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So what's the deal with "Marvel's Avengers
Assemble," that new animated series that premieres tomorrow morning, July
7th at 11 a.m. ET/ PT on Disney XD? Didn't XD already an animated series (i.e.
"The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!," which aired on this cable
channel from 2010 - 2012) that celebrated this comic book crew?
To hear Jeph Loeb (i.e. the head of Marvel Television and
executive producer of "Marvel's Avengers Assemble") talk, the
decision to replace "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!" with
"Marvel's Avengers Assemble" had a lot to do with ...
" ... a little art-house film that came out last year.
Maybe you saw it. It was called 'Marvel's The Avengers
' and was written &
directed by our friend Joss Whedon. I'm proud to say it's the highest grossing
film of 2012, the highest grossing film Walt Disney has ever put out, and the
third highest grossing movie EVER in the world."
Copyright 2013 Marvel. All rights reserved
So what does that have to do with "Marvel's Avengers
Assemble," you ask? To Loeb's way of thinking, the take-away from
"Marvel's The Avengers" was that ...
"... it was the interaction between those characters
that made that movie as special as it was. So when Disney asked us to put
together a new Avengers animated television series, 'Marvel's The Avengers' became our template. We wanted to
replicate that sort of storytelling. Create something that involved multiple
characters and had action on an epic scale, but -- at the same time -- had a
certain kind of levity."
That sounds like a pretty big challenge, don't you think?
Taking what made "Marvel's The Avengers" so much fun as a major
motion picture and then channeling all that into a new animated series. Was
Jeff ever concerned that he wouldn't be able to pull off this assignment? Not
Jeff Loeb at Disney XD's "Marvel's Avengers Assemble" media day.Photo by Shelly Valladolid
"With those of us at Marvel Television, it always
begins with story, a script, making sure that it's all on the page first. And in this case, given
what we were trying to pull off here, there was no other choice. We needed to
go with a group of individuals who had
not only created some of the most memorable characters that have ever been in animation -- like 'BEN 10
' and 'Generator Rex
-- but have also done two seasons of Marvel's very successful 'Ultimate
Spider-Man' series, the Man of Action guys."
So what did Loeb & Co. tell the Man of Action guys when
they sat down to discuss "Marvel's Avengers Assemble" ?
"We knew that we wanted this new animated series to be based
around the world of the movie. Which meant that 'Marvel's Avengers Assemble' had to be
the biggest TV series that we had ever
done. Not just in terms of the cast, but also in terms of the look of the show.
And I want to give credit where credit is due: Eric Radomski, who is the Head
of Production for Marvel Animation and who also happened to direct the pilot of
'Marvel's Avengers Assemble" as well. Eric has been the supervising
producer on this Disney XD show, and he has been looking at every possible way
he can plus this production. It's a great-looking show."
When I asked Loeb for some specifics about how he and
Radomski went about putting together the pilot for this new animated series,
Jeff talked about how ...
"... Eric and I sat down and -- since this show was
going to be based on 'Marvel's The Avengers' -- there were certain things that
we wanted to do with this animated series right away. But at the same
time, we wanted to make sure that
'Marvel's Avengers Assemble' was still accessible to people who hadn't seen the
movie or maybe had never ever seen any of the Marvel characters before. I know that
there's three of them left on the planet.
So since we were really servicing two audiences here, Eric
and I knew that we needed a character to serve as our eyes. Someone who'd be
entering the world of the Avengers for the first time just like some of our
audience members were. So we began talking with the Man of Action guys about using
Falcon as our entry point, our gateway character."
Falcon tries to make a good impression on his first day at S.H.I.E.L.D. by bringing in a boxof fresh-baked cookies that his mother made. The Hulk and Thor approve. Copyright 2013 Marvel. All rights reserved
So does that mean that -- on "Marvel's Avengers
Assemble" -- we're only going to see Falcon and the characters from the
"Marvel's The Avengers" movie? Loeb was quick to correct that
"Will we see some of the other Marvel heroes along the way? Absolutely.
But one of the things that will make this new animated series unique is that
this is our cast. We'll focus on this core group of characters, much like they
did in the movie. We want to be able to let our audience really get to know
Don't get me wrong. One of the things that has kept the Avengers exciting &
vital over the past fifty years is that Marvel has periodically changed up the
gang with new characters. And that practice goes all the way back to the days
of 'Cap's Quartet,' for those of you who know what that means. But at the end of the day, what we really wanted to do with 'Marvel's Avengers
Assemble' is have a show where we could focus on these individuals and their relationships
with each other. That's what this new Disney XD series is really all about."
(L to R) Fred Tatasciore (Voice of the Hulk), Roger Craig Smith (Voice of Captain America) and Bumper Robinson (Voice of Falcon) at Disney XD's "Marvel's Avengers Assemble" media day. Photo by Shelly Valladolid
So what can Disney XD viewers expect to see when they tune
in tomorrow morning to catch the premiere of "Marvel's Avengers
Assemble." Jeff was quick to point out that -- even though this new
animated series is inspired by "Marvel's The Avengers" -- when it
comes to the performers who'll be voicing these Marvel icons for this TV show
"... you know you're not going to have the cast from
the movie. But what we have done is assembled a vocal cast that brings the same
sense of fun, excitement and epic adventure that you found in the film to this
TV show. But at the same time, they make this material their own.
One of the challenges of putting together a show like
'Marvel's Avengers Assemble' is that it's just not enough to have great scripts
and great voices. We also wanted this new animated series to be a great-looking
show as well. I mean, look what we did with
'Ultimate Spider-Man.' We took that Disney XD show and brought it to the
next level. And just wait 'til you see 'Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.' That new
animated series from Marvel Television is going to be next level as well."
(L to R) Steven T. Seagle, executive producer, Man of Action Studios and Adrian Pasdar(Voice of Iron Man). Photo by Shelly Valladolid
So as I closed out my chat last month with Mr. Loeb, I asked
him what aspect of this new Marvel Television production made him the proudest.
His response was ...
"... We have an incredible vocal cast that I'm sure
will be able to handle all of the drama, the fun, the excitement, and the promise that Marvel brings
to every single one of our projects. This isn't just a cartoon television series.
It's an epic adventure of the human spirit."
"Marvel's Avengers Assemble" premieres on Disney
XD tomorrow July 7th at 11 a.m. ET /
Every time I read an article about Marvel, I wonder if they understand that they are owned by Disney. Quotes like "So when Disney asked us to put together a new Avengers animated television series" and "he highest grossing film Walt Disney has ever put out" shows how Marvel refuses to see themselves as part of Disney.
On a side note, I hope this new show is good, as both Ultimate Spider-Man and Earth's Mightiest Heroes were poorly done and Hulk: Agents of Smash looks really bad.
@Marvel's Ego ... I don't see that as a negative or anything. Disney owns Marvel and has intentionally given them a great deal of autonomy, which has worked very well for everyone. And Pixar does the same.
> Earth's Mightiest Heroes were poorly done
Uh, what? The first season and the first thirteen episodes of the second season of EMH are fantastic. The season finale of EMH is on par with the DCAU as far as I'm concerned. Then, Loeb took over and decided to make everything standalone episodes and ruined the show with that Man of Action studio taking over from Yost. Loeb has done nothing but systematically destroy any chances of Marvel ever successfully breaking into the superhero animation game. if ruining the Ultimate universe wasn't bad enough...
@ Chris -- it's Disney / Pixar and will be Disney / Lucasfilm. Marvel is refusing the Disney brand
@ Plop -- we may disagree on EMH but fully agree on Jeph Loeb.