Disney CEO Robert Iger Confirms 3 Marvel Properties in Development as Live-Action Series at ABC and ABC Family

     November 7, 2010


With the void left in the superhero genre of television after Heroes’ cancellation and Smallville in its final season, it looks like ABC and its parent company Disney are looking to be the leader in the “Televised Live-Action Superhero Adventures” category for the new decade.

Robert Iger, CEO of Disney, has confirmed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the Disney-owned ABC and ABC Family are currently working on adapting three Marvel properties for live-action series. As we previously reported, ABC has been looking at adapting The Incredible Hulk, Cloak and Dagger, The Punisher, and other series for TV. Hit the jump for the full quote.

no_ordinary_family_posterFollowing the success of No Ordinary Family, which has been performing well in the ratings and was recently picked up for a full season order, ABC may soon have some new superhero dramas to add to their lineup. Below is the full quote to the Wall Street Journal:

WSJ: In the past year-plus you’ve made two splashy acquisitions: Marvel and Playdom. How are the integrations of those two companies progressing?

Mr. Iger: [With Marvel] we’ve taken back distribution, or bought back distribution from [Viacom Inc.’s] Paramount, for some critical franchises. Notably, “Iron Man 3” will be distributed by us, and “Avengers.” We’re developing three live-action series for ABC and ABC Family. You can buy Marvel products at Disney stores. And we’re working on Marvel games.

Disney’s plan here may be to bank on the success and recognition of the characters that it introduces in these new shows to propel them into a movie role down the line. Crossovers in the Marvel—and now Disney—Universe has always been exciting, but with the properties now coming to television, it could provide a new level of depth and recognition for all characters. Who wouldn’t want to see Ryan Reynolds, in Deadpool attire, on an episode of The Hulk?

As much as I like the idea, and while I’m a fan of No Ordinary Family, despite the cheesy dialogue and character clichés, I can’t say I can fully condone it. Seeing how poorly handled superhero dramas can be (Heroes I’m looking at you), and how fast some series can be cancelled (see: Bionic Woman), I would hate to see a good Marvel property wasted on a bad TV series. That’s not to say it will be bad, but it’s hard to look at the logline for Daughters of the Dragon, a pitch being thrown around by Marvel execs, and be excited:

Daughters of the Dragon — a dynamic female duo, one with a bionic arm and the other a granddaughter of a samurai, open a private-detective agency

Sounds like a CBS procedural, a 60s afterschool cartoon special about feminism, and a very bad video game all got in a head-on collision…and decided to make a TV series about it.