In case you haven’t noticed, Marvel has taken over the movie theatre. In 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked off with the first Iron Man movie and nine further flicks have taken us deep into the second phase of total theatre domination, with 4 more movies planned by 2016.
But if you thought that was all they had in store, just wait til you see what Marvel has planned for your home viewing!
The Marvel universe is a massive comic book world, filled with hundreds of characters that have grown and changed over decades of time. And that means there are countless stories that could potentially be told – so why limit it to just a maximum of two blockbusters a year?
That’s precisely the thinking behind Marvel’s latest move – into the world of TV and home viewing. Together with parent company Disney, they’ve put into motion a number of new series and projects which will see the reach of the universe expand like never before.
It all kicked off in September 2013 with the premiere of Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. This weekly TV show on ABC was all about showing the human characters at play behind the crazy actions of the superheroes and the organisation tasked with defending the vulnerable normal people around the world.
But it was more than a mere spin off – Agents had top Marvel talent involved at every stage, with creative billing going to none other than Joss Whedon. The Buffy and Firefly guy was hired by Marvel for a five year stint as the overseer of their entire universe and came on board to write and direct the pilot of Agents as well as run the show alongside his brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen.
The series also drafted in familiar faces in front of the camera, led by the incredible Clark Gregg returning as Agent Coulson. You also got to see Cobie Smulders, Jamie Alexander and even Samuel L. Jackson himself show up during the run, with storylines that directly tied into events on the big screen in Thor: the Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Coupled with strong production values and a storyline full of twists that echoed its big screen sibling, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a real testing ground for Marvel’s TV aspirations. And one that was successful – not only was it renewed for a second season but there are more TV treats on the way.
Sticking with network TV and ABC, Marvel recently confirmed that they have an Agent Carter show in the works. This of course refers to Agent Peggy Carter, the character played by Hayley Atwell in the two Captain America films to date and a standalone Marvel One-Shot.
It will focus on days after Captain Rogers became an icicle as Carter works towards establishing the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agency. It should make for an interesting companion piece to the modern show, especially in light of the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It will be a limited series of eight episodes that will air during a mid-season break in the second season of Agents – so sometimes in early 2015.
But that’s not all – Disney announced a massive deal with video streaming specialists Netflix to collaborate on a raftload of new properties. Over a number of years four Marvel characters will receive 13 episode shows on Netflix, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron First. Then the four stories will come together for a spectacular 4 to 8 episode mini series which unites them as the Defenders against some terrible enemy.
It’s an incredible deal, giving audiences the chance to fall in love with some of Marvel’s more niche characters in the binge-watching format that has worked so well for Netflix shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Then forcing them to wait for a big scale finale. Marvel has even said that big screen outings could be possible for these characters.
Daredevil will be the first to arrive in 2015, with all 13 episodes ready to watch at once. Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard was supposed to be showrunner but had to step down – though he remains on as writer and exec producer while Steven S. DeKnight (Spartacus: Blood and Sand) takes over. So far all we know on casting is that Stardust’s Charlie Cox will be playing the blind lawyer from Hell’s Kitchen.
Beyond that, Jessica Jones will likely make her bow in 2016 with the other shows a year apart and the miniseries arriving by 2018-2019.
MARVEL SHOWS TO WATCH OUT FOR
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 - late 2014
- Agent Carter – early 2015
- Daredevil – 2015
- Jessica Jones – 2016
- Luke Cage – 2017
- Iron Fist – 2018
- Defenders miniseries – 2018-2019
That’sa huge amount of content on the way, and it hardly touches on the Marvel one shot short movies to date which help to expand the mythology even further. Then there are the rumoured movies in the wings – like Dr. Strange which has just nabbed director Scott Derrickson but has no release date as well as a third outing for Thor and spin-offs for Black Widow and more.
One thing seems certain, Marvel has plenty to keep us entertained for years to come. And if the quality of the on screen universe we’ve seen so far holds up, we can’t wait to take that comic-book trip.