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Jupiter's Legacy passes the superhero torch in generation-spanning Netflix trailer

By Josh Weiss
Jupiter's Legacy

Living up to your parents' pristine reputations isn't an easy thing, especially when your parents are the greatest super-beings the world has ever known. That dilemma lies at the heart of the trailer for Jupiter's Legacy — a sprawling Netflix series based on Mark Millar and Frank Quitely's subversive graphic novels of the same name.

The story kicks off in the late 1920s when Sheldon Sampson/The Utopian (Josh Duhamel), Walter Sampson/Brain-Wave (Ben Daniels), Grace Sampson/Lady Liberty (Leslie Bibb), Fitz Small/The Flare (Mike Wade), and George Hutchence/Skyfox (Matt Lanter) gain meta-human abilities on a strange island and form a team known as The Union. Ninety years later, and their pampered, super-powered children are primed to carry on the family business, but it turns out they aren't quite up to snuff — like asking a trust fund brat to properly balance a budget.

With so much pressure being put on them, they kids just aren't sure if they're up to saving the planet.

Check it out:

"You do the right thing, someone dies. You do the wrong thing, somebody dies," a character remarks in the trailer, pointing out the damned if you do, damned if you don't dilemma of being a superhero. It's a profound statement that's seldom heard in these types of projects and a paragon of Jupiter's deconstructionist attitude toward traditional comic book saviors.

"It's a 50-year story self-contained inside one franchise," Millar, who is also working as an executive producer, teased last month. "It's got a cast of 50 or 60 super-characters. The story starts in 1929 and runs until the end of time. It runs through all time and space and explains the mystery of human existence, all tied into a superhero story.  Right now, there is nobody with more money than Netflix, which, from a storyteller's point-of-view, is the most exciting thing in the world."

Elena Kampouris and Andrew Horton co-star as Sheldon and Grace's two children, Chloe and Brandon, while Ian Quinlan plays George's son, Hutch.

"I feel like this is the ultimate [superhero story] because it's so detailed and you get to stay with these characters — with all their flaws — for over a hundred years," Wade said during the show's virtual panel for WonderCon 2021. "It's like an evolution of the genre. I don't think there's any going back after Jupiter's Legacy."

Jupiter's Legacy key art

"I thought that I'd passed this point in my career," Duhamel admitted. "I didn't think that I was ever gonna get asked, but here we are ... I have this awesome, original show coming out and I never thought I was gonna be a part of one of these. We get to be the first version of it. We're not remaking anything from before. This is the original and I just feel like Netflix has done such a beautiful job. They've really given us a clean palette to go create something awesome. I feel like that's what we've been able to do."

Showrun by Walking Dead vet Sang Kyu Kim, Jupiter's Legacy premieres on Netflix Friday, May 7. Kim, Quitely, Steven S. DeKnight (Pacific Rim: Uprising), Lorenzo Di Bonaventura (Transformers), and Dan McDermott (Ragdoll) serve as executive producers. Check out some fresh production stills in the gallery below...