Last week Marvel announced that they were applying their “Avengers” model to four new series on Netflix, leading to a crossover miniseries, “The Defenders.” What we didn’t know at the time was that they would also bring their pension for picking exciting, lesser-known talent with them.
According to The Wrap, “Cabin in the Woods” director and co-writer (with Joss Whedon) Drew Goddard will write the upcoming “Daredevil” series for Netflix. As exciting as that news is by itself, it also may telegraph how Marvel plans on approaching the series. Goddard is both a rising star in Hollywood circles and a friend of Whedon. Based on those criteria, we’ve made our picks for writers of the other Marvel-Netflix series.
The Hollywood Choice: Quentin Tarantino
Bear with us for a second because this isn’t just fanboy dreaming. (It’s mostly fanboy dreaming.) While he’s certainly an up-and-comer, Tarantino has just dabbled in series. Not only does the “Django Unchained” director love TV, once upon a time, he almost made a Luke Cage movie starring Laurence Fishburne. While it almost certainly will never happen, try not to be surprised if it does.
The Whedon Choice: Danny Strong
Technically Strong didn’t start out as a Joss Whedon stable writer like the rest of the people on our list. In fact, Strong began his career in a recurring part as every-nerd Jonathan on Whedon’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Since then, Strong has become even more successful as a writer. He’s won awards for HBO’s “Game Change,” wrote the recent blockbuster “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” and will get even bigger as the scribe of the upcoming “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 and 2.” Who better to bring back into the fold as the writer comfortable with both big action set-pieces, and more nuanced political and social commentary; something that’s sure to play into the “Luke Cage” series?
The Hollywood Choice: Brit Marling
Over the course of three movies (“Another Earth,” “Sound of My Voice,” “The East”), Marling has proved that she knows how to write genre stories that are emotionally honest and don’t treat women like secondary characters. It also wouldn’t hurt to cast her as the hero-turned-private detective.
The Whedon Choice: Jane Espenson
Espenson is a veteran TV writer and producer, starting with her time on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and lasting through nerd properties ranging from “Battlestar Galactica,” to a stint on the current “Once Upon a Time.” But other than her hit web series “Husbands,” Espenson has never stewarded a full-fledged TV show. “Jessica Jones” would be her shot, showing off her prowess with both well-timed quips and emotional storylines that cut to the core of her characters.
The Hollywood Choice: Gareth Evans
No one in Hollywood today is writing and directing action like Evans is with “The Raid” films, and what could be a better introduction to the mainstream audiences than porting those moves to Marvel’s martial arts master? Until then, we’ll just settle for another “Raid” movie.
The Whedon Choice: David Fury and Tim Minear
The main voices behind Whedon’s “Buffy” spin-off “Angel” have since gone on to other major gigs: “American Horror Story” for Minear; and “24” and “Fringe” for Fury. As you can probably tell from the fraction of their resumes listed here, the duo know how to stick a complex, engaging, down-to-earth male lead in extraordinary, and sometimes magical, circumstances. Plus, given the Kung Fu focus of “Iron Fist,” it would be nice to have a duo who knows how to write fun action scenes.
The Hollywood Choice: Joss Whedon
He’s the only choice right?
The Whedon Choice: Joss Whedon
Come on, who else was it going to be except Whedon himself? The man has traditionally written the season finales and openers of every show he’s ever worked on, so why should “The Defenders,” a mini-series that brings all these disparate shows together, be any different?