Axel-In-Charge: Facing the 'Divided' Marvel NOW! Future
Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger has confirmed reports from last month that Marvel is developing live-action projects for television. However, he says there are three series in the pipeline, not two.
News broke in mid-October that the company’s fledgling TV arm is making adaptations of The Incredible Hulk and Cloak & Dagger priorities, with the former destined for ABC and the latter for ABC Family (Marvel and ABC are both divisions of Disney). Entertainment Weekly‘s Lynette Rice later pooh-poohed the Hulk report, writing that “any speculation about the return of the big green man is premature, though interest from ABC is apparently there.”
But in an interview in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, Iger addressed how Marvel is being integrated into Disney, saying, “we’ve taken back distribution, or bought back distribution from Paramount, for some critical franchises. Notably, Iron Man 3 will be distributed by us, and Avengers. We’re developing three live-action series for ABC and ABC Family. You can buy Marvel products at Disney stores. And we’re working on Marvel games.”
What Iger doesn’t say, unfortunately, is which three live-action series those are. Naturally, The Incredible Hulk and Cloak & Dagger are good candidates for two of those slots. But what about the third?
Heat Vision reported last month that ABC executives were presented in the spring with a list of Marvel properties ripe for adaptation — among them, The Punisher, Heroes for Hire, Agents of Atlas and Daughters of the Dragon. Is it time for Frank Castle to take his crusade to live-action TV, or will Marvel and Disney turn the spotlight on some of its other, lesser-known characters?
In related news, Variety reports that Marvel Television has hired two new executives for its animation division and promoted a third: Producer Eric Radomski (Spawn) has joined the company as senior vice president of production and animation director, and Tracy McAndrew of Disney Channels Worldwide has been hired as vice president of programming and distribution strategy. Meanwhile, Cort Lane has been promoted to vice president of development and production of animation.