With all of the recent Netflix cancellations of Marvel shows, FX’s ‘Legion‘ coming to an end, Hulu debating a possible Season 3 for ‘Runaways,’ Freeform prepares for ‘Cloak and Dagger‘ Season 2, and ABC is in production on ‘Agents of SHIELD‘ Seasons 6 and 7, there are a lot of questions about the current state of Marvel television. Specifically what shows will be sticking around, and how much control Marvel really has over which series get to continue.
While speaking to Decider recently in an extended interview, Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb said:
“These are shows that have very different reasons [for ending], most of which I’m not at liberty to talk about, nor should anyone really care at the end of day…In the Netflix situations, that was a situation where the network made a decision and we had nothing to say about it…I would not be surprised if any of those things reemerged…It depends on showrunner, it depends on availability of cast, all of those things. It’s not like we’re a doctor show where the show got canceled because of bad ratings.”
When asked about the end of ‘Legion’ during the Decider interview, Loeb explained:
“I’d like to sort of shave that story a little bit. When Noah [Hawley] came in the first day and told us what he wanted to do he told us the end of the story. It wasn’t like ‘I haven’t really figured out where this is gonna go, but this is what I wanna do.’ I’ve very often referred to being on the show as being on the Magical Mystery Tour and that Noah was our bus driver and that eventually he was going to say ‘Okay, time to get off.’”
Later, while speaking about what Marvel is looking for when making TV shows and how to pick show-runners for each series, Loeb broke it down by saying:
“I’m assuming that if you’ve got close enough for us to have a conversation that you have a talent, that’s sort of a given. So it really comes down to passion. ‘Legion’ is a perfect example. Legion is a story about a damaged man who is looking to be loved. That’s the story. The fact that he can change reality with his mind is the Marvel of it, but if you don’t buy into that first part then the rest of it is just noise.”
And lastly, as a final note on the subject of the cancelled series and whether or not they might re-emerge, Loeb said:
“There is stuff going on all the time. I think it’s also realistic to think when you have 11, 12, 14 shows that some of them are going to rest.”
And some of that rest might just be Marvel looking for new networks for their shows, whether that be the new Disney+ streaming service or even Hulu which is majority owned by Disney nowadays, and has shown interest in taking on the cancelled Marvel/Netflix series once they become available again. While speaking to The Wrap, Hulu Senior Vice President Craig Erwich even stated:
“Marvel has a ton of titles we’d be interested in. It kind of just depends on when they’re ready, [and] who, most importantly, is going to be behind these things.”
In the end, Loeb’s words do not really shed that much light on the subject of how much control Marvel really has over the fate of its shows (renewals and cancellations being largely network decisions) but it is fascinating to peer behind the curtain a bit into what makes many of these shows tick. With any luck, we will see some of those former Netflix shows pop up on other networks soon, and with the same cast and dedicated crew and show-runners as before.