Marvel has dabbled in audio dramas before, licensing novels and big event storylines for adaptation by Graphic Audio (“Movies in your Mind”). But though well done, those haven’t had recognizable names attached in the way that Big Finish has leveraged with their excellent Doctor Who audio dramas. But this teaming with Stitcher — it’s forward-thinking. Instead of calling it an audio drama, it’s a serialized podcast, and those are the rage. (And yes, Fanboy Planet is available on Stitcher, but… you’re here, so you already know that.) You know Richard Armitage, largely for his role as Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy.
By working in new media (even having a “new media” division), Marvel proves that comics are just one medium for delivering their characters to the public, and we should be paying attention to this podcast series. Because if it does well, there will be more. Will it translate to comics sales? Maybe, maybe not. But Logan himself is far from dead.
From Marvel New Media:
Marvel New Media and top podcast listening service and content network Stitcher (“Heaven’s Gate,” “Katie Couric,” “The Paris Review”) today announced “Wolverine: The Long Night,” the first-ever Marvel scripted podcast, launching in spring 2018. The 10-episode series will be available exclusively on Stitcher Premium until fall 2018, when it will see a wide release across all podcast platforms.
The show’s cast includes notable actors Richard Armitage (“The Hobbit”), Scott Adsit (“30 Rock”), Bob Balaban (“Moonrise Kingdom”) and Brian Stokes Mitchell (“Mr. Robot”).
The “Wolverine: The Long Night” story is a captivating hybrid of mystery and the larger-scale fantasy of the Marvel Universe. It follows agents Sally Pierce (Celia Keenan-Bolger) and Tad Marshall (Ato Essandoh) as they arrive in the fictional town of Burns, Alaska, to investigate a series of murders and quickly discover the town lives in fear of a serial killer. The agents team up with deputy Bobby Reid (Andrew Keenan-Bolger) to investigate their main suspect, Logan (Richard Armitage). Their search leads them on a fox hunt through the mysterious and corrupt town.
The process behind the making of “Wolverine: The Long Night” brings Marvel’s storytelling expertise into the podcasting world, breaking new ground for the medium. To provide listeners a sense of immersion into the story, outdoor scenes will be recorded in realistic-sounding locations including forests and a cabin. In the studio, actors will be recorded in an ambisonic — or fully surround-sound — environment, allowing them to move, interact with one another and fully inhabit their characters.
“‘Wolverine: The Long Night’ brings our fans a whole new way to experience our iconic characters and the Marvel Universe,” said Dan Silver, vice president, head of platforms and content for Marvel New Media. “This tremendous cast will bring a thrilling level of intrigue and drama to our listeners. The character of Logan and this landscape make it the ideal premiere vehicle for us, and we’re excited to continue to explore the dynamic possibilities of the podcast medium.”
Also cast in the series are actors Zoe Chao, Chaske Spencer, Jordan Bridges, David Call, Michael J. Burg and Lannon Killia. Chris Gethard, host of the popular “Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People” podcast, also will make a cameo appearance.
“Podcasting is an incredible, intimate medium that’s perfect for telling stories, and I can’t think of a better partner with whom to push the boundaries of scripted podcasts than Marvel,” said Erik Diehn, CEO of Midroll Media, a podcast industry leader and the parent company of Stitcher. “They make every translation of their rich universe of characters into new media fresh and interesting while still retaining the feel and spirit of the original comics, and, as a Marvel fan, I’m proud that we’ve helped them do it again in podcasting. The arrival of Wolverine and his many fans to podcasts and Stitcher is truly a signal that this medium is a major part of the American media landscape.”
Stitcher and Marvel have assembled a writing and production team of veterans from both the comic book world and the podcasting industry. “Wolverine: The Long Night” is written by award-winning comic book author Ben Percy (“The Wilding,” “Red Moon”) and will be directed by Brendan Baker (formerly a producer for Radiotopia’s “Love & Radio”). Chloe Prasinos (formerly a producer for Gimlet’s “Reply All”) will oversee sound design. The series is produced by Daniel Fink of Marvel and Jenny Radelet of Stitcher.
For more information, visit www.wolverinepodcast.com.