The other shoe may finally be dropping.
Multiple reports, including an article published by Variety early this morning, are claiming Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel Television for the past ten years, will leave the company by Thanksgiving. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Loeb’s exit has been in the works for time and may even predate Kevin Feige’s elevation to Chief Creative Officer at Marvel.
Loeb’s departure is not unexpected. This past summer, the executive gave an interview in which he suggested Marvel Television would be producing shows for the Disney+ streaming service. But a short time later, Feige unveiled a slate of shows — including Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk — which would have been dream projects for Loeb’s television division. In lieu of any specific Disney+ plans, he announced a slate of Marvel Television productions at Hulu, including a Ghost Rider series based on the Robbie Reyes character featured on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Helstrom, whose cast includes Elizabeth Marvel. At the time, Loeb said the plan was to bring the more horror-tinged characters of the Marvel Comics universe to Hulu, but this concept seemed to erode a few months later with rumors indicating Marvel Studios was interested in making a Ghost Rider film and Hulu’s decision to pass on the Ghost Rider series.
Additionally, those Disney+ projects from Marvel Television never materialized.
When we last spoke to Loeb on the set of S.H.I.E.L.D. this past May, he admitted Marvel Studios had not informed them of the five-year time jump in Avengers: Endgame, leaving the program’s sixth and seventh season storylines in a limbo place in between frames of Avengers: Infinity War and suggesting the level of communication between Marvel Studios and Marvel Television was strained.
Indeed, much of the division’s output is also in limbo with regards to the studio. Its deal with Netflix puttered to a halt, leaving a few shows with never-to-be-resolved cliffhangers. Attempts to develop a third television show on ABC after S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter led to Marvel’s Most Wanted, which the network did not pick up, a John Ridley project which never materialized and, of course, the embarrassing Inhumans which we covered in great length here at Comicon. Meanwhile, Marvel TV’s great promise that it was connected to the films never really worked out. It hampered S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s first season and formed little else but background information for the Netflix shows. Most damning, though: Marvel Studios never acknowledged the television characters until James D’Arcy make a cameo appearance as Agent Carter‘s Edwin Jarvis in Avengers: Endgame.
And, as it happens, rumors indicate characters from Inhumans will be recast for the Disney+ Ms. Marvel series.
Projects under Loeb’s control will be part of Feige’s domain going forward, so subsequent season of Marvel’s Runaways and Cloak & Dagger will presumably continue; although the latter has not yet been renewed for a third year. The animated series in development at Hulu may also continue, though it is possible all of Marvel Television efforts will turn to dust after Runaways debuts its third season in December.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., however, will return for one last season next year.