Not content merely to dominate the box office and the comic book world, Marvel is now setting its sights on TV. On the heels of Disney XD’s announcement that the Ultimate Spider-Man (the network’s highest rated animated series) would be picked up for a second season, the new Marvel Animation Studios is gearing up for an ambitious lineup of comic-inspired series, including Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and Marvel’s Avengers Assemble.
For more on the project and an interview with the Marvel’s head of television, hit the jump.
TV Guide recently had a chat with Joe Quesada, chief creative officer of Marvel Entertainment, and Jeph Loeb, the company’s executive vice president and head of television, to talk about their latest foray into the small screen.
Regarding the upcoming season of the Ultimate Spider-Man series, Jeph Loeb said
“The Avengers is the No. 3 movie of all-time and there’s a brand new Spider-Man movie that’s coming out on July 3. We want [this series] to be relevant to those films. There will be more stories that feature those Avengers characters — Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, they’ll all be coming back in Season 2. But even more exciting to us is that we’re going to be able to explore the villain from this summer’s Amazing Spider-Man [movie]. Curt Connors has been playing a role throughout all of Season 1, and finally in Season 2, longtime Spidey fans and Marvel fans will get to see his transformation into the Lizard.”
Joe Quesada also suggested that hardcore Marvel aficionados might get to see some other beloved characters, as they “also dig a little bit deeper into the supporting cast, so we’ll have more about Luke Cage, Iron Fist, [and] Nova, including an origin or two.”
“we started talking about it and we thought what’s more fun than one Hulk? And that would actually be five Hulks! We’re taking characters that already exist in the Marvel Universe — because it’s very important to us that it all begins with [the comic-book] publishing. That cast is Hulk; the Red Hulk; Skaar, who’s the teenage barbarian Hulk, She Hulk — who’s actually been a character in the Marvel Universe for 30 years; and a relatively new character, A-Bomb. He’s more of a Blue Hulk. And together they are Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”
(which Loeb went on to say stands for whatever the Hulks want it to, because they are friggin’ Hulks).
The Avengers project is more under wraps, as Loeb explains,
“The Avengers movie has been the ambassador to the world for the Marvel Universe so we want a show that has the feel and the tone and the incredible adventures like that movie. So the next project that we’re working on — and this is down in our lab, top secret, with the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents protecting us at all costs — is Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, which will be a brand new and really extraordinary looking animated series dealing with the Avengers in that same world.”
Loeb assures fans that it will be different from the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes series on Disney XD. For one, it will include the African-American superhero Falcon.
“In the same kind of way that Ultimate Spider-Man pushed the boundaries in terms of a unique combination of 2D and CG and using top-flight writers and voice actors, that’s what we’re looking for. Eric Radomski, who is in charge of production for us, has been involved with such groundbreaking shows as Batman: The Animated Series and Spawn, and every single time there’s been a significant leap in the look and tone of action adventure television animation he’s been there. We really look to him and our creative people to break down that wall and see what the next level is.”
Though the new series do not yet have a network partner, Quesada and Loeb feel comfortable in terms of The Avengers‘ success that it will not be a problem.