The Hollywood Reporter reports that Daredevil’s Disney+ reboot is undergoing a complete overhaul after several Marvel executives, including Kevin Feige, screened footage and determined the direction of the 18-episode show is not working.
The report claims Marvel quietly parted ways in September with several episodic directors and the show’s head writers, Chris Ord and Matt Corman. The decision came when it was clear their version of the legal drama had wandered too far from the original proposal.
The 2016 Daredevil show starred Charlie Cox as a blind lawyer turned crime-fighting vigilante and is praised as the best live-action Marvel series. However, THR’s source says this version did not have Cox showing up in costume until the fourth episode, with the action and violence considerably paired down.
Marvel is now looking for new writers and directors to helm the show. However, according to Deadline, Ord and Corman will stay on as executive producers for the project.
Worry began to mount against Born Again’s ability to duplicate Netflix’s success when it was confirmed Deborah Ann Woll and Elden Henson were absent from the call sheet despite being an integral part of Matt Murdock’s story.
However, this is not the first TV series to struggle in Marvel’s new era of limited series. Marvel Studios’ choice to overhaul not only the Daredevil project but also how it will make television moving forward echoes the more significant issue that has plagued this venture.
Secret Invasion’s failure as one of the worst-reviewed Marvel series is the latest in a string of disappointing story choices stemming from a desire to create cinematic 6-hour movies.
Behind the scenes, The Hollywood Reporter notes dozens of director and creative turnovers due to “a lack of central vision” that has “begun to afflict the studio’s shows with creative differences and tension.”
Jeremy Slater, Moon Knight’s show creator and writer, was replaced by director Mohamed Diab. Jessica Gao wrote She-Hulk: Attorney at Law but had a much smaller role in the series once director Kat Coiro came onto the project. Mr. Robot writer Kyle Bradstreet wrote several scripts for Secret Invasion but was let go by Marvel when it decided on a different direction for the series.
According to the THR report, Marvel Studios has been against the traditional TV-making model from the beginning.
The company would shoot entire $150 million-plus seasons of TV without pilot commissions and relied heavily on postproduction to fix any issues with continuity or plot. Marvel’s television projects did not hire showrunners, instead depending on film executives to run the show.
The new WGA guidelines will help prevent these hiring decisions, requiring that writers rather than executives and directors fill showrunner positions. A ruling that likely prompted the desire for Marvel to overhaul its current process.
The company is now dedicated to hiring proper showrunners for its projects. “It’s a term we’ve not only grown comfortable with but also learned to embrace,” Brad Winderbaum, Head of Streaming, Television and Animation at Marvel, said.
Showrunners will be expected to write pilots and show bibles, doing away with the process of filming the entire show and then acknowledging what is not working. Also, Marvel would like to humor more serialized TV that runs for multiple seasons instead of limited movie-formatted series.
The desire to tell character-driven stories is there “beyond the fact that it ties into [other projects] or if they are going to be in a movie or if it is setting up an Avengers film,” Winderbaum explained.
Time will tell if this desire to upend poor creative practices is sincere, but one thing is clear: Marvel’s days of writing on the fly are over.
For more details on this news story, please see The Hollywood Reporter’s full report here.
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