Friday, June 5, 2015

Marvel TV and a Small Rant

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A recent report from El Mayimbe of Heroic Hollywood (formerly Latino Review) revealed some new information about Marvel’s possible plans with their TV shows.  Most of it is really exciting, but there’s one piece that has me extremely confused and a little angry.  Let’s start with the exciting.

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First, he reveals that Marvel and ABC are working on a trio of TV series:  Cloak and Dagger, Mr. Marvel (focusing on Kamala Khan), and a Hulk prequel.  The Ms. Marvel news isn’t overly surprising; the rumor a while back was that the series John Ridley was working on for ABC was Ms. Marvel.  I’m excited to see her, especially now that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has broken open the floodgates for Inhumans.  The same goes for Cloak and Dagger, who are a couple of other interesting characters, and on the younger side of things as well.  The only piece I’m confused about here is the idea of a Hulk prequel series.  Would they use Ed Norton?  Mark Ruffalo?  Some other guy?  When would this take place in relation to the movies?  I’d rather if they introduce all new characters on the small screen and push the narrative forward.  The only “prequels” I’m interested in are really far in the past, a la Agent Carter-era.  If they want a Hulk on the small-screen, my vote would be She-Hulk, especially if they can pair her with Matt Murdock, as both are lawyers.

The next piece of information is kind of a no-brainer.  A.K.A. Jessica Jones will feature more crossover with Daredevil than Daredevil did with A.K.A. Jessica Jones.  Considering that Daredevil was basically the Iron Man of Marvel Netflix, we couldn’t really expect a lot of crossover with other properties since they didn’t have casts yet.  Now that Daredevil is out there and has a full cast, the floodgates can open to a ton of crossovers with the other Netflix series (and perhaps even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).  My guess for crossovers with A.K.A. Jessica Jones is that anyone’s an option, but Father Lantom, Claire Temple, and Melvin Potter are the most likely candidates.
There is also a rumor about Netflix Phase 2 out.  You may remember my article a while back about Netflix Phase 2.  Well, according to El Mayimbe, Punisher, Blade, and Ghost Rider are all possibilities for Phase 2, though someone is balking at the gore level and the CGI cost for Ghost Rider.  I would be interested in seeing all of these at some point, but I wonder if Marvel is going to throw all of these guys out there cold.  I think Punisher would work well as a guest character or recurring character for a season of Daredevil before spinning him off to his own series.

The rumor also holds that Daredevil season 2 “won’t air for a while,” which is a little disappointing but not overly surprising considering that they are supposedly trying to get Luke Cage and Iron Fist out next year, as well.  I think they could still do it, but it would probably be a strain on the production and post-production people.

The third Netflix-related rumor is that there is a pipedream of a limited Netflix movie or mini-series centered on Hawkeye and Black Widow.  And I think that would be awesome as a way to tell their story even though there is not enough space in the films to tell everything, and the film schedule is too busy for a lower-budget, superpower-less spy thriller, anyways.  Netflix would be a great place for the two of them.

Now, on to the rumor that has me confused and angry.

Here is the quote from El Mayimbe:
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been using the Inhumans recently, but that might change once the Inhumans movie scheduled for 2019 comes along. It’s a good bet the movie will ignore all or most of what the TV show has done.

Did you catch that?  “It’s a good bet the movie will ignore all or most of what the TV show has done.”


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If this were DC where they don’t even pretend that there’s a connection between the movies and shows, I would forgive them.  But this isn’t.  This is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where Agent Sitwell can walk off the set of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and straight onto the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast can be Thor’s garbage collectors.  We expect there to be continuity between what happens in one medium and what happens in the next.

In other words, the Inhumans on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. need to be the same as those in the Inhumans movie.

Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying that the AoS cast needs to be the cast of the Inhumans movie (though having 1 or 2 characters show up in some capacity would be a nice touch).  What I am saying is that the Inhuman culture and mythos established during AoS season 2 should be the same culture and mythos in which the Inhumans movie takes place.  Terrigenesis can look slightly different due to budgetary differences (they have those kind of slight differences with the Bifrost effect, too), but it shouldn’t look like a completely different process.  The Inhumans shouldn’t be the results of Chitauri experimentation instead of Kree (and that really wouldn’t make sense, anyways).  Based on the universe they have been setting up, it just wouldn’t make sense for them to establish the Inhumans one way on TV, and then completely change them when they show up in the movies.

So much for the continuity reasons for holding onto and using the Inhumans as established on AoS.  But there’s an even simpler reason:  time.

If Joss Whedon had completely ignored the first 5 MCU movies when writing The Avengers, how much time would it have taken him to satisfactorily introduce the 6 heroes, tell their origins, and establish their powers and personalities?  Easily an hour (averaging out to 10 minutes per character), and probably more.  And that would be pushing it.  However, because he had 10 hours of prior material to build off of, he was able to give brief introductions to each and get it all over with in maybe 15 minutes, possibly less (I haven’t timed it).

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With the Inhumans, you can easily take that hour and add another 30 minutes, and that’s how much time it would take to establish the Inhumans as a race and culture, and explain Terrigenesis, and everything else they would need to do.  And that’s before trying to introduce us to the Royal Family.  An hour and a half out of a two-hour movie, all to introduce and explain what Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. established over the course of a full season.  Even if it doesn’t take the movie an hour and a half, it would still require a lot of screen time, taking away from the movie’s ability to tell a good story.

Now, I’m not suggesting that the movie should ignore all those questions and assume that everyone will watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. before seeing the movie (though everyone could).  There are going to be people for whom this is their first Marvel movie.  There are going to be people who ignore the TV shows.  For these people, establishing who the Inhumans are will be important.  However, when you have 6 seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to fall back on, you don’t need to devote as much time to establishing the Inhumans as you would otherwise.  In the Avengers example, Joss Whedon got all that establishing stuff out of the way in 15 minutes interspersed throughout the first act.  If they are relying on the Inhumans as we’ve seen them on AoS, the Inhumans movie could easily do it in the same time frame, or even less.

I’m not looking for The Inhumans to just be a movie based on the Inhumans introduced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  I’m just looking for the MCU to have a high degree of continuity between all its different parts.  It makes sense for the shared universe, and it makes sense for the movie itself.

Do you think I’m overreacting to this?  Do you want to see less continuity between the TV Inhumans and the movie Inhumans?  Do you want to see more continuity there, like a few of the Inhumans introduced on TV crossing over to the movie?  Let me know in the comments!

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  1. I think you're overreacting a bit because unless AoS becomes a mega hit in the next couple of years most moviegoers wont have it as a frame of reference. Story wise it probably wouldn't matter anyway as what we see in AoS is more like Marvel's mutants, a group of people feared for being different and clinging together for safety, whereas Attilan's Inhumans are an ancient society with unique philosophy, culture, and everyone is accepted and safe.

    I also think you overestimate how long it would take to establish enough about Inhumans for an audience to invest in the story.
    Open the movie with a Blackbolt and Attilan introduction like this -
    Follow it with a Terrigenesis ceremony overseen by the royal family like this -
    Then transition into a scene that establishes the conflict like Blackbolt visiting Maximus in prison or the royal family discussing the rogue Inhumans. I'd say that would take a lot less time than an hour.

    On TV/Movie crossover big things seem unlikely but if the script calls for generic Inhumans transitioning from life on Earth to Attilan it may as well be someone form AoS, and its the subtler style I'd prefer. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my giant-size comment.

  2. They need a New Hulk TV series with 99 episodes and cast first class leading role unkown actor that looks like Edward Norton.