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It's hard to believe that the craze over Marvel's live-action comic book fare has been happening for less than a decade, since it feels like the brand and its heroes have permeated all forms of visual media for far longer. Yet somehow, Marvel's place on broadcast TV is all but absent. Last year, Fox announced that it was going into development on a drama based on the Hellfire Club of X-Men comics lore, but after many months of rumored storylines and talent changes, it appears Hellfire is already just a pile of smoldering ashes and won't be moving forward at the network.
I guess it's not a huge surprise that Hellfire's progress has slowly faded into nothingness, at least if Variety's sources are to be believed. Even for a project that isn't directly tied up with all the X-Men characters on the big screen, it's still an X-Men-based show, and one would have assumed that forward motion on the potential series would have been shouted from the rooftops. But I guess this just wasn't the right fit.
No reason was given as to why Hellfire would have been passed over, but it's possible that Fox's newly announced X-Men show from Burn Notice creator Matt Nix was chosen to be a much more suitable choice to bring to the network's primetime schedule. That concept lines up with mutants with powers and things that could maybe open the door to a Hellfire series down the road, should 20th Century Fox get comfortable with more superheroes on TV.
Hellfire was going to take place in the 1960s, with a plot centering on a Special Agent who discovers a superpowered woman helping a group of millionaires with their plots to take over the world, and Bryan Singer was apparently quite fond of where it could have gone. But there were some creative problems. Two of the four writers who developed the pilot, Evan Katz and Manny Coto, left to join 24: Legacy when that got picked up to series, and the other two writers, Star Trek Beyond scribes Patrick McKay and JD Payne, also backed out of the project. Maybe one day, though.
Thankfully, Marvel is still building its small screen portfolio elsewhere as well. We're really hoping for great things from FX's Legion, the psychological thriller from Fargo creator Noah Hawley, and if Freeform's Cloak and Dagger project can do those characters justice, we'll cheer as loud as anyone. Plus, we still have Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returning for Season 4 this fall, with Luke Cage and Iron Fist pounding their way to Netflix in the coming months. Does that mean we're happy Hellfire is no more? No, but at least there's a lot to help us forget.