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New York-based shows don’t always shoot in New York. (Duh.) New York-based shows that do go out of their way to film in Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs achieve a welcome sense of authenticity and boost the city’s economic infrastructure. (Also, duh.) So Marvel, Walt Disney and the State of New York’s announcement is extremely positive creatively, financially, and all points in between.
It was revealed in a press release today that the Marvel programs filming episodes for Netflix “will principally film in New York State,” beginning with Drew Goddard’s take on Daredevil. Filming will begin in Summer 2014, and is expected to create at least 3,000 new jobs in New York, and up to 400 full-time gigs. In all, Marvel plans to produce nearly 60 one-hour episodes focused on the four Defenders characters: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said:
The competition for these projects is fierce and Disney could have chosen to film these shows anywhere, but they knew that shooting in New York means getting to work with the best in the world. These shows bring New York’s superheroes home where they belong – along with hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in new business.”
“Home where they belong.” That’s what you, the reader (and viewer), cares about. Because those who follow these characters know that the Man Without Fear and the members of the Defenders make up “the flawed heroes of Hell’s Kitchen,” and trying to recreate that grungy atmosphere on the backlot of a sun-drenched Los Angeles studio will make the new shows potentially feel artificial. Alan Fine, the President of Marvel Entertainment, adds:
"We thank the Governor and the great state of New York for helping us create the ultimate backdrop to this epic series. Setting our production in New York City truly underscores the authenticity and excitement we plan to bring to [these shows].”
But the locations are only a small part of a developing puzzle. Mark Steven Johnson’s Daredevil wasn’t going to be 50% better if he filmed all over the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Scripting, casting and production remain pivotal to the success of these shows… and could go a long way to linking them to the feature films in Marvel’s different phases.
The release says that the shows will begin airing on Netflix in 2015. Daredevil will give way to Jessica Jones, followed by Iron Fist and Luke Cage.” The stories will “unfold over multiple years of original programming, taking viewers deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell's Kitchen, New York.” Netflix “has committed to a minimum of four, thirteen episodes series and a mini-series event in which the Marvel characters from the first four series team up as The Defenders, much like The Avengers.
Will this be the next House of Cards, which audiences devour in one quick sit? Or will it be closer to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which started hot and leveled off? We shall see.