CAST INTERVIEWS FIRST LOOK IMAGES
THE STUNTS SPECIAL EDITION BEHIND MARK MILLAR EXCLUSIVE
I N PA R T N E R S H I P W I T H N E T F L I X | M AY 2 0 2 1
C O N T E NT S J U P I TER ’ S
JUPITER’S LEGACY: MEET THE UNION
IMAGE CREDIT: NETFLIX, IMAGE COMICS
We speak with the ensemble cast, including Leslie Bibb, Josh Duhamel, and Ben Daniels (above) about playing a super team. PG. 18
MARK MILLAR: ORIGIN STORY
Comic creator extraordinaire Mark Millar shares the beginnings of his superhero saga, his inspirations for Jupiter’s Legacy, and how Netflix is a dream home for the story. PG. 6
Costume designer Lizz Wolf and Jupiter’s Legacy comics artist Frank Quitely on the concepts behind the super suits and the “sacred geometry” built in. PG. 12
CHOREOGRAPHING COMICS Supervising stunt coordinator Philip J. Silvera explains how he brought the frenetic superhero action of the comics to spectacular life on the screen. PG. 30
JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION | DEN OF GEEK
FROM MARK MILLAR
BEFORE I WAS SITTING WATCHING
cut after cut of this series. Before I read the scripts in their earliest drafts. Before I even sold our Millarworld company to Netflix, Jupiter’s Legacy was a comic book. But before that, it was just a hundred pages of scribbled scenes and Post-It notes all over my office. I’d been working at Marvel for ten years and had a very good run of books, from the reinvention of The Avengers with The Ultimates through Civil War to Old Man Logan, all of which had seen some success and were making their way from page to screen. My Wanted, Kick-Ass, and Kingsman comics showed me there was also a world outside Marvel where my partners and I could own the rights to our creations and be our own bosses and guide the destiny of our characters in another medium. But Jupiter’s Legacy was something different. This had to be the biggest of the lot. I’d been honing my skills for over a decade in the mainstream and I remember the very first line I wrote in my big, thick beast of a notepad, a high bar I set before a single line of dialogue would be written down: This has to be the greatest superhero story of all time. Bold, of course, but if anything this inspired me and I just went crazy, writing notes for two full months and creating an entire universe of characters and how they all related to one another. My office looked like a scene from Zodiac, diagrams everywhere and arrows pointing to characters who might only have a few panels of page time, but thirty years of backstory worked out in more intimate detail than I know some of my best friends. To say this was a passion project would be an understatement. To say it was a labour of love couldn’t capture how excited I was switching my computer on every morning. I was five years old when I remember buying my first superhero comic, but my family has drawings I did of Superman and Spider-Man
I WROTE IN MY NOTEPAD, THIS HAS TO BE THE GREATEST SUPERHERO STORY OF ALL TIME even before this. To say I’d waited my entire life to write Jupiter’s Legacy would be pretty accurate, so you can imagine how pleased I am it’s worked out as well as it has. Nailing the greatest artist in the industry was essential for this project and Frank Quitely bows to no man. He’s beloved. At the top of his game, his peers watch in awe as he does things with a pencil nobody else can even imagine. The only trouble is he enjoys doing his own thing a little
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too much, and is as happy doing a small personal piece as he is an international blockbuster. He and I are old friends and I literally had to trick him into partnering up with me on this. I told him it was a single character and just four issues long. The reality, as you may know, is over a hundred characters and something close to a thousand pages of artwork. He’d have run a mile in the opposite direction if I’d told him this in the Glasgow bar I’d lured him into, but
MAG AZ I N E Editor-in-Chief Mike Cecchini Editorial Director Chris Longo Print Editor Rosie Fletcher Creative Director Lucy Quintanilla Art Director Jessica Koynock Copy Editor Sarah Litt Production Manager Kyle Christine Darnell
IMAGE CREDIT: NETFLIX
Jupiter’s Legacy creator Mark Millar chats to stars Josh Duhamel and Andrew Horton on set of the show.
