Marvel is officially getting into the podcast business, as a new scripted series called Wolverine: The Long Night will arrive next year. While podcasts began as a medium mostly focused on comedy, true-crime shows like Serial have seen them explode in popularity over the past few years. Now, Marvel is expanding their reach beyond comics, films, TV, books, and games to enter the audio storytelling arena with the ever-popular Wolverine.
Premiering exclusively on Stitcher Premium in the spring of 2018 before moving on to other podcast networks, Wolverine: The Long Night will be a 10-part series blending a crime story with the world of the iconic mutant. Ben Percy will write the script for the show, which will feature Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) as the voice of Logan. The story will follow two agents, Sally Pierce (Celia Keenan-Bolger) and Tad Marshall (Ato Essandoh), as they investigate a murder in Burns, Alaska. They will be joined by local deputy Bobby Reid (Andrew Keenan-Bolger), with Logan himself serving as the chief suspect.
Along with the news, Percy detailed the intent of writing Wolverine: The Long Night and what exactly the story will entail. As it turns out, much of the mystery will stem from a familiar place - Logan's fractured psyche:
"Because he's been mind-wiped again and again, he doesn't know the whole terrible truth about his life. Part of the series is him recovering those memories and despite his attempts to separate himself from society, getting drawn into a situation where frontier justice is called for."
The isolation of Alaska and the tenuous memories Logan has will help to fuel the podcast's emulation of a true-crime story, while also doing what any Wolverine story does best. Logan showed that Wolverine is defined more by his trauma than his role as a superhero, making him the perfect character to test the waters of a comic character outside of a visual medium. For Percy, the more intimate story will also go hand in hand with classic Wolverine lore:
"It's very easy to turn up the volume on reality there. In addition to the crime investigation into the serial killer on the loose, there are also elements of the fantastic. And some of them have to do with Wolverine as his legend grows in this area, as people observe him bounding through the mists with packs of wolves; as they witness him save and end lives. I'm also drawing from the Native legends in the area and from cultish mythology. There is a compound set up outside of the town of Burns, Alaska, where the Aurora cult is located. And it's unclear at first whether they are implicated in the murders that are occurring here and whether they might have powers, as they purport to — a connection to and a control over the fabric of light that plays over the winter skies."
Wolverine: The Long Night will be directed by Brendan Baker, with sound design from Chloe Prasinos and Daniel Fink of Marvel and Jenny Radelet of Stitcher producing. The cast will also include Bob Balaban, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Chris Gethard, and 30 Rock's Scott Adsit, who himself was turned into a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in the pages of Marvel's Deadpool.
While the story is all worked out and the cast is in place, the minds behind the show saw they're still working on nailing down Wolverine's signature snikt sound when he pops his claws. On top of that, they're hoping the finished product is just the beginning of an interconnected Marvel Podcast Universe. Given the popularity of the medium, the character, and all-things Marvel, Wolverine: The Long Night seems like it will be the first of many new stories.
Wolverine: The Long Night debuts Spring 2018 on Stitcher Premium.