With Marvel Television chief Jeph Loeb in discussion with ABC over the future of its slate, the Internet is buzzing with rumours that Loeb has been a very busy boy indeed. According to Bleeding Cool, "sources from production crew" have told them Marvel has just finished some intriguing projects. Meanwhile, Screen Geek is reporting rumours in a very different direction...
What Are the Rumors?
According to Bleeding Cool, Marvel has just wrapped up a series of four pilot shorts for Netflix to consider as future shows. Three of these pilot shorts are a mystery, but the fourth is apparently a pitch for White Tiger.
White Tiger is a superhero who inherited a mystical amulet; this amulet binds her to the Tiger God, granting tremendous athletic prowess, combat skills, and feral abilities. A number of characters have inherited the White Tiger mantle, but Bleeding Cool singles out Angela Del Toro, a highly-trained ex-FBI agent who has strong ties to other Netflix shows - specifically, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
Screen Geek, too, draws attention to White Tiger. According to Screen Geek, Marvel has a pitch featuring another version of White Tiger - Hector Alaya. Their sources suggest Marvel has put together a Deadly Hands of Kung Fu pitch featuring Hector Alaya, likely tying in with the character of Shang Chi. Shang Chi is confirmed to make his debut in Marvel's Iron Fist, and has been strongly associated with the comic Deadly Hands of Kung Fu.
Are These Rumors Likely?
White Tiger would be a good fit for a Netflix show. As I've mentioned, the various White Tigers have historic ties to Netflix's current superheroes, and her physical powerset would be a good fit for Marvel Netflix - the superpowers tend to be subtle (such as Daredevil's radar sense), or to be based on a character's physical prowess (super-strength, as seen in Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, is a fairly 'cheap' super-power to make for the small screen). So White Tiger would actually fit with the Marvel Netflix approach.
That being said, it's best to be cautious with these rumors. I recommend going by what I call the 'Rule of Three' - when three sources independently state the rumor, it can be considered true. Bleeding Cool's word isn't quite enough for me. Umberto Gonzalez, of Heroic Hollywood fame, wasn't impressed by Bleeding Cool's rumor:
That said, Screen Geek's is more interesting. The fact that two rumours have come up about White Tiger in such quick succession really does suggest that something's happening. It seems more likely that Marvel is interested in doing something with the concept of White Tiger, and is putting together a series of pitches.
Does This Mean Marvel Hasn't Produced Four Pilot Shorts, Though?
For me, the really interesting thing about this is the idea that Marvel has produced four pilot shorts, which is possible. We know that Marvel Entertainment is looking at its future slate, and is trying to work out its future relationship with ABC. Given that Channing Dungey seems less receptive to Marvel shows than her predecessor Paul Lee - as indicated when the network cancelled Agent Carter and passed on Marvel's Most Wanted - it's entirely possible that Loeb is looking at deepening Marvel Entertainment's relationship with Netflix. I find the idea of four pilot shorts to be a little more believable. So which shows could they be?
Earlier in the year, there were rumors that Marvel was considering Netflix shows starring Moon Knight, Ghost Rider, and Blade. We can pretty much rule out Ghost Rider now that a version of the character is scheduled to appear on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. What's more, the return of Blade would be likely to involve Wesley Snipes (he and Marvel have been publicly flirting with the idea of a return for a couple of years now). I suspect Wesley Snipes's involvement would have leaked out well before a pilot short could be completed.
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For now, I'm even treating this - the more believable part of the rumor - as suspect. I do think Loeb is probably exploring deepening Marvel Entertainment's relationship with Netflix, but the details are questionable.
Take these rumors with a pinch of salt, True Believers, but keep an eye out - they could yet be proved true!
Would you want a White Tiger Netflix series? Let me know in the comments!