he was too deep into the story when he found out the truth. There was no going back. As the story grew we had to bring in other genius artists like Wilfredo Torres and Tommy Lee Edwards, who took control of the past and future storylines while Frank worked his magic on the present. But you can see his DNA in every issue of this monster achievement, his designs running through the book from start to finish. There could have been no better partner, and Jupiter’s Legacy remains a high point in both our careers. My wife, Lucy, and I sold Millarworld and all 20 of our franchises to Netflix in 2017. Lucy became CEO and I took the position of President and Chief Creative Officer in a separate deal afterwards. Our first priority was Jupiter’s Legacy, the
jewel in our crown. We had flirted with the idea of a movie, but Netflix afforded us the chance to make this adaptation as big and deep as it needed to be, all those scribbled notes and Post-Its on the wall fully realised into a mammoth series that wouldn’t need to cut the corners a three-act picture would have needed to. Jupiter’s Legacy wasn’t just living but literally breathing, and with a cast and crew to dream of. I’ve watched this grow from nothing into something very big indeed, and though I’ve seen cut after cut since October and helped refine it into something we’re very proud of, I’ve never once grown tired of watching every day. Even after last night, when the show was officially locked and in the can and not a single word of dialogue can be changed, I watched the first three episodes again just because I love them so much. As signs go, that has to be a pretty good one. I hope you love it as much as I do. Mark Millar
Editor-in-Chief Mike Cecchini Director of Editorial and Partnerships Chris Longo Managing Editor John Saavedra UK Editor Rosie Fletcher Associate Editors Alec Bojalad, Kayti Burt, David Crow, Kirsten Howard, Don Kaye, Louisa Mellor, Tony Sokol Director of Brand Strategy Brian Berman Art Director Jessica Koynock Head of Audience Development Elizabeth Donoghue Audience Development Strategist Ivan Huang CEO and Group Publisher Jennifer Bartner-Indeck Chief Financial Officer Pete Indeck Publisher Matthew Sullivan-Pond UK Advertising Director Adam McDonnell Ad Operations Manager George Porter
JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION | DEN OF GEEK
M A R K M I L L A R O N T H E G E N E S I S O F H I S H I S TO R I C H E R O E S
uperheroes have a long history. After flying onto the scene more than eight decades ago, led by Superman, along with fellow octogenarians Batman, Wonder Woman, and Captain America, the pantheon of capes-andtights characters has expanded to include countless more. And as legendary creators made their mark across decades, the origins and powers of these icons transformed almost as frequently as their costumes.
Meanwhile, the superhero team The Union, from the comic book saga Jupiter’s Legacy, have 90 years of consistent fictional history, with a singular overarching story, envisioned by one man: Mark Millar. After discovering both Superman and Spider-Man comics the same day, at the age of four in Scotland (where he grew up), the now 51-year-old writer would go on to make a significant impact on the superpowered set. But he wanted his own pantheon. And with Jupiter’s Legacy, Mark Millar has created a long history of superheroes of his own—now set to be adapted as a Netflix series. “I wanted to do an epic,” he says. “Like The Lord of the Rings, or Star Wars … the ultimate superhero story.” Co-created with artist Frank Quitely and published by Image Comics in 2013, Millar calls Jupiter’s Legacy his love letter to superheroes—and part of his own legacy. The story begins in 1932 with a mysterious island that grants powers to a group of friends who then adopt the costumed monikers The Utopian,
Lady Liberty, Brainwave, Skyfox, The Flare, and Blue Bolt. Told on a grand scale with cross-genre influences, the story spans three arcs: the prequel Jupiter’s Circle (with art by Wilfredo Torres), Jupiter’s Legacy, and the upcoming June 16, 2021 release Jupiter’s Legacy: Requiem (featuring art by Tommy Lee Edwards). With the May 7 debut of the Jupiter’s Legacy series on Netflix, the story will now also be told in live action. Millar established himself in the comics industry in 1993 and crafted successful stories including Superman: Red Son, Wolverine: Old Man Logan, The Ultimates, and Marvel Comics’ Civil War—all of which have inspired adaptations and films, and led to him becoming a creative consultant at Fox Studios on its Marvel projects. His creator-owned titles Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kick-Ass, and Wanted, have likewise spawned hit movies. But compared to Jupiter’s Legacy, none of those possessed such massive scope and aspiration as the story that explores the evolving ideologies of superpowered individuals, and
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A N D H OW N E T FL I X I S T H E I R N AT U R A L H O M E .
BY A A R O N S AG E R S
Six friends visit a mysterious island in the 1930s. From left: Richard Conrad (David Julian Hirsh), Walter Sampson (Ben Daniels), Sheldon Sampson (Josh Duhamel), Grace Kennedy (Leslie Bibb), Fitz Small (Mike Wade) and George Hutchence (Matt Lanter).
JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION | DEN OF GEEK
The heroes of The Union change what humanity believes is possible, even as they challenge each other to take a more active role in mankind’s development.
