There seems to be no stopping Marvel from conquering the big and small screens, though DC seems to be catching up when it comes to TV with the early renewals of Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl and a rumored Superman series. According to many fan sites and comic reviews, All New All Different Marvel’s comics are behind DC’s Rebirth program as Marvel Comics is busy re-designing and pitting their heroes at each other while DC focuses on character development. News has so far been positive when it comes to Marvel’s films and TV series.
First, there has been confirmation that Spider-Man will be participating in Marvel Studios’ largest crossover film Avengers: Infinity War as opposed to previous reports that he will remain grounded on Earth, which should make the film more interesting in terms of how much Sony will get from the character loan and how the Russo brothers will be able to juggle their ever-growing cast. Also, the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy will also be included in the Avengers’ cosmic adventure with a very positive confirmation on Zoe Saldana’s Gamora due to her relationship with Thanos. Nebula is also expected to make a comeback. What’s very interesting is the reported casting of Peter Dinklage in an unspecified role in the film. Many fans expect him to be one of the Cosmic Entities called Uatu aka The Watcher but unfortunately, The Watcher, along with Silver Surfer and Galactus belong to the Fantastic Four franchise owned by Fox. The other likely role for Mr. Dinklage is the obscure character Pip the Troll who’s a regular in Marvel’s 90s Infinity comics titles. Another quite interesting update about the film is the return of Betsy Ross. Personally, the Hulk-Widow ship isn’t sailing, and fans have been left to wonder whatever happened to Betty. As a bonus, Liv Tyler gets to reprise the role.
On the TV side, this Marvel fan was ecstatic that a green light was given to produce a Cloak and Dagger series last year. Unfortunately, apart from that news, nothing else has come up about the series until recently. One positive is that this series will probably match the Netflix series of shows in quality given the potential budget it will be getting which is about forty million. Another positive is that Daredevil producer Joe Pokaski will serve as showrunner which could mean his vision for Daredevil of dark but good could carry on in Cloak and Dagger. The show is expected to start filming in New Orleans this February under the working title of Shadows and will air in Freeform sometime in 2018.
Though not a ratings driver, Agents of SHIELD delivered a good mid-season opener even without Ghost Rider. The fans love the show’s quick pace and action especially with the inclusion of Robbie Reyes, and the ratings have not been stellar but steady. The show is poised for another season, but that has yet to be confirmed but ABC President Channing Dungey is bullish about a fifth season.
“…I’m very bullish on S.H.I.E.L.D., and we’re also really excited about our production with Marvel, ABC Studios, and IMAX, which we are working on for next fall as well,”
— Channing Dungey, President, ABC, interview with Entertainment Weekly
The show’s direction may soon shift from its Inhumans storyline pretty soon as the IMAX pilot for The Inhumans TV show draws near, or it could be the opposite as AOS could become the vehicle to launch the show about the Royal Family. But as long as Mace, Daisy and Yo-Yo remain with the team, they’ll still tackle the issue from time to time.
The best news of all regarding Marvel TV is that The Punisher TV series from Netflix will hit the screen sometime this 2017. After two lackluster films, the character made a great impact in Daredevil Season 2 thanks to Jon Bernthal’s great acting and to the show’s writers. The lovely Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page) will be co-starring in the series, due to her character’s close relationship with The Punisher in Daredevil. We could probably expect Daredevil to show up in the series as well.
The players for the series are all lined up and are already at work to deliver a potentially great series. The Punisher’s villain has been confirmed as the character Billy Russo, aka Jigsaw who will be played by actor Ben Barnes. The Punisher also has a sidekick named Micro who provides him with tech and weapons for his never-ending war against crime just like Lucius Fox does for Batman or Q from James Bond. The character will be played by Ebon Moss Bachrach. As a vigilante, The Punisher will, of course, be hounded by law enforcement, mainly homeland security which will be led by a character named Dinah Madani. The character will be played by Amber Rose Revah (Indian Summers, Son of God).
Here is the series synopsis which will give us an idea of what to expect:
“After the murder of his family, Frank Castle is both haunted and hunted. In the criminal underworld, he’ll become known as The Punisher.”
“We want to thank the fans who are clamoring for more of Jon’s stunning and powerful performance as Frank Castle from Marvel’s Daredevil.”
— Jeph Loeb, Marvel TV
If Daredevil Season 2 was just a taste, the series has the potential to be exciting. This last decade is a great era for comic book fans. Not just for Marvel but for DC as well.