Six days ago I mentioned that I was hearing rumors about a potential Howard the Duck movie being readied behind the scenes. It was a short mention in a much larger article. Little did I know that the PR machine was already underway.
In that article, I said the following:
“It’s to the point, I’ve heard rumors Disney may be looking at an all CGI Howard the Duck film just to get something Marvel out the door.”
What I didn’t know is that on the very day I published that article, a minor celebrity was posting about Howard the Duck on Twitter. Randomly.
I bet y’all can’t name this movie, one of my favorites❓ pic.twitter.com/jzsqk02J3X
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) October 13, 2020
And while Chad Ochocinco isn’t the most popular former pro athlete on Twitter, and while he doesn’t necessarily get all that much engagement on his posts… for whatever reason, the access-dependent entertainment click baiters sprang into action. Who knows why they were all following Ochocinco’s account in the first place.
ScreenCrush hopped onto the action: Howard the Duck on ScreenCrush
Cinema Blend got into the action: Howard the Duck on Cinema Blend
ScreenRant made sure to follow up days later with another article intended to solidify that Howard the Duck is a Marvel property without a modern move: ScreenRant Gets In On The Howard the Duck Wagon
All of this follows on the heels of a Howard the Duck animated series being canned for Hulu back in February, which we believe was being developed by Patton Oswalt. Other Marvel characters from that project will still be receiving a Hulu adaptation, but Howard the Duck was quietly taken out. Rumors we’re hearing now suggest that the reason might not have anything to do with Howard’s popularity, but rather a desire to keep the character fresh for a future CGI film.
One of the issues for Marvel at the moment is their productions are still essentially halted. Yes, they’d like to get Phase 4 up and running. Yes, they’d desperately like to kickstart the Secret Wars angle in order to drive interest once more. But at the moment, they’re just stuck due to the pandemic. Marvel’s business model in the film industry isn’t made to be stuck; without episodic theatrical releases, the whole MCU as currently constructed begins to fall apart. Actors get older off-screen. Fans lose interest in the complex superhero soap operas.
So what do you do when live action films can’t be produced and your meticulously planned storylines are set to pause? Well, you could do an animated film on a tertiary character. Perhaps one that has enough public recognition that it drives anticipation, enough weirdness that you can go avant garde, and so isolated that you can do a one-off spinoff with little risk involved?
Now I’m not saying that it’s for sure a Howard the Duck feature is being produced. But there are rumors out there, and there is very odd trending status for the character. And the most well-known of the characters being developed for Hulu (Howard) was quietly dropped months ago without any reasoning.
So what do you think? Would you be interested in a Howard the Duck animated film, maybe quirky like Into the Spiderverse? Or would you want Lea Thompson back with a full body duck suit and puppeteering? Let us know in the comments below.