Marvel fans may get a case streaming deja vu very soon, as the comics titan and VOD service Hulu have inked a deal to release a string of new superhero series. Howard the Duck will lead a new quartet of animated shows from Marvel TV, which will build to a crossover event series – a deal that strongly recalls the pact for The Defenders Marvel signed with Netflix not so many years ago.
The VOD landscape has changed since then, however, and Marvel owner Disney’s merger with Fox is about to see its ownership stake in Hulu jump from 30% to 60%. As a result, it’s expected that the House of Mouse will use Hulu to stream some of its more adult-friendly content, while focusing on more family-friendly material for its own subscription platform, Disney+.
The deal follows Hulu’s existing Marvel series Runaways, and covers four projects. Howard the Duck, who had his own 1986 movie and briefly appeared in the Avengers franchise, will have his solo series overseen by Kevin Smith and Dave Willis.
Chelsea Handler will exec-produce and write Tigra & Dazzler Show alongside Erica Rivinoja, following the progressive duo as they “try to get their superpowered heads, hands and hearts around life in the City of Angels”.
Marvel’s villain Hit-Monkey will be brought to life by Josh Gordon and Will Speck, while M.O.D.O.K., which follows a Japanese snow monkey taking on Tokyo’s crime underbelly, will be shepherded to the screen by Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum.
All four series will be steered and co-produced by Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb, with Loeb then exec-producing the crossover special, The Offenders, which will see all four solo outings collide.
The news came at the TCA press tour this week and follows the cancellation of several Marvel projects at Netflix, including Iron Fist and Daredevil. The only two of Hell’s Kitchen’s characters left standing are The Punisher and Jessica Jones, both of which are expected to eventually have the plug pulled on them too.