks: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan, are being joined by Toby Kebbell, and the latest name out of the hat is Tim Blake Nelson.

Now via director and comics fanboy Kevin Smith's podcast, we have Marvel Entertainment's Chief Creative Officer (and former Editor In Chief, current writer and artist) Joe Quesada discussing the latest additions to the Marvel cinematic universe (the one featuring those heroes Marvel/Disney retains the rights to, i.e NOT Spider-Man or the X-Men). 

Quesada had some details to spill about subject of Netflix's developing multi-strand Defenders series, one which will feature the comics characters of Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist. Quesada confirmed that, "They will exist within the cinematic universe again, so this is all the same world as SHIELD and The Avengers. There will be some interconnectivity, much like the movies."

 "Although these are superhero stories, this is different," he explained. "This is the street level, noir side of the Marvel universe, probably more ground level than you've really seen in any of our Marvel movies."

The overall plan, announced earlier this year, was for Netflix and Marvel to deliver four 13-part miniseries (one for each of the aforementioned heroes), set in the  streets of New York's Hell's Kitchen: Daredevil's territory. The 52 episodes will then culminate in the four's assembly as a team in another showcase mini-series.

See the Empire article here, and the Kevin Smith smodcast.



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Owen Van Spall

Greetings. I am a Film History MA graduate from Birkbeck University of London and a trained NCTJ qualified journalist. Apart from a long history of film and news writing for this site and various other publications, I am also a trained photographer with my own camera kit. I write mostly every day. Along the way I have picked up work experience at Sight & Sound, The Guardian, The Independent, The FT, The New Statesman, and more. I have written hard news stories, features, arranged and conducted interviews with celebrities, film directors and other major cultural figures, arranged photo shoots, and covered film festivals, conferences and events in the UK and abroad. If you wish to commission me or enquire about full-time opportunities please find my CV and contact details below. A physical portfolio of print only cuttings can also be provided.