Loeb – an esteemed veteran comic book writer of top-tier titles across all major publishers – who has served as Marvel Studios’ Executive Vice President and Head of Television since 2010, is reportedly set to formally announce his exit by Thanksgiving, according to THR. It seems that Loeb has been planning said exit behind the scenes and is reportedly working on a transition plan for the company.
This news arrives shortly after recent developments have seen Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige receive a wider IP purview under the Disney corporate tentpole, last month brought in as a producer for the Star Wars franchise, and, on October 15, promoted to Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, overseeing television and comics. Consequently, in hindsight, Loeb’s exit might have been written on the wall with that last move. – It’s an understandable move, seeing as Feige’s track record has been virtually spotless, and essentially steered the Marvel Cinematic Universe ship toward a surreal sea of success, most notably with this past April’s Avengers: Endgame yielding $2.8 billion worldwide, shattering significant box office records.
Regardless, the imminent exit of Loeb marks the end of a bellwether golden era of Marvel television content that would seem unfathomable just a decade ago. His tenure saw the consequential arrival of the inaugural MCU-set television expansion, Agents of SHIELD, onto ABC’s primetime lineup in 2013. While the existence of that series – which sees Clark Gregg reprising his role from The Avengers (and other MCU films,) as Agent Phil Coulson, leading a group of the titular fighting force – has been defined by a perpetual ratings struggle, highlighted by schedule migrations, it managed to bridge a mainstream divide on the medium. It’s an achievement onto which the show (and Loeb, for that matter,) can hang his proverbial hat as it readies its seventh and final season.
Indeed, under Loeb, SHIELD led to the company’s crucial deal with Netflix, which brought about MCU-adjacent live-action offerings Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders and The Punisher, as well as Hulu’s The Runaways and Freeform’s Cloak and Dagger. However, not every offering during Loeb’s TV tenure ended up a winner, with ABC’s Agent Carter, which, starring Hayley Atwell as her Captain America: The First Avenger character, struggled to find an audience (despite the fact that it was really good), and subsequent series Inhumans became the first real quantitative and qualitative dud in the overall MCU, and was quickly cancelled and forgotten. Moreover, Disney’s acquisition of Marvel – finalized this past summer – became a tempest that blew down Loeb’s carefully-constructed small screen house of cards, leading to company consolidations that ended all of the Netflix shows, leaving the others in question.
However, while Loeb is on his way out the door, his plans for the immediate future of Marvel Television remain in place. In lieu of the abrupt (and still lamentable) end of the Marvel Netflix shows comes an overwhelming array of MCU content, packed with stars from the films, all of which are set for the November-launching streaming platform, Disney+. Those offerings include WandaVision (starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany), Loki (starring Tom Hiddleston), Falcon & the Winter Soldier (starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan), along with shows like She-Hulk, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel and What If.
If it wasn’t already clear – both in the film and television mediums – that a new era of Marvel Studios is nigh, then the exit of Jeph Loeb certainly solidifies the notion. It will certainly be interesting to see where Marvel Television (under the purview of a job-juggling Feige,) heads in this in-house-distributed medium frontier.