Marvel Comics and Stitcher have released the first teaser trailer for their upcoming podcast/audio drama starring Wolverine, titled The Long Night. The podcast-based radio play stars actor Richard Armitage (perhaps best known for his portrayal of Thorin Oakenshield in the The Hobbit trilogy of films) as Logan/Wolverine.
Wolverine: The Long Night continues a glorious tradition, making Logan the latest in a long line of superheroes to star in their own radio series. The Shadow - famously voiced by Orson Wells - got his start in radio before moving into other media. Superman also had an enormous presence on the radio, with many elements of the Superman mythology (such as the name of the newspaper Clark Kent worked for being The Daily Planet) having been introduced by the Adventures of Superman radio program.
The trailer for the first episode has been posted to the series website. It neatly sets up the setting of Burns, Alaska, where a series of murders brings agents Sally Pierce (Celia Keenan-Bolger) and Tad Marshall (Ato Essandoh) in to investigate rumors of a serial killer. Working with Deputy Bobby Reid (Andrew Keenan-Bolger) to investigate their main suspect, Logan, the trio of lawmen quickly uncover many dark secrets in the small town.
The show’s cast includes other notable actors such as Scott Adsit (Pete Hornberger on 30 Rock), Bob Balaban (the narrator in Moonrise Kingdom), and Brian Stokes Mitchell (Scott Knowles in Mr. Robot). Also cast in the series are actors Zoe Chao, Chaske Spencer, Jordan Bridges, David Call, Michael J. Burg, and Lannon Killea. Chris Gethard, host of the popular Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People podcast, will make an undefined cameo appearance.
It remains to be seen how successful Marvel Comics' partnership with Stitcher will prove. Ignoring the widespread ambivalence to radio-based dramas in modern times, Wolverine seems a frankly odd choice to be the premiere character for any series based in a sound-based media. There is a certain visual focus to most of Wolverine's adventures in the comics and it is difficult to see how that might be replicated in an audio format. It seems that a character better known for talking (such as the wisecracking Deadpool or Spider-Man) would be a better fit for this project.
On the other hand, there is reason to be optimistic for the venture. With top-notch voice talent like the aforementioned actors on-board and acclaimed Green Arrow writer Benjamin Percy scripting the series, Wolverine: The Long Night might just prove the thing to revive the superhero radio drama. After all, Wolverine is the best at what he does and what he does most frequently is come back from the dead.
Wolverine: The Long Night releases exclusively to Stitcher Premium on Monday, March 12.