Mark Millar has been a comic book writer for years, with more than one of his projects getting screen adaptations, from Kick-Ass to Kingsman. But he says Jupiter’s Legacy is the one he’s most excited to adapt.
In the upcoming Netflix series, the world’s first generation of superheroes must look to their children to continue the legacy. But tensions rise as the young superheroes, hungry to prove their worth, struggle to live up to their parents’ legendary public reputations — and exacting personal standards.
During WonderCon, Millar pulled the cast together for a special panel to discuss the series. Actors Josh Duhamel, Leslie Bibb, Ben Daniels, Matt Lanter, and Mike Wade explained how Jupiter’s Legacy takes a unique approach to the superhero story.
“I would describe it as an epic family drama about this dysfunctional group of superheroes. That was the appeal to me, the dysfunction of who they’ve become. It’s a different look at the genre,” said Duhamel.
Jupiter’s Legacy shows the older generation of heroes both in the present day and during their heyday 100 years ago.
“You see this group when we’re young and filled with dreams and hopes,” said Bibb. “You don’t see very many shows with someone at the beginning and at the end.”
“Another thing that makes it feel so epic is there are journeys on top of journeys,” continued Lanter, referencing the way the series incorporates both superhero conflicts and personal, emotional conflicts for the characters.
And when you start treating superheroes like people, instead of untouchable icons, you create more three-dimensional, relatable characters.
“All the characters are gray. It’s not black and white, which we’re just force-fed at the moment. Either you’re cancelled or you’re not. These characters are all shades of gray. It’s really exciting to see how that becomes a metaphor for America,” said Daniels. “It feels very current.”
That was very much what Millar had in mind when he wrote the comics and oversaw the Netflix series.
“It’s no longer about superheroes vs supervillains. Cause if you think about it, in real life nobody is a hero or a villain. Everybody’s just people with flaws, aren’t they? Everybody’s got a dark side, everybody lets down their friends, everybody goes off with someone they shouldn’t go off with,” said Millar. “When you add a costume to it, it gives you a drama you’ve never seen before.”
For Wade, following these morally gray characters over the course of a hundred years is actually the ultimate superhero origin story.
“We talk about origin stories for superheroes, and I feel like this is the ultimate one. Because it’s so detailed, and you get to stay with these characters and all of their flaws for over a hundred years,” said Wade. “It’s like an evolution of the genre. There’s no going back after Jupiter’s Legacy.”
Watch the Jupiter’s Legacy Panel
Watch the full WonderCon panel below to hear the cast talk about filming in crazy weather conditions, struggling with superhero spandex, who likes flying the most, and… square testicles? (You gotta hear it to believe it.)
And while Bibb smashes the competition when it comes to comics trivia, the cast agrees they’d rely on Wade to save the world IRL.