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Netflix‘s upcoming superhero show Jupiter’s Legacy just lost its showrunner, Steven S. DeKnight. He left the show halfway through filming season 1, reportedly due to creative differences.
Jupiter’s Legacy is the first adaptation from a high-profile deal between Netflix and Mark Millar, the writer behind bestselling comics including Kick-Ass, Kingsman, and Marvel‘s Civil War. Netflix bought the TV rights to several of Millar’s original “Millarworld” titles, announcing three movies and two TV shows last year. Starring an ensemble cast including Josh Duhamel, Ben Daniels, and Leslie Bibb, Jupiter’s Legacy is an adult-rated superhero show in a similar vein to Watchmen, riffing off the Golden Age of superhero comics.
Steven S. DeKnight helmed Netflix’s Daredevil in season 1 and directed the movie Pacific Rim: Uprising. As well as serving as showrunner on Jupiter’s Legacy, he wrote and directed the show’s first episode. According to a report from Deadline, he departed the show halfway through filming the eight-episode season—a very unusual move. Netflix plans to continue filming without a hiatus, hoping to recruit a new showrunner while production continues. Variety reports that DeKnight and his team may be negotiating a way out of their multi-year Netflix contract, which will expire in 2020.
This is an ominous sign for Netflix’s Millarworld franchise. While creative conflicts aren’t exactly unheard-of (for instance, the various upsets behind the scenes of Star Trek: Discovery), it’s rare to see a showrunner leave their own series this late in the game. With approximately four episodes filmed already, all of the season 1 scripts have presumably been written. On top of this, DeKnight himself directed the first episode. This raises obvious questions about why DeKnight felt the need to leave, with Deadline and Variety both referring to Netflix’s search for a new “creative team,” suggesting that DeKnight wasn’t the only one to quit.
Jupiter’s Legacy began filming in July and is scheduled for release next year.
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Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor