Saturday, January 25, 2020

Weekend Headlines | MARVEL Cancels Hulu's Shows

Yesterday, news broke from Marvel and Hulu. It looks like Marvel’s Howard the Duck will not hatch—at least as an animated series on Hulu. And the reportedly delayed Tigra & Dazzler has also been shelved.

Howard the Duck writer/executive producer Kevin Smith has told that the writing staff of his cartoon was notified on January 22 that development was halted.

"I got a text from [fellow executive producer] Dave Willis in the morning saying, 'We got Tigra and Dazzler’d,'" Smith said. "I called him and asked ‘Is that what I think that means?’ And Dave said he had just got the word that there will be no Howard the Duck show. The only explanation was ‘We have no plans for this character at this time,'."

Back in December, The Hollywood Reporter ran a story that Marvel had fired Tigra & Dazzler's entire writing staff (including its showrunner) but planned to replace them all as part of a "as part of a larger creative overhaul."

That has now changed, and has confirmed that Tigra & Dazzler has been shelved completely. Howard the Duck, Tigra & Dazzler, M.O.D.O.K., and Hit Monkey were all part of a linked cartoon universe set to stream on Hulu. All four series were set to build to a crossover called The Offenders.

Casting announcements for M.O.D.O.K. were made just days ago, and work will reportedly continue on both that series and Hit Monkey for eventual showing on Hulu. No details on the planned crossover are known at this time

For his part, Smith remains philosophical about Howard the Duck's cancelation.

"We had a lot of great writers who put in a lot of really hard work and came up with some inventive scripts, but we all got paid, so no one’s complaining," he said. "But we were all there to do the show, so that’s a bit of a bummer."

Smith saw the writing on the wall with Marvel’s October 2019 restructuring, which saw Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige placed in charge of Marvel TV and publishing as well. Smith remains philosophical about that as well.

"As a fan of the Marvel Universe, I like Kevin being in charge of things in the sense of everything - comics, TV and movies," Smith said. "It makes sense to have it under one guy, especially the one guy who’s brought Marvel the most success in recent years."

Howard the Duck has had several cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and may well appear in future projects there. An animated What If…? series is planned for Disney+.

“Look, by the time What If…? airs on Disney+, this will be a distant memory," Smith said. "People will be like, ‘Look! It’s Uatu! He’s telling his stories!’ So as someone who was working on the show, it’s a bummer. But as someone who’s a fan of Kevin Feige, I’m like, 'Kevin, whatever you say.' He’s the most important Kevin in the universe, the Kevin who must be spared above all others. Even my mother agrees. I’m not offended in the least."