A lot of good news/bad news happening in Mark Millar world—sorry, Millarworld—today, as Deadline reports that the comics writer has begun development at Netflix on a live-action adaptation of his Supercrooks book… just as the streamer makes it clear that it’s almost certainly not moving forward with a full second season of Jupiter’s Legacy, releasing the cast of the superhero series from their contracts today.
For what it’s worth, it’s hard to call this a “cancellation”—Supercrooks exists in the same world as Jupiter’s Legacy, following the villains of a world re-shaped by the emergence of superpowers in the 1930s. Maybe call it a pivot to anthology instead; by all accounts, the reported $200 million Netflix spent on Jupiter’s Legacy didn’t make any major waves viewership-wise, so a smaller, more focused series might be the key to keeping the universe alive. Now, will it be a little weird to tell these stories without having established figures like Josh Duhamel’s Sheldon and Leslie Bibb’s Grace on-hand to beat up their various bad guys? Sure. But “released from contracts for regular series” isn’t the same as saying “And no guest star appearances down the line,” either, so we might still see them pop up in the new series. Here’s hoping for a smaller, more focused approach, unlike the era-spanning Jupiter’s Legacy, which spent a whole lot of money to look like someone spent a moderate amount of money on it.
All of this is also made somewhat more complicated by the fact that Netflix already has a series order for Supercrooks on the books… as an anime adaptation. That’s presumably still going forward, even as Millar tries to find a way to keep the live-action version of this world alive. For what it’s worth, he sounded positive enough about the whole endeavor this week, noting on Twitter that, “We’re confident we’ll return to it later,” and that “I’m really proud of what the team achieved with Jupiter’s Legacy and the amazing work everyone did on that origin season.” (“Origin season,” we’ll note in passing, is a nice bit of verbal footwork, sounding much better than, “Whoops, nobody liked that one!”)