Development Deal: Avengers Academy
If there’s one thing that a quick look at the current state of television and movies will tell you, it’s that there’s not much need for original ideas when there’s so much out there ready and waiting to be adapted, updated or just outright ripped off. That’s why we’ve decided to help in that process with a series that offers up some of the things we’d like to see being brought to big screen or small. This week’s suggestion? Avengers Academy.
What Is It?
One of Marvel’s increasing attempts at creating a “Junior Avengers” comic book, Avengers Academy had two high concepts, with the second hidden quietly inside the first. The most obvious of the two was “What if the Avengers set up a school to train the superheroes of tomorrow?” which, when it comes down to it, makes a lot of sense when you consider the kinds of things that super-powered folk are able to do in the Marvel Universe. The “secret” high concept was the the kids being trained were actually being trained because the Avengers were worried that each of them had the potential to grow up to become a supervillain if they’re not given the appropriate moral guidance right now.
It’s really the stereotypical teenager experience writ large: Just as you’re figuring out who you are, the adults in your life are convinced that, unless you listen to them, you’re going to make the wrong decisions and go down a bad path. Except, this time, there’s super-powers and costumes and punching.
What Could It Be?
Hey, ABC Family: This is the Marvel TV show that you’ve been looking for. Not only is it essentially just a high-school drama (albeit in a very unusual high-school), offering the chance for the traditional and untraditional plots and characters that come with that genre – as well as an in-built reason/excuse to cycle characters and actors in and out of the show as desired (or necessary), but it’s also got an in-built connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Avengers movie franchise. Simply retool the set-up slightly to make it that the school is the result of S.H.I.E.L.D. widening their “Avengers Initiative” in the wake of the team’s saving the world in the first movie – and, let’s say, an increasing number of super-powered people appearing around the world for mysterious reasons, giving the first season a mythology/mystery to center itself around when necessary – and play up the “future threat” and down the current power-set elements to save on special effects and budget, and you have a ready-made series right there waiting for you.
(If you’re looking for a pitch, think of it as “A high-school full of Buffys that takes place in the Avengers world.” See? Simple.)
As far as choosing people to shepherd it into the world, I’d be tempted to see if Melissa Rosenberg – who has experience with the Marvel Universe, having developed Alias for ABC a couple of years ago – would be interested to serve as showrunner. After all, if her experience as screenwriter for the Twilight movies didn’t give her enough background with troubled teens in unusual situations, she always has her background on The OC to fall back on…
So, how about it, ABC Family and Marvel? Could this be the show that you’re looking for (Just imagine the potential crossovers with ABC’s SHIELD should both shows get picked up!)?