Unlike their traditional network TV offerings — ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Agent Carter” — Marvel’s first attempt at a show on Netflix has been a rousing success. “Daredevil” was breathlessly praised by not only fanboys but also by many critics, with 2003’s much derided Ben Affleck-starring big-screen version easily trumped. With the company’s second Netflix show, “AKA Jessica Jones,” presumably hitting the streaming service later this year, and with the previously announced “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist” and “The Defenders” following over the next two years, it’s time for Marvel to do what it does best: start planning for the future.
Heroic Hollywood reports Marvel is kicking the tires for Netflix Phase II and they are looking at thematically dark characters in the vein of Daredevil whom have also been the subject of less-than-successful movie attempts made at rival studios outside of the MCU. That’s right, the studio is toying with the idea of building shows around The Punisher, Blade and Ghost Rider, but they also have their concerns with how these characters will work in their larger MCU. So right now, nothing is set in stone.
What’s apparently stopping Marvel from making the commitment appears to be the fear of going too violent in their shows, along with some hesitation over the more supernatural elements of Ghost Rider’s and Blade’s stories. As always with Marvel, there’s the whole keep-it-cheap ethos and the friction that would happen because of the fact that Ghost Rider, in particular, would need heavy — and costly — amounts of CG to make it the screen. So yes, these shows are far from becoming a reality, and they’re merely just a few of the many ideas that the company is batting around for Phase 2 of their Netflix universe.
Meanwhile, there is also some very long-shot thoughts being tossed around about a limited series involving Jeremy Renner’s “Hawkeye” or Scarlett Johansson’s “Black Widow” (or both), with lots of movie and television world crossover, but it’s far from being a reality. Another possibly too far-fetched idea is Benedict Cumberbatch‘s “Dr. Strange” popping into “The Defenders” for a visit in 2017. While you can expect crossover between “Daredevil” and “AKA Jessica Jones,” movie to TV crossovers are much more difficult. None of these actors, Renner, Johansson and Cumberbatch have small screen appearances written into their contracts, so this is really all just wishlist ideas from Marvel’s TV branch. To add to these difficulties, Heroic Hollywood repeats echoed rumors that the big screen MCU team is at odds with the Marvel TV team, who they “tolerate.” If this is true — and these rumors have been going on for a long time, perhaps even touched upon in recent Joss Whedon, “it’s complicated” comments about the difficulties of “Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” — then the TV folks probably don’t have contract leverage against their movie counterparts who drive those deals first and foremost.
Lastly, HH mentions a few other ideas developing at Marvel’s ABC TV branch. They include an early “Hulk” prequel series — not an insane idea since Guillermo Del Toro was already developing one a few years back, but eventually left the project — and a series for Cloak and Dagger and Ms. Marvel (actually different from the one coming to the big screen in the summer of 2018). Heroic Hollywood adds that this causes additional friction between the two sister compaies. “[With] ABC insisting on getting their words in, it appears that there may be too many cooks in the kitchen for everyone’s tastes.” A recent new rumor suggests John Ridley‘s so-far-unknown ABC Marvel project is the aforementioned Ms. Marvel — apparently the character Kamala Khan in the comics, not the Carol Danvers Captain Marvel version — but these appear to be Reddit whispers, so who knows.
As the original report notes, these TV ideas may all be “pipe dreams” in the end, so don’t bank on any of it for now and stay tuned. Let us know what you’d like to see in Marvel’s next Phase of Netflix viewing below.