Jeph Loeb Interview: The Future of Marvel Television Is One of Fear and Opportunity

author img
BY August 16, 2019

Marvel’s live-action arm is a house divided. On one side, there are the films of Marvel Studios, and, on the other, sits Marvel Television. Last year about this time, most folks though Marvel Television failed where the studio succeeded, but a new Jeph Loeb interview throws doubt on such an assertion. In a wide-ranging chat with Deadline, Loeb discusses the past and, more importantly, the future of Marvel Television. Compared to each other, some view it as “less than” Marvel Studios, even when they play in the same universe. Not until Avengers: Endgame did a character who originated on television cross over to the movies: Howard Stark’s butler Edwin Jarvis. Whether rumors of bad blood between Kevin Feige and Jeph Loeb are true or false, the realities of television production is why the TV side doesn’t always gel so well with the movies.

Due to secrecy and long lead times on the feature films, dozens of episodes of television can be produced in the time it takes to release a film. When there is synergy, such as when the events of The Winter Soldier movie upended the first season of Agents of SHIELD, the shows always adapt beautifully. Whether the Marvel Studios side respects what Marvel TV does or not, the fans do. Despite the flaws in some of the Netflix shows, particularly Iron Fist, fans appreciate what they pulled off. They showed off the Marvel Method of building franchises.

From the Jeph Loeb interview:

“Yes, but a lot of times the reason why Marvel lands on a platform is because of the people. When they get it, when they want us…. So, in the end, however history’s going to remember the story, all that’s important to us is that we had an opportunity to change television by putting together four heroes, who then joined together in a group, and people have talked about it like this is unprecedented.

“Now, we’re going to do it again with the animated series, and then we’re going to do it again with the fear-based series. It’s now become, for us, our model. We would rather try to find ways of putting together a group of characters so that when a platform meets with us to talk about what we want to do, we’re trying to create a family on that platform.”

From The Defenders to the Offenders

Jeph Loeb Interview

Image via Marvel Television

The first mini-universe to launch will be a number of adult animation series on Hulu. Patton Oswalt, who worked with Marvel TV on Agents of SHIELD, will produce and voice M.O.D.O.K. This character, a giant head stuffed into a robot body known as a Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing. Developed by A.I.M., the bad guy group in Iron Man 3, the series will follow its adventures. After this show, Josh Gordon and Will Speck will debut a series focused on Hit-Monkey, an ape that’s trained to be an assassin who takes out other assassins. (Comic book stories!) This character appeared in its own digital comic and then an arc in Deadpool featuring Spider-Man. Definitely a lesser-known and sillier character, this series presents the greatest risk.

Along with these two shows, Chelsea Handler and Erica Rivinoja will voice Tigra and Dazzler, respectively, for a series described in the Jeph Loeb interview as Marvel’s Laverne and Shirley. Finally, Kevin Smith and Dave Willis will bring to life, er animation, Howard the Duck. The star of Lucasfilm’s worst movie, Howard the Duck appeared in the MCU with the Collector and during the battle against Thanos in Endgame. The foul-mouthed expert in quack-fu will lead his own stories once again. Eventually, all four of these shows will unite for a series called “The Offenders.” This is a pretty good gag since it refers both to the Netflix team-up, and these shows are not for those with easily offended sensibilities.

Marvel’s Adventure Into Fear

The other major project outlined in the Jeph Loeb interview involves Marvel’s descent into terror. At the MCU Phase 4 announcement, Feige revealed that the Doctor Strange sequel will be a horror film. Thus, Loeb planned an entire mini-universe around Marvel’s scariest. Hulu does well with horror, so Loeb decided to put these shows on there. First, Gabriel Luna will reprise his role as Ghost Rider. Though the story stands alone from the character’s adventures on Agents of SHIELD. Helstrom, a series about the children of a serial killer who use what they know to hunt down other murderers. They are also half-demons. Loeb then teased other shows yet to be announced that will also culminate in a team-up series.

From the Jeph Loeb interview:

“, it’s terror, because when you say horror, it means so many different things. There’s everything from Saw, which is the last thing that we want to do, gore-fest kind of thing to there’s a monster running around. What we love is the notion of how we can present a Marvel hero who was truly feared and truly believed that they were a monster, but that, as the stories go on, they realize, oh, I’m the hero of the story, I’m not the villain of the story. That’s not something we’ve ever done before.”

The Other Marvel Television Series

Jeph Loeb Interview

Image via Marvel Studios

With both Legion over and Agents of SHIELD coming to a close, this is a good time for Marvel Television to announce new projects. After the Netflix series all ended suddenly, Loeb said it “blindsided” the company the way the streaming giant handled it. He says those stories “weren’t finished yet,” which suggests they might be able to bring those heroes back. He also teased collaborations with Disney+ unrelated to the Marvel Studios series announced at Comic-Con. Perhaps this is where the “Marvel Knights,” as he calls them, come back once again. He also suggested other characters in that same “family,” will appear somewhere soon. Though the subject came up in the Jeph Loeb interview, he was unwilling to talk about the discussions for a new female-led series on the ABC Network.

