For kids who love Disney movies, Disney's TV sector has long been a wonderful place where universes get expanded with TV spinoffs and new specials. The latest big screen hit to make the small screen transition is the Marvel-based superhero adventure Big Hero 6, which will soon make its TV debut with the hour-long "Baymax Returns." Due to the episodic format, some fans hoped that Big Hero 6: The Series would be able to incorporate other Marvel characters into the story, but during a recent interview with CinemaBlend, showrunners and executive producers Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley told me that's not happening. Here's why:
Mark: I think Stan [Lee] is really our big Marvel DNA element. Because the movie sort of went in a different direction from the original comics from way back when. And one of the other things we found is, with six characters and everybody else -- we have Cass, we got Heathcliff, got the mom, got the dad -- there's just so many characters. Giving just our characters a fair amount of screentime, we don't have a lot of room for anybody else. It's a pretty crowded tapestry as it is.
Bob: This is probably the biggest voice cast we've ever worked with, considering how many voices it takes to do an episode.
Mark: When you have that many heroes, and you start throwing in some villains and supporting characters...
It's hard to argue with that kind of logic, no matter how much one might want to desperately see more underused Marvel characters showing up within the Big Hero 6 TV-verse. I mean, Hiro is the character that gets the most amount of screentime, but the title alone refers to six different main characters. And there's a cafe, too, so Big Hero 6: The Series is basically Friends with a robot. (I feel there's a jokey comparison to make about Baymax having more of a personality than Ross.)
Since this world wouldn't be quite as interesting if we only followed the six heroes and no one else, of course there are going to be a bunch of supporting characters that need to keep up appearances every so often. The movie did indeed have a slew of others for Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley to bring into the TV show, and since the duo would obviously need to also loop in a few new characters to keep things interesting, it just wouldn't make that much sense to try and deliver any recognizable Marvel-specific characters into the narrative. I mean, they could technically just populate some of the background characters with fun comic references, but then the risk would be people complaining about those characters not getting used more. And so the happy medium is just keeping them out altogether. Stan Lee is the most important on, after all.
During our chat, Mark McCorkle laid out even more characters and locations that will be popping up throughout Season 1 of Big Hero 6: The Series.
We do a fair amount at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. We're there a fair amount, so there's Professor Granville; Hiro has sort of an antagonist rival, Karmi. There's a fair amount between the home scenes, the Lucky Cat, the school scenes, and then the crimefighting scenes; it's a lot of balls up in the air.
So while we might not be seeing any web-slingers or rebellious mutants, Big Hero 6: The Series will offer fans more than enough excitement, laughs and heart to make them forget about anyone else. Check out the new adventures when "Baymax Returns" premieres on Disney XD on Monday, November 20, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Season 1 will officially get underway in early 2018, though a specific date hasn't yet been locked down. Season 2 has already been ordered, so ma-a-a-aybe we'll see some other characters appear down the line.
Stay tuned for more big news from CinemaBlend's talk with the showrunners, and head to our fall TV premiere schedule to see everything yet to debut as 2017 comes to a close.