With the rampaging (heh) success of The Walking Dead TV show, expect comics as episodic fodder to get a fresh look in Hollywood — and no one is more out in front of this trend than Disney/Marvel, where EVP, Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb has just hired three high-level helpers to get more Marvel characters on the flat screen. Batman and Spawn vet Eric Radomski will oversee animation as SVP, Production and Creative Director, Animation; newly hired VP, Programming & Distribution Strategy Tracy McAndrews will oversee global business strategies for the animation unit; and Cort Lane has been promoted to Vice President of Development & Production, Marvel Animation.
Marvel TV animation is obviously a key part of Disney’s plans to finally reach boys; an Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon will begin airing on Disney XD, their boy-friendly cable channel, in 2011, and in the next year, an entire Marvel block of programming will be added.
Meanwhile, Disney head Robert Iger the mastermind behind the whole purchase, has made no secret of the Marvel/Disney/TV plans to come. According to a piece in the WSJ, Disney already has three Marvel TV shows in development. Our pals at Splash Page wrap up what is known of this:
Three different live-action series for ABC and ABC Family, according to the Disney chief himself. While we’re not sure exactly which shows he’s talking about, it’s nonetheless intriguing to hear a precise number of the Marvel TV projects currently in development.
As for those specific shows, well, we can hazard a guess at two of them. It was reported last month that a new live-action “Hulk” series is in the works over at ABC, while ABC Family is developing a “Cloak and Dagger” adaptation. As for the third project, your guess is as good as ours — but we can all keep our fingers crossed for that “Heroes for Hire” adaptation, right?
BTW, we would TOTALLY BE ON BOARD FOR THAT HEROES FOR HIRE SHOW. It does skew a bit urban, however, and that kind of programming doesn’t seem to be doing too well these days, but fingers crossed, indeed.
PR on the new animation hires below:
In a move designed to further support its continuously growing animation endeavors, Marvel Television is expanding their animation division in a way that truly captures the spirit and success of the characters in the Marvel Universe. Marvel Television is breaking new ground in talent, design, and storytelling with the additions of Emmy winner Eric Radomski as SVP, Production and Creative Director, Animation and Tracy McAndrew as Vice President, Programming & Distribution Strategy. Additionally, Cort Lane has been promoted to Vice President of Development & Production, Marvel Animation.
In their new roles, Radomski, McAndrew and Lane will be instrumental in the strategy, development and production of Marvel’s animation slate and cross-platform media programs. Each will report to Jeph Loeb, EVP, Head of Marvel Television.
“Marvel characters have worldwide recognition and animation is a key way in which we remain dedicated to bring these beloved characters to everyone in bold, exciting adventures for all ages. Marvel’s commitment to animation is an increasingly important priority and Cort, Eric and Tracy bring years of experience that will enhance our ability to create and produce innovative stories,” said Mr. Loeb.
The staff expansion comes as Marvel continues to roll out animated franchises based on its renowned Super Hero library. Marvel’s latest series, AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES just premiered successfully on Disney XD, while its hit show SUPER HERO SQUAD returns this Fall for a second season on Cartoon Network. Lane, Radomski and McAndrew will each play pivotal roles in launching the next big event from Marvel Television: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN — the first Marvel produced Spider-Man animated series.
In his new position, Mr. Lane will oversee development on all animated series and direct-to-video movies for Marvel’s animation division. He was most recently Director of Development at Marvel where he worked on co-productions of IRON MAN: ARMORED ADVENTURES, BLACK PANTHER, and MARVEL ANIME, as well as supervising THE SUPER HERO SQUAD SHOW. Prior to joining Marvel in 2008, Lane spent seven years at Mattel producing animated, live-action and interactive entertainment across many brands, including Universal’s Barbie In A Christmas Carol.
As SVP, Production and Creative Director, Animation, Eric Radomski will oversee all aspects of Marvel’s animation productions. Radomski is best known for his work on comic based titles: “Batman the Animated Series” and “Spawn.” He is a Three-time Emmy Award winner and has contributed his talents to many of the industry’s best known networks and studios; HBO, Warner Bros., Disney, BBC, PBS, Wildbrain, Mattel, The Learning Box, Titmouse, as well as his own production company: phuuz entertainment inc. which is currently in production on 26 episodes of “Iconicles”, an original pre-school series he created and sold to the BBC. As Vice President, Programming & Distribution Strategy, Tracy McAndrew will be responsible for developing and executing global distribution objectives and strategies for Marvel’s animated content. McAndrew will oversee marketing, program planning, and manage Marvel’s relationships with broadcasters, distribution partners, and key licensees. Most recently, McAndrew served as Director Acquisitions & Co-Productions in the Worldwide Programming Strategy Group at Disney Channels Worldwide. Prior to Disney, she was Director, International Co-Productions & Acquisitions at Saban/Fox Family.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.