Not as large in scope as some of the other Marvel television projects. Cloak and Dagger, whose series’ own future remains uncertain, will crossover with Marvel’s The Runaways on Hulu. The characters showed up in the original comics, so that the two young-adult Marvel series get to crossover is only fitting. These projects highlight what’s great about Marvel. You don’t just get a character like Alfred Pennyworth or Swamp Thing, but you (possibly) have access to the entire Marvel Universe. Fans enjoy team-ups, which cross-promote the series. It also suggests to fans that by watching Marvel TV shows, they are a part of something bigger. At least, that’s what Jeph Loeb hopes they believe.

Featured image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

MarvelTV Shows

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

Leave a comment


TV Shows
Gotham Season 5 Finale – What to Expect

With two episodes left before the Gotham season 5 finale, that also means the end is near for the series. Scheduled to wrap up in two weeks, there is still a lot of story to wrap up. Not to mention, what ways will the show depict Gotham City as it bids Fox goodbye? There are […]

BY Taylor Bauer March 27, 2019
COMICSDCMoviesPop CultureTV Shows
The History of Batman on Film

The Caped Crusader. The Dark Knight. Bruce Wayne’s alter ego. The goddamn Batman. No matter what you call him, there’s no denying that he’s an iconic American superhero. He is, first and foremost, a comic book character, but comic books couldn’t contain him. He began appearing on film less than five years after he was […]

BY Salomé Gonstad August 17, 2019
COMICSMarvelPop Culture
Mysterio: Spider-Man and the Sadistic Illusionist

First Appearance of Mysterio: Amazing Spider-Man #13Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Now that many of us have seen Spider-Man: Far From Home, let’s get to know the great illusionist a little better. Mysterio in one of the most popular Spider-Man villains of all time, but he should probably be taken a lot more […]

BY Roman Colombo July 7, 2019
Star Wars Battlefront 2 Celebration Edition is Jam Packed with Content

There’s nothing like a good redemption story. We see it all the time in comic books. A villain suddenly sees the error of their ways, turns good, and we love them for it. We don’t see it as much with video games, and no, I don’t mean characters. If a game is cast aside as […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 4, 2019
Super Mario Maker 2 Update – What’s New?

When it comes to popular Nintendo Switch games, Super Mario Maker 2 has been huge. The game is still seeing a ton of players daily, months after its release. The developers at Nintendo working on the game are ready to send more content to the game as well. In an update coming on December 5th, […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 2, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure Shortage in Japan Sparks Apology from Nintendo

It seemed a little like a joke at first, but Ring Fit Adventure is a hit. The Nintendo published fitness game for the Switch is huge all over the world. Of course, Japan took to the game quite fondly. Even here in the United States, people are really into this game. Essentially, you track movements and […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 1, 2019
RuneScape Glitch Almost Destroyed the In-Game Economy

RuneScape is a historic MMORPG with a fervent player base to this very day. For nearly 18 years, the game has brought 200 million accounts into its fantasy world. For a lot of people, a few hours on RuneScape is a part of the normal daily routine. There is a new version of the game, […]

BY Taylor Bauer November 27, 2019


Wheel of Time Casting News: The Gleeman and an Ogier Join The Party

Casting news for The Wheel of Time show on Amazon Prime has been steadily rolling out. The first season is currently filming in Prague, but fans have been wondering who was going to play certain major roles. This week’s #WOTWednesday brought us the actors who will play the the gleeman Thom and the loveable Ogier named […]

BY Emily O'Donnell December 6, 2019
Zack Snyder Confirms Snyder Cut Exists In New Photo

After 2 years of back and forth, theories, assumptions and presumptions, Zack Snyder confirms Snyder Cut is very real and it exists.

BY Shah Shahid December 6, 2019
The Foundation Show on Apple TV+ Casts New Faces

An adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series is coming to Apple TV+ and is rapidly adding cast members.  Jared Harris (Chernobyl) will play Hari Seldon, “a mathematical genius who predicts the demise of the empire.” This week brought more casting news, some of which may be surprising to book readers. Several major characters will gender-swap, […]

BY Emily O'Donnell December 6, 2019
First Look at Lucifer Season 5 Ladies Night and Episode Titles Released by Netflix

Lucifer on Netflix has deep roots in comics, even if the series is miles away from the source books. In fact, the rescued murder procedural performed so well on the streamer, it extended Lucifer’s final season by six episodes. Thanks to Aimee Garcia, who plays Forensic investigator and all-around sweetheart Ella, we get our first […]

BY Joshua M. Patton December 6, 2019