Updated 16:36: Could a possible barrier to a Captain Britain TV series now have been put behind the team who were working on such a “Producer’s Pitch” for such a project, back in 2016? Well, forgive us in advance if we’re getting a bit excited, but there seem to have been some developments since rumours started flying two years back.
We first pondered the possibility of Captain Britain making an appearance on film or TV back in April 2016, re-publishing Mark Roberts article from It Came from Darkmoor on rumours flying at the time prompted by tweets from artist Ciara McEvoy that included possible looks.
The rumours of a possible Captain Britain show were subsequently confirmed by US-based television producer Chris Lark, but he also explained the idea was very much a “Producer’s Pitch” and not an active project.
— Ciara McAvoy (@CiaraMcAvoy1) May 1, 2016
Captain Britain, co-created by Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe, first appeared in Captain Britain Weekly in 1976, a European response to Captain America. Down the years, the character has been reinvented several times, had costume makeovers and changed sex, with writers such as Alan Moore and Paul Cornell and artist Alan Davis doing much to shape – and re-shape – the character.
BBC Online covered those rumours again in June 2016, talking to the superhero’s co-creator Chris Claremont, who opined Tom Hiddleston would be great in the lead role. But while television producers Chris Lark and Eleni Larchanidou were enthusiastic about the project, noting the success of success of superhero-based TV series such as Daredevil and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, they also said it was too early to predict who might land the role.
“We have a small list of possible actors, but we are in the very early stages,” Lark told the BBC. “We are working on a script and working on a budget, and looking to put the idea to Marvel early in 2017.”
Then things went deathly quiet, the “Pitch” seemingly moribund, although Lark subsequently posted in September 2016 that a first season episode guide had been prepared and a first episode script written.
Capt. Britain news: 1st Season Episode Guide and Script of 1st Episode for CB are done @MOVIESEL5 & I continue working on pitch package.
— Chris Lark (@MrCoolMintProd) September 25, 2016
“We’re sticking with the Brian Braddock character and changing a few things around,” he teased. “No original villain either.” he also confirmed the show would be set within the Marvel Comics Universe and the team were still working on both script and budget”
Chris has made no reference to the project on Twitter since, presumably because in part he got busy producing a film called Creative Differences, directed by Laurence Shanet.
But there could be another reason, too – back in 2016, it seems even if that “Producer’s Pitch” was under consideration, Marvel itself didn’t have the rights to make any Captain Britain-related film or TV project – Fox did. But those rights are now, apparently, back with Marvel.
In December, while the main US comic sites were reporting the headlines of the Disney-Fox deal, focusing on Marvel’s heavy hitters like Wolverine, X-Men and Fantastic Four, web site Marvel Feed published a list of characters and concepts now restored to Marvel’s control.
Nestling right at the bottom of a very long list of mutants and more were Captain Britain, Pete Wisdom and Exalibur’s Meggan, along with The Starjammers, Alpha Flight, Ka-Zar.
Now far be it for us to get too excited about a list on just one web site, but for those of us who grew up reading this character, surely it can’t hurt to keep an eye on Chris Lark’s Twitter for the forseeable.
UPDATE: Of course, it may be that Marvel is looking elsewhere for a team for a possible Captain Britain project. Since posting this item, several people have drawn my attention to an interview in June last year with Hey U Guys, in which Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was asked directly if the MCU would ever introduce Captain Britain.
The producer gave a surprising answer, saying, “We have discussed it. There are a lot of actors that come in and ask about that part, so we’ll have to see.”
• See also: The reinvention of Captain Britain by Nic Rigby (BBC News)
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The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.