Marvel has been hitting it out of the park with its line-up of television programs. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently in its third season on ABC, Agent Carter is about to return for a second season, and Netflix's Marvel TV Shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones have enjoyed enormous critical success.
Last April, we heard reports that John Ridley (creator of American Crime and writer for 12 Years a Slave) was working with ABC to adapt a new Marvel property to the small screen. While we learned almost nothing about the project at the time, speculation has suggested everything from Cloak & Dagger, to Ms. Marvel.
Recently, Collider interviewed John Ridley to talk about his current show on ABC, American Crime. But they managed to ask about Ridley's upcoming Marvel TV show, and while Ridley remained tight-lipped about the project, he did reveal a few things about his own inner Marvel fan, and why he took on the project.
"I grew up reading graphic novels, which back then were comic books. I’ve written some. I have kids who, with as much social impact that American Crime or 12 Years A Slave has, they could not care less. They’re just at that age. Back in the day, when I was growing up with things like Star Wars and Superman, they were quality work. We’ve seen really good things that are based on these fantastic universes. And I can’t talk much, at all, about it, but when Marvel and ABC approached me about the project, it felt like a good fit."
John Ridley is known for heavier material, with American Crime being one of the most thought-provoking shows on ABC, a channel that Ridley admits in the interview usually desires a show that is "comfortable" to its viewers. Yet shows like American Crime and films like 12 Years a Slave are far from comfortable. They bring up important questions that stimulate thought and internal reflection.
Netflix allows for greater flexibility with their program than ABC, which means that Ridley's show will not likely be as dark as Daredevil or Jessica Jones. But we can still assume that Ridley's Marvel show will make us think. John Ridley had this to add about the quality of the Marvel TV show:
"Look at Jessica Jones and what they’re doing. It’s quality stuff. So, I hope and believe that, if we have the opportunity to do it, it will be done with quality. Because it is something that people maybe go, “Why would John do that?”
Ridley does indeed appear to be an odd choice for a Marvel show on ABC, but that's simply because we don't yet know what intellectual property he is adapting. When the answer is finally revealed, we may understand better. ABC has already ordered an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D spin-off show called Marvel's Most Wanted with the familiar faces of Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood returning as Bobbi Morse (aka Mockingbird) and Lance Hunter respectively. However this is not the same show that John Ridley is working on. Time will tell.
Agent Carter season 2 premieres Tuesday January 19th, 2016 at 9pm on ABC. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 returns next year on Tuesday, March 8th at 9pm on ABC. Daredevil season 1 and Jessica Jones season 1 are now available on Netflix. Luke Cage season 1 and Daredevil season 2 will debut on Netflix in 2016. Release dates for Iron Fist and The Defenders on Netflix have not yet been announced.