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Angela Kang is trading zombies for superheroes.
The Walking Dead showrunner has moved her overall deal from AMC to Amazon and has signed on to oversee Silk: Spider Society, the first in an expected slate of Marvel TV series based on the Sony Pictures universe that features more than 900 characters. The series, which is exec produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), will air first domestically on MGM+ (the premium cable network currently known as Epix) and then globally on Amazon’s Prime Video platform.
“Amy Pascal, Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Sony’s recent live-action and animated reimagining of the Spider-Man franchise has represented some of the most dynamic superhero storytelling in film,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “Together with Angela Kang’s creative vision, we couldn’t be more pleased to bring Silk: Spider Society to our MGM+ and Prime Video customers.”
The news marks the first official confirmation from Amazon that the retail giant and streamer is indeed working with Sony on a slate of Marvel original TV series after the deal had been rumored for the past two years. Lord and Miller will steer the larger franchise for Sony Pictures TV, Amazon and MGM. (Amazon now owns MGM, so the linear deal makes sense in that regard.)
The Amazon slate of Marvel originals gives the Salke-led streamer a popular IP in addition to Lord of the Rings and will no doubt help the platform compete with the likes of Disney+ and other subscription video offerings. In Kang, Amazon and Sony get an experienced showrunner with franchise experience.
Kang, who joined TWD in season two, was promoted to showrunner in season nine and steered the flagship series through its 11th and final season and developed the upcoming Norman Reedus-led spinoff. The Korean-American writer-producer stepped down from her role as showrunner earlier this year following the exit of original star Melissa McBride. Kang’s deal with Amazon had been in the works for months, which now helps to explain her exit from the Daryl Dixon spinoff.
“I’m beyond thrilled to be joining the Amazon Studios family for this next chapter of my career,” Kang said. “I look forward to working with the executive team on diverse, character-forward, watercooler shows for a global audience and am so excited to dive in to my first challenge — bringing Korean-American superhero Silk to life on screen.”
As part of her Amazon deal, Kang is also developing multiple projects, including a series adaptation of the acclaimed fantasy novel Black Sun with author Rebecca Roanhorse set to write the script and an adaptation of the near sci-fi novel The Postmortal by Drew Magary with executive producer Scott Derrickson.
“Angela is a pro’s pro whose perspective and creativity we greatly respect and admire. She’s also a hell of a lot of fun. She loves these characters and we feel really lucky for the chance to work with her to bring Cindy Moon’s story to the world,” Lord and Miller said in a joint statement Thursday.
Silk is based on characters created by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos. The series is inspired by the Marvel comics and follows Cindy Moon, a Korean-American woman bitten by the same spider that bit Peter Parker, as she escapes imprisonment and searches for her missing family on her way to becoming the superhero known as Silk. The show marks one of the first to feature a Korean-American superhero at its center.
The Amazon and Marvel deal marks a huge score for Sony and its recently installed TV studio president Katherine Pope. The indie studio has seen its share of broadcast programming decline to a point where it barely has any shows on linear. The studio had been a big supplier to Spectrum Originals — the division formerly headed up by Pope — but the cable platform exited the pricey scripted space this year with the exec moving to front Sony Pictures Television. As an indie studio, Sony does not have any platforms of its own to funnel programming to. The deal with Amazon gives Sony an outlet on both linear with MGM+ and streaming with Prime Video.
“We can’t wait to bring the adventures of Cindy Moon to life, thanks to the creative dream team of Chris and Phil, Angela and Amy, along with our partners at Marvel and Amazon,” said Pope. “We know this exciting series with new and never-before-seen characters and storylines will wow audiences watching first on linear MGM+ and then around the world on Prime Video.”
Lord and Miller moved their overall deal from Disney’s 20th Television to Sony in April 2019 and, as part of the nine-figure pact, were handed control of the studio’s Marvel slate. Sony retains rights to characters including Spider-Man (and all his villains, like Green Goblin); Venom (the Tim Hardy films); Morbius (i.e. the live-action feature with Jared Leto); and Black Cat and Silver Sable (both previously in development on the feature side). Select TV projects related to Sony’s Marvel characters will be produced in partnership with former Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Pascal. Also possibly on the table: all the characters from Into the Spider-Verse.
A timeline for when Silk will arrive has not yet been determined.
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Robert De Niro