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WIRE Buzz: Marvel TV officially shutting down; Amells bring Code 8 spinoff to Quibi; more
After months of shifting fortunes and speculation about the fates of series previously under the Marvel Television umbrella, Marvel’s TV wing is reportedly shutting down to make way for a reorganizing effort that folds existing shows, as well as those currently in development, directly under the Marvel Studios banner.
Deadline reports that Marvel Television will officially shutter operations in anticipation of division chief Jeph Loeb’s impending departure, with ongoing projects like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the upcoming live-action Helstrom, and Marvel’s planned quartet of animated series previously bound for Hulu all moving over to the Kevin Feige-helmed Marvel Studios. With Feige's recent promotion to take on the chief creative officer role at Marvel, coupled with the streaming debut of Disney+, the move appears to solidify Feige's stated intention to streamline the MCU's connections across both movies and television.
The TV roster that Marvel Studios will oversee is far lighter than before, thanks to a number of major changes over the past year that’ve seen the cancellation of Netflix series like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist — as well as the scrapping or indefinite pausing of earlier-announced shows that never saw production, like Ghost Rider and Tigra & Dazzler.
Marvel’s TV schedule also appears to be turning a corner now that shows like Legion on FX and Marvel’s Runaways on Hulu (out Dec. 13) have finished their series runs. The ending of those shows, combined with the the October cancellation of Cloak & Dagger, leave the studio with a smaller lineup of announced projects, though big-name shows like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will become standard-bearers for the TV arm of Marvel Studios as they arrive at Disney+.
TV Line reports that a new spinoff series based on the newly hatched Code 8 universe is already in the works for short-form online streamer Quibi, and it’ll return both Stephen and Robbie Amell to star in the same roles they play in the big-screen version. The spinoff also will retain Code 8 movie director Jeff Chan to helm the series, alongside Chris Paré, the movie's screenwriter.
Based on an original idea the Amells crowdfunded into a feature-length film, Code 8 turns the tables on the small minority of people in its sci-fi world who possess superpowers, making them into oppressed social pariahs constantly harassed and scrutinized by both law enforcement and the general public. There’s no premiere date set for the new spinoff (Quibi makes its debut as a streaming platform in April of next year), but you can catch Code 8 on the big screen when it debuts in theaters on Dec. 13.
Finally, Supergirl is set to make Mr. Mxyzptlk a permanent part of the mix. Deadline reports that the show has cast comedic actor Thomas Lennon — who made his name as part of the creative and on-screen team behind MTV’s The State and Comedy Central’s Reno 911 — to play the shape-shifting magical mischief-maker in a recurring role as Season 5 turns the corner toward its conclusion.
Lennon is stepping into a role previously played, back in Season 2, by Peter Gadiot. But, as the report notes, the shapeshifting powers of “the Myx” should easily wash away any fan qualms about seeing a different face on a familiar character.
Expect to see Lennon Myx-ing things up for Kara Danvers when Season 5 of Supergirl picks up where it left off at The CW — once we’ve gotten over the stressed-out awesomeness of the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover.