Marvel Comics has partnered with Stitcher Premium for a scripted podcast featuring the X-Men's Wolverine.
Titled Wolverine: The Long Night, the 10-episode series will star Richard Armitage (The Hobbit, Hannibal) as the voice Logan, with writer Benjamin Percy (Green Arrow, Teen Titans) supplying the script.
“Podcasting is an incredible, intimate medium that's perfect for telling stories, and I can’t think of a better partner with whom to push the boundaries of scripted podcasts than Marvel,” Midroll Media CEO Erik Diehn said in a statement. “They make every translation of their rich universe of characters into new media fresh and interesting while still retaining the feel and spirit of the original comics, and, as a Marvel fan, I’m proud that we’ve helped them do it again in podcasting. The arrival of Wolverine and his many fans to podcasts and Stitcher is truly a signal that this medium is a major part of the American media landscape.”
"If you look at the success of Serial and S-Town, it has everything to do I think with their investigative formats, the way the listeners become complicit in the narrative," Percy said. "They're co-authors, they're literary detectives, because they're piecing together the clues alongside the reporters, and I wanted to take a similar approach to that."
The synopsis for Wolverine: The Long Night reads:
The story begins with two agents, Sally Pierce (Celia Keenan-Bolger) and Tad Marshall (Ato Essandoh), who arrive in the fictional town of Burns, Alaska, to investigate a series of murders. The duo team up with deputy Bobby Reid (Andrew Keenan-Bolger) to investigate their main suspect, Logan (Armitage), but that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Percy adds that Logan has purposely sought out Alaska for its isolation: "Because he's been mind-wiped again and again, he doesn't know the whole terrible truth about his life. Part of the series is him recovering those memories and despite his attempts to separate himself from society, getting drawn into a situation where frontier justice is called for."
"Being in this space where we can really touch and interact with our fans in a more 24/7 basis is one of our priorities," Vice President of Marvel New Media Dan Silver said. "The beauty of this medium is you can listen to it as a show when it's first released and voraciously consume it from a habitual standpoint, or, like I do and many people do with podcasts, you can listen to it very leisurely."
Marvel loves to remind its fans that "it's all connected" when it comes to the shared universe of its TV series and feature films, and a similar world-building could potentially happen with Marvel podcasts.
"We have a fun opportunity here, and that's to create our own continuity. A continuity that will grow more and more expansive as the Marvel Podcast Universe expands," Percy teased. "There are glimmers that people will recognize, references to Weapon X and wartime Logan, Japan and past relationships that he's had. But he himself is not able to really work through his moth-eaten memory until the conclusion of this first season."
Silver doesn't want to predict a "Marvel Podcast Universe" just yet, but does admit "that would be incredibly exciting ... Marvel is known as world-builders and universe-builders; that is what we do across all of our mediums. It's hard to say, but it would be super cool."
The Wolverine: The Long Night 10-episode series will launch on Stitcher Premium in spring 2018, before arriving on other podcast platforms in the fall.