Wolverine has been a staple of Marvel’s 43-year journey, from comicbooks to computer games, big screen and small, he’s been everywhere. However, 2018 is bringing with it an entirely new venture for Wolverine: he’s getting his own podcast.
Today Mashable revealed that the beloved X-Men team member will headline Marvel’s first-ever scripted podcast, entitled Wolverine: The Long Night – a 10-episode serial that will premiere exclusively on Stitcher Premium in Spring next year, before rolling out across other podcast platforms in the fall.
Erik Diehn, CEO of Midroll Media, Stitcher’s parent company said in a statement: “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 […] 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.”
Lending his gravelly voice to Logan will be Hobbit star Richard Armitage, who shared the news today on Twitter, along with writer Benjamin Percy, who has explained that the series will blend together aspects of such success true crime podcasts as Serial and S-Town, with the sharp narrative tricks of True Detective, and just a little of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven.
Percy told Mashable, “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. 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 story will begin with 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. They find themselves teaming up with deputy Bobby Reid (Andrew Keenan-Bolger) to investigate main suspect Logan (Armitage). However, what they believe is the case, is merely the tip of the iceberg.
“There are all these broken pieces that are being fitted together, and a shifting set of suspects, and every episode, you learn more and at the same time, recognize that you’ve been mistaken all along. It functions like a turnstile of mysteries,” Percy explained.
This Logan is purposefully seeking out the isolation that Alaska provides, as his wiped mind and slowly recovering memories are causing painful realisations in the mutant’s mind. “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.”
The isolation within The Long Night has also allowed Percy to explore more of the comicbook elements that fans enjoy, as well as turning Wolverine into something of an urban legend in the community, “[His] legend grows in this area, as people observe him bounding through the mists with packs of wolves; as they witness him save and end lives.”
There’s a specific appeal to this format, as the audible platform allows for more intimacy – a sentiment which is echoed by Dan Silver, Vice President and Head of Platforms and Content for Marvel New Media: “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. 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.”
And the hope is, that with this intimacy, fans will also receive a new understanding of Wolverine’s character, as aside from his abilities, The Long Night will explore Logan as a person, in all his complex and misunderstood glory.
Read more about The Long Night, here.