Avengers Broadcast Company?

BY VINNY MURPHY

With the most successful superhero movie of all time under their belt, it seems that Marvel may soon be taking Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to Prime Time. In a recent interview with Collider.com, famed director Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) indicated that the success of the film benefited a long in-development project of his; a new television series for “The Incredible Hulk.”

While Del Toro admitted that the project was “in a holding pattern” while he and the studio await a new draft of the pilot, the interview comes as exciting news. After a long period of relative silence on the show, many speculated that the project was trapped in so-called “development hell.” The practicality of producing a weekly television series that will be compared to its cinematic counterpart is easily questioned. Production costs would implicitly go beyond that of most television series. Marvel moving forward on such a project would not only make a huge statement of their confidence in it, but could prove disastrous if failed. If picked up, audiences should expect Del Toro to produce the show with rotating writers and directors for each episode.

While it may seem logical to bring an already successful television property back to broadcast in the wake of cinematic success, the news does not stop there. ABC and Marvel (both Disney subsidiaries) have been working together to create a live-action show, spinning directly out of the Marvel Movie Universe. While details are sparse and the project very new, it is being reported by Deadline.com that the studios have already played around with numerous treatments, one being a “high-concept cop show.”

Though his specific role has yet to be revealed, “The Avengers” writer/director Joss Whedon’s involvement with the project has been confirmed by Disney. That news came paired with a confirmation that Whedon would once again be taking on writing and directing duties for the forthcoming “Avengers” sequel.

Speculation has run wild that this and the “Hulk” show may be part of a bigger plan for ABC Network. After trailing behind CBS and FOX this past season ( and performing even worse in the prized 18- 49 demographic), ABC could be making a run for the crown with these proven franchises. As technology changes the television market on a constant basis, such a bold and novel approach to television may be exactly what ABC needs to dominate the market.