The creation of the TV division comes after Disney's $4.2 billion acquisition of Marvel Entertainment, which was completed at the end of last year.
For years, Jeph Loeb has worked in two worlds: television and comics.
Now he’s bringing those worlds together as executive vice president/head of television, a newly created division of Marvel Entertainment.
Loeb was a writer/producer on TV’s “Smallville” and “Lost,” and a writer/co-executive producer on “Heroes.” He also has written comics for Marvel Comics and rival DC, and is a multiple winner of the Eisner, the comic book world’s version of the Oscar.
In his new role, Loeb will help to bring Marvel’s characters and stories to television in both live-action and animated form.
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The creation of the TV division comes after Disney’s $4.2 billion acquisition of Marvel Entertainment, which was completed at the end of last year. Disney-owned networks, which include ABC, ABC Family and the Disney Channel, would provide a home for Marvel’s TV projects.
“Marvel has been looking for the perfect way to get into live-action television and Disney presented it,” Loeb said in an e-mail interview. “Marvel Animation has already been a presence on several networks — this will be a chance to grow that department on new and exciting projects.”
The focus on TV also comes as Marvel has enjoyed great success in recent years on the big screen with Spider-Man, Iron Man and other characters.
“Our challenge is to bring the same high quality that the feature division has done so successfully with the movies and that our fans around the world expect,” Loeb said. “In animation, the intention is to do more. A lot more!”
“The Super Hero Squad” airs on Cartoon Network, “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” is coming this fall to Disney XD, and “Ultimate Spider-Man” is also in the works for Disney XD.
Working under the Disney umbrella means toiling in the shadow of Mickey, Donald and other animated classics.
“There’s absolutely a responsibility on our part to live up to the legacy of Disney Animation and we’re certain that the teams we’ve assembled are up to the task,” Loeb said.
Live-action series are a new direction for Marvel, though the Hulk and Spider-Man starred in TV series decades ago. Loeb isn’t ready to say which Marvel characters might show up on the small screen, but does talk about the lessons he has learned from working with some of TV’s brightest creative minds.
“For me, the most memorable shows in the genre had a single visionary force who drove the show creatively. Joss Whedon on ‘Buffy.’ Al Gough and Miles Millar on ‘Smallville.’ Damon Lindelof on ‘Lost.’ These are not only people I was lucky enough to work with, but also remain friends with. Having that level of talent at the helm of our shows is the goal. We’re also fortunate to be able to work with ABC Studios and ABC Family Studios, who have the best understanding of what the networks’ needs are and how we make the best shows from Marvel properties.”
Though his new job is a full-time one, comic book fans should still expect to see his work, too, Loeb assured.
“I love writing comic books. Marvel wants me to continue and I treasure my working relationships with the incredibly talented illustrators who’ve worked on my stories. Somehow, someway, that will continue.”