Amazon has hired an ex-Marvel executive to head up the studio's new superhero division.
Amazon wants some of Disney‘s sweet, sweet Marvel money. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming giant just nabbed ex-Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada to help them develop new projects based on existing superhero properties. The projects will be based around the Marvel characters currently owned by Sony, some of which are already in production.
Quesada, who started out as an acclaimed comic artist before moving up the ranks at Marvel, will be working with Phil Lord and Chris Miller to create premium content for Amazon based in Sony’s little corner of the Marvel universe. Quesada is a huge get for Amazon. A 24-year Marvel veteran, Joe had a hand in storylines like Civil War and Age of Ultron, which were later adapted into huge blockbusters by Disney.
Sony’s Spider-Man-centric slice of the Marvel pie may seem small in scope, but the studio actually has the rights to over 900 characters. Projects like Madame Web and the upcoming Amazon series Silk: Spider Society might make it seem like Sony is reliant on D-list Marvel heroes the general public has no interest in, but that’s where Joe Quesada excels.
Before Quesada took over the reins at Marvel, he was in charge of the niche Marvel Knights banner of comics. Marvel Knights was comprised of low-profile and underselling characters like Daredevil, Punisher, and Black Panther. It was under Quesada’s leadership that characters like Daredevil became the household names they are now.
On top of his comic duties, Quesada was also an executive producer on the Netflix Marvel shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones, as well as ABC’s Agents of SHIELD. Joe’s experience makes him uniquely suited to become Amazon’s version of Marvel guru Kevin Feige. Which is good because the streamer needs a Kevin Feige if it hopes to compete with Disney.
While Sony has had some undeniable hits with its Spider-Man properties, including Lord and Miller’s acclaimed Spider-Verse series of films, other projects haven’t performed so well. Last year’s Morbius became a viral internet meme but sadly did horribly at the box office. For most of America, it was never “Morbin’ Time.”
Hopefully, with Joe Quesada guiding the ship, Amazon and Sony’s Marvel television offerings will fare better than the Jared Leto suck-fest. Quesada, for his part, is extremely positive about the union. “From the moment Nick Pepper, Matt King, and the team approached me, it was clear we spoke the same language and shared the same creative goals.”
Amazon has had success with other comic properties like The Boys and Invincible, but when it comes to Marvel, their skills are unproven. The closest Amazon has come to a Marvel-level IP was the recent The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Despite the usual vocal minority of online trolls complaining about black Elves and whatnot, the LOTR series was mostly successful, which bodes well for the streamer.
Amazon and Sony’s first joint Marvel production will be the aforementioned Silk: Spider Society. Former Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang will helm the show. No word yet on whether Joe Quesada will be working directly on the Silk series or if it’s already too far into production.