Ever since Disney announced their streaming service, comic book fans have been asking the same questions en masse: what about us? Even though the House of Mouse has announced upcoming shows such as Loki, Hawkeye, and an animated series based on the fan-favorite comic series Marvel’s What If…? However, even when the service launches, those shows will still be in production. Well, today Marvel announced its first show that will launch when Disney+ arrives: Storyboards.
What sets Storyboards apart from the spinoff series from the Marvel and Star Wars universes, Storyboards will be helmed by Marvel’s chief creative officer, Joe Quesada who will be joined by the likes of Hugh Jackman (Wolverine, X-Men), and Johnny Weir (Olympic figure skater). The premise of the show will not be episodic, however, will be filmed in remote locations with the guests telling their stories, their way. Think Anthony Bourdain, sans food.
“It would have been easy just to go for 12 celebrity guests, but we have a wide variety of people,” Quesada says. “The real thrill to me is to find out, ‘What’s your story?’ People tell their stories in different ways. It’s not just writing, drawing, or filming. Athletes tell stories about how they perform. Dancers tell stories with their bodies.”
“The show started when someone asked me, ‘What’s your hobby?’ and I realized that, much like Stan Lee, I’m doing my hobby for a living. My absolute love is storytelling. So I started to formulate this.”
To bring the concept into focus, Quesada did a live, one-on-one interview with Daredevil actor Charlie Cox at New York Comic Con in 2017, and later taped an interview with current Marvel editor in chief C.B. Cebulski. Those interviews were then turned into a pilot of sorts. “We pitched to Disney and next thing, here we are—we have a season,” Quesada says. The show, however, evolved to be something much more participatory than what that pilot entailed. In many episodes, for example, Quesada will try—with varying degrees of success—to do what the guests do. “The results are sometimes hilarious,” Quesada says. “If you want to see me face-plant in the snow several times with a mountain climber, you get your wish.”
The mountain climbing episode is one of Quesada’s favorites. In it, Ed Viesturs, the only American to have climbed all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks, takes Quesada climbing in the Idaho mountains. “Ed put me through the paces,” he says. But that’s exactly the point of Storyboards. It’s a TV version of the kind of guidance Quesada has been giving to creatives for years, just with the tables turned.
“I have seen Joe Quesada spit out multi-million dollar ideas to writers and artists of multiple generations with a generosity of spirit that is staggering,” says Brian Michael Bendis, a longtime comics writer and one of Quesada’s first freelance hires. “My favorite part of being on the Marvel Cinematic Universe creative committee all those years was seeing Joe’s laser-focused notes transform a Marvel film so much that his notes ended up in the trailer.”
With the direction of Storyboards, this reinforces Disney’s direction for their streaming service and how diverse they want the service to be. We’ll have to wait and see how the reception goes to see if we are going to get more diverse programming from the House of Mouse. However with the creative team, they have behind this, something tells me we should expect more programming to go alongside Simba and Boba Fett. As always keeps your browsers pointed to https://comic-watch.com for all your comic news and reviews.