Exclusive: Creators and executive producers Josh Gordon and Will Speck explain how Marvel Studios absorbing Marvel Television affected Hit-Monkey.
Creators and executive producers Josh Gordon and Will Speck exclusively explain how Marvel Studios absorbing Marvel Television affected Hit-Monkey. The series centers on the titular Japanese snow monkey as he sets out on a quest for vengeance against the group of soldiers who killed his tribe and the American assassin whose ghost has stuck around to mentor the titular hero. In his search for justice, Hit-Monkey will stumble upon a major political conspiracy with ties to the Yakuza underground and face off against Lady Bullseye, Fat Cobra, Ogun and Silver Samurai.
Fred Tatasciore leads the cast of Hit-Monkey in the titular role alongside Jason Sudeikis, Olivia Munn, George Takei, Ally Maki and Nobi Nakanishi. Gordon and Speck were announced to be developing the series in early 2019 as Hulu began building its roster of animated Marvel projects with M.O.D.O.K., Tigra & Dazzler and Howard the Duck, all of which was planned to lead up to the crossover special The Offenders. However, following the absorption of Marvel TV by Marvel Studios, plans were scrapped for the interconnected universe, leaving only Patton Oswalt’s villain-centric series and Hit-Monkey to continue work.
Ahead of the show’s release, Gordon and Speck spoke exclusively with Screen Rant to discuss the development of Marvel’s Hit-Monkey. In looking at the show’s development cycle, the pair opened up about how Marvel Studios absorbing Marvel TV affected the series, expressing that they try to avoid such studio politics but were grateful to the blockbuster banner and Hulu for their support throughout the whole process. See what Gordon and Speck said below:
Will Speck: “You know, we try to stay out of the politics of it. I think the good throughline is that we have support from the transition to continue with the show. We happened to be mid-production when that happened, so we weren’t in Los Angeles, we happen to be abroad shooting a sci-fi movie, so we were a little bit out of the slipstream, but it’s been really great. I think what’s a really fun throughline for us is Hulu, which has been the place that it was first set up and where it’s now streaming and they’ve really been great partners with us through that transition from the two Marvels.”
Josh Gordon: “But also to Marvel Studios’ credit, when they saw the show, they saw some of the episodes that had already been produced, they supported us. In some ways, it was kind of a dream project, because we were able to continue, nobody messed with us, nobody told us to change anything, they just sort of said, ‘Yeah, keep making the show the way you’re making it, it seems cool.'”
Hulu’s interconnected Marvel universe wasn’t the only casualty of Marvel Studios absorbing Marvel TV, with Netflix’s Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Punisher all being cancelled following the restructuring. Unlike their Hulu counterparts, however, the Netflix series found more prominence in their coverage of cancellation as the shows all were tied to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though it has yet to occur, the actors behind the various characters were all contracted to appear in an MCU film if asked by the studio, leaving the future for them more complicated than that of Hit-Monkey and M.O.D.O.K.
It should come as a positive note for audiences that Hit-Monkey not only didn’t suffer from Marvel Studios absorbing Marvel Television but actually seemed to thrive from it. Much like Patton Oswalt’s confirmation that Marvel didn’t reject anything on M.O.D.O.K., Gordon and Speck’s discussion of the studio’s involvement with their series points to a similar creative freedom that could prove fruitful should Marvel and Hulu elect to renew the show for future seasons. In the meantime, audiences can look forward to the premiere of Hit-Monkey on Hulu on November 17.
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How Marvel Studios Absorbing Marvel TV Affected Hit-Monkey Show