Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada recently gave a lengthy interview, where he discussed both Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Marvel Studios upcoming animated superhero movie Big Hero 6, which is being developing alongside Pixar.
When asked about the fast-paced nature of a live-action television series, Joe Quesada talked about how the TV process compares to publishing comic books every week.
"It certainly adds to the pressure of how we have to be careful of these things. But we also work hand-in-hand with the studios to be sure that they're intimately involved as we work out these concepts. It is like a living, breathing weekly document we're making with Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and we want to make sure that we're an additive to the Cinematic Universe tapestry and not a complication.
What strikes me as interesting about the world of live action television is how much it reminds me of comics publishing. Comics are a weekly grind. Every Wednesday, retailers have to have product to sell, so the books have to go out. The amount of creative work and the mental energy put towards that content on a daily basis is stunning and really daunting if we had the luxury to really sit and think about the Sisyphean task for a second. Weekly episodic television is very much like that. The big difference of course is that you do get some time off to recharge a bit. I enjoy the fact that during the course of the week, almost on a daily basis, I'm reading something that's coming from the Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. writing or production crew.
Sometimes it's a brief on an episode or the latest draft of a script or a rough cut of a future episode or the dailies, which come, well, daily. Whatever it is that I'm getting, there's a constant flow of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stuff in my inbox. I love that grind and that pressure. It reminds me of my comics roots. It's what I know and very much the way I learned to do things in a creative environment."
Earlier this month, we reported that the ABC series is bringing in the Marvel character Dr. Franklin Hall, a.k.a. Gravitron, played by Ian Hart. The Marvel executive talked about the decision to add him into the Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. mix.
"There were several reasons for using Hall. If you're a long time Marvel fan, of course you'll recognize the name, and we knew that would pique interest. It's always fun to throw in an established character when you can to get fans excited. Heck, it gets us excited! But he's also a very compelling character on his own. So if you're not a comic fan, he's a character you'll be introduced to who we think will appeal to folks who don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of the MU, especially this incarnation that our Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. writing team has come up with. Of course our loyal fans know that some interesting things happen to Dr. Franklin Hall in the pages of our comics, and while I'm not saying that those things happen here, the fact that perhaps someday they might is kind of cool."
He also talked about the importance of humor within all aspects of the Marvel universe.
"I don't think it's a secret, but at the core of everything we do, and this is evident in all our films and obviously evident in the first episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. , is that we try to have a sense of humor about our universe as do our characters. In some instances, it's self-effacing, but it's that humor in the face of danger and or tragedy that brings out the humanity in our characters, and I think you'll find that's a hallmark of everything we do at Marvel. While there is a seriousness and a gravitas to the missions our heroes have to undertake and endure, there's also a ton of levity at its heart. At the end of the day, when you finish reading one of our comics or come out of one of our movies or turn off your TV after watching one of our shows, actually, don't turn off your TV, stay tuned to ABC and DXD, they have some great programming right after us [Laughs], we want you to feel like the Marvel Universe is a place that you want to live in, a place you want to revisit. We want you to feel that our characters are people you want to hang out with or aspire to be just like. Even though our world has some crazy badass villains with insane super powers and aliens invade from time to time, we want it to feel like a world worth visiting on a consistent basis."
"Big Hero 6 is really looking great. Don Hall, Kristina Reed and the entire crew are such amazingly talented people and have such a love for all things Marvel that it's been an absolute blast working with them. They've really taken the BH6 property, which at the end of the day doesn't have a lot of publishing history behind it, and built an entire world and mythology around it. Being there from the very beginning, the process has been amazing to watch. The amount of research Don and his crew have done is exhaustive and beyond thorough, and I don't just mean with respect to reading the comics. From the design of the characters and their tech to the look of the world, no stone has been left unturned and a lot of frequent flyer miles have been tallied up to get where they are at this juncture. These guys have traveled the globe to make BH6 the very best it can be. It's a tribute to how John Lasseter runs the animation division. He encourages this kind of thorough research, and you'll undoubtedly see the results in the story and on the screen and I'm sure in the making of DVD."