FX Networks’ FXX channel will not move forward with its Deadpool animated series, which was to have been created and produced by brothers Donald and Stephen Glover (Atlanta).
Here is the official statement from FX:
“Due to creative differences, FX, Donald Glover, Stephen Glover and Marvel Television have agreed to part ways on Marvel’s Deadpool animated series. FX will no longer be involved with the project. FX and Marvel have an ongoing relationship through our partnership on Legion, which will continue.”
When the show was announced last May, FXX network revealed that it was giving Deadpool a straight-to-series order for 10 episodes. No pilot was made beforehand, making the entire production a big leap of faith in the Glover brothers, who were onboard as showrunners, executive producers, and writers.
The pilot-less straight-to-series order is a courtesy that is often extended to celebrity creators, but it’s a perk that skilled and experienced industry artists are rarely granted. It’s yet another glaring symbol of mainstream Hollywood’s disrespect for animation creators, where untested celebrities who think they can create animation are valued more highly than animation artists who have already proven themselves.
The current situation, of course, illustrates how the straight-to-series order can backfire. For 21st Century Fox-owned FX, it’s now the second recent straight-to-series animated show they’ve cancelled before the first episode was broadcast. The other show was The Cops, which reached a dead end after its co-creator Louis C.K. admitted to years of sexual harassment.
Deadline points out that Disney-owned Marvel TV and ABC Studios could still produce the project with or without the Glovers, though if they did, a Fox tv unit would have to be involved since Fox owns the Deadpool character (a situation that would change when Disney completes its purchase of 21st Century Fox).
UPDATE: Donald Glover has released a satirical Deadpool script on Twitter as a response to FX and Marvel’s decision to not continue with his Deadpool project. The response includes pointed criticisms at Disney-owned Marvel, which he describes as a company that’s “trying to sell toys to seven year old boys and fifty year old pedophiles.”
The “script” also contains the following line by Deadpool: “It just feels like everyone wants something different, but no one want to do anything different to get it. Doesn’t Marvel have enough feel-good minority shows everyone supports but doesn’t watch.”
— donald (@donaldglover) March 28, 2018