Marvel exec teases TV strategy (+ why del Toro's Hulk didn't happen!)

It’s taken a few years and some false starts, but we finally have our first modern-day Marvel show via Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. So, what’s coming next — and why didn’t we ever get to see Guillermo del Toro’s Hulk series?

Marvel TV exec Jeph Loeb opened up with Ain’t It Cool News for a wide-ranging interview about everything from what’s coming up on S.H.I.E.L.D. (the truth about Coulson is coming “sooner than you expect”) to some projects that never made the cut.

The highlights: Beloved sci-fi vet Guillermo del Toro pitched a high-profile Hulk TV series that was blazing through development for about three days, then all went quiet a few years ago. The reason? Marvel backed off once fans fell in love with Mark Ruffalo’s version of the character in The Avengers, and they didn’t want to screw that up. 

Oh, and that Jessica Jones spy series that’s been stuck in development hell for years? It turns out Marvel is still high on the project, and there’s a chance it could pop up later on down the line (as part of that big, mysterious TV overload they’re allegedly working on, perhaps?). He also compares the small-screen strategy with the big-screen approach, which makes even more sense with a Peggy Carter series allegedly in development.

Oh, and it turns out they really do put a premium on behind-the-scenes talent, which is a nice change of pace from most TV projects.

Check out some excerpts below and let us know what you think:

“We don’t talk a lot about our development, but it was very public and the first one out of the block and it had a great deal to with that we are on ABC in the States which is very well known for having a large, female demographic. The best of those in the Marvel Universe was Jessica Jones, but it didn’t quite fit with the ABC model. But, we still believe in that show in a major way. Then, Guillermo Del Toro came in and talked to us about doing a Hulk show and when Guillermo Del Toro comes and wants to do a show about your pinkie, you are going to want to do it. But it was just a case that once we saw what Joss Whedon and Mark Ruffalo were creating in ‘The Avengers, that was a better solution…

Here’s what I can tell you.....we took our cue from the movie studio. They started out very simply in that they made ‘Iron Man’ and then they made ‘Iron Man 2’. Then, in one year, they doubled the production and made ‘Thor’ and ‘Captain America’, which led to ‘The Avengers’. That’s a very smart way of telling your audience that you care deeply about what it is you are making. For us in television, it always comes down to finding the right show runner. If you look in genre television at the best of those shows, Ron Moore on Battlestar Galactica, Damon Lindelof on Lost and then Joss on Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse, there is a single mind or a single vision that is going along with it, that’s our goal.”

It makes sense Marvel would emulate the film studio’s playbook on TV, starting with one series — building a hit — then expanding out around it. Here’s hoping it translates media. What do you think? Which small-screen series do you want next?

(Via Ain’t It Cool News)

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