The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand at what almost seems like an accelerated rate. The film side of Marvel Studios is expanding its output from two movies per year to three movies per year, while Netflix has four television series which will soon be joined by The Defenders and The Punisher. ABC airs Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the upcoming Inhumans while ordering a pilot for Damage Control. Hulu ordered a pilot for Runaways and Freeform has just announced New Warriors along with the previously known Cloak & Dagger.
One of the long gestating projects, however, has been Oscar-winning writer/producer John Ridley's secret Marvel television series. It has been in development since early 2015 but not much is known about the project other than it involves reinventing an “existing Marvel superhero character or property” for ABC.
The 12 Years a Slave screenwriter and American Crime creator recently spoke with Variety about the untitled Marvel project. In the interview he briefly reassures that the project is still alive. Here's what he told the outlet:
“I still want to do it. Hopefully it will still get done,” he says, adding with a laugh, “They’ve got a release schedule that far exceeds my life expectancy.”
This isn't the first time someone has promised the television series is actively in development. ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey revealed that the project was undergoing rewrites but that Ridley was currently focused on his miniseries Guerrilla.
There's been a lot of speculation regarding what the series is about. It's been in development for long enough that two of the rumored possibilities were Cloak & Dagger and Runaways, both of which were announced sometime later with different creative teams. Another possibility is a Ms. Marvel film with the Kamala Khan version of the character. That would make sense since Ridley has previously said he was interested in exploring the same social consciousness ideas that shows like Jessica Jones were touching on. However, Kamala Khan is a fairly new character which doesn't really need to be reinvented so that may not fit.
A final possibility showed up in February when it was reported that Sub-Mariner could be shooting in Hawaii. It is currently the only project in development with a question mark regarding who is developing it. Since the character has been around long enough to go with a reinvention and the rumor was credible enough it is a likely possibility.
We’ll bring you more news on the secret John Ridley Marvel television series as it emerges, so stay tuned.