how involved they should be when it comes to solving the world’s problems. Relationships are forged—and shattered by betrayal—with startling violence and titanic action sequences (both part of Millar’s signature style). “From Superman and the Justice League to Marvel to British comics— inspired by guys like Alan Moore, and so on, I’ve thrown it in there… it’s got a bit of everything,” he says. That “everything” extends beyond comic books. Millar drew inspiration from King Kong’s Skull Island, and references the cosmic aesthetic of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which informed the “sci-fi stuff.” The writings of horror author H.P. Lovecraft “were a big thing for me,” when it came to The Island, created by aliens, “that existed before humanity, and that these people are drawn out towards where they get their superpowers.” The character Sheldon Sampson/The Utopian is a Clark Kent/Superman type, but his cohort George Hutchence/Skyfox is more than a millionaire playboy
stand-in for Bruce Wayne. Rather, Millar based him on British actors from the 1960s—Peter O’Toole, Oliver Reed, Richard Burton, Richard Harris—who were suave rascals. “I loved the idea of a superhero having a good time, getting on with girls, drinking whisky, smoking lots of cigarettes,” Millar says. At the risk of sounding “so pretentious,” Millar jokes, he also pulled from Shakespeare. Indeed, the comics are as much a family saga as a superhero one (and written by the much younger brother of six whose parents died before he was 20). Utopian is a father to his own disappointing children, and a father of sorts to all heroes. He is Lear as much as he is Jupiter, the Roman god of gods. The end of his reign approaches, and various factions have their own appetite for power—such as his self-righteous brother who thinks he should be a leader, or Utopian’s son, born into the family business of being a hero, but who could never live
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up to his father’s expectations, or his daughter who is more interested in fame than heroism. He views Jupiter’s Legacy as more thoughtful than Kick-Ass, Kingsman, or Wanted. The plot’s driving action hinges on a debate about the superheroes’ philosophies and moral imperatives. It seeks to address a question Millar asked when he was a kid reading comics. “Why doesn’t Superman solve the world’s problems?” he recalls thinking. “Why didn’t he interfere and stop wars from even existing?... Is it ethically wrong to stand aside and just maintain the status quo, especially when the status quo creates so many problems for a lot of people?” On one side of the debate, Utopian believes interfering too much with society’s trajectory is a bad move. It’s not that he is cynical; quite the opposite. He thinks things are actually improving in the world. His viewpoint is there are less people hungry across the globe than ever before, and less
IMAGE CREDITS: NETFLIX
Below: Brandon Sampson (Andrew Horton) is one of the next generation of superheroes, going by the name Paragon as he tries to live up to his parents’ example.
people with disease. Millar describes Utopian as a “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” kind of hero, to borrow a phrase associated with Superman, and believes capitalism works. As his hero name suggests,
Utopian thinks a better world is within reach, even if it takes generations, and encourages even the heroes to be patient and trust people to do the right thing because they are innately good. “He says, if you look at the
difference somebody like Bill Gates has made in Africa—just one guy—if you look at capitalism taken to the Nth degree, then it pulls everybody up, and poverty in places like India, is massively better just compared to a generation ago.” Besides, as Utopian says to his impatient brother Walter/Brainwave, in Jupiter’s Legacy #1, being a caped hero doesn’t make them economists and, “Just because you can fly doesn’t mean you know how to balance a budget.” Plus, the notion of using psychic powers or brute force to simply make the world “better” is out of the question. Or is it? The mainstream awareness of superheroes baked in from more than 80 years of stories, and the shorthand that especially comes with 13 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe commercial juggernaut, has provided Millar with a set of archetypes to lean into. It was true of the hero proxies in the Jupiter’s Legacy books, and he says it’s true of the show. In fact, he says audiences are so sophisticated with regards to these types of characters they’ll be able to immediately slip into his universe, and that “a lot of the hard work has been done for us.” He adds that audience literacy with superhero tropes also provided him something to push against. “The Marvel characters lock these guys up in prison at the end of these movies,” Millar says. “Everything’s tied up neatly with a bow, the rich are still the rich, the poor are still starving, and the superheroes aren’t really doing anything for the common man in any very global sense. These guys have just had enough of that.” Millar’s comics technically kick off in 1932, when Sheldon first brings his friends on a journey to The Island, but his story goes back to 1929 when the stock market crashed, and the Great Depression began. This is likewise when the Netflix series will begin, and Millar says it’s because of the historic parallels between then and 2021. “We’ve been in a similar situation as we are now: there’s impending financial collapse coming out of a global pandemic,” he says. “The idea
JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION | DEN OF GEEK
is that history continues and repeats itself, and people make the same mistakes over and over again, and the superheroes are saying, ‘Let’s actually fix everything.’” Continuing the theme of parallels, when discussing the inception of Jupiter’s Legacy with Millar, The Godfather Part II comes up more than once because of the film’s dual storylines following Vito Corleone and son Michael, separated by decades. However, while the comics contain some flashbacks, the plot doesn’t unfold across different time periods simultaneously. But the Netflix series will shift between eras, with half of the show during the season taking place in 1929, for which Millar credits Steven S. DeKnight, who developed the series. “The way Steven structured it was really brilliant, because I saw these taking place over two [different] years,” Millar says. “[But] The Godfather Part II track shows you the father and the son at the same age and juxtaposes their two lives.” As a result, he says the series is a visual mash-up of genres that’s both classical and futuristic. “It just feels like a beautiful period movie, then when it gets cosmic, and it gets to the superhero stuff, it’s a double wow… it’s like seeing Once Upon a Time in America suddenly directed by Stanley Kubrick doing 2001.” This is a notable advantage to bringing the story to television, as opposed to making Jupiter’s Legacy three two-hour films as he originally planned with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura in 2015. Millar says that to tell the Jupiter’s Legacy story properly on screen would require 40 hours, and with a series, what would have been a one-minute flashback in a movie can now be revealed in two hours of its own. It was another director who has since made a name adapting ambitious comic book properties that extolled to Millar the benefits of television: James Gunn. When Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Suicide Squad) had a chat with Millar about the project, Gunn said it could never be done as a movie. “The smartest
guy in the world is James Gunn,” Millar says. An exciting challenge of adapting his work for television is that the series will expand on the backstories and concepts of the books. For example when Sheldon Sampson and his friends head to The Island in the first issue, it takes up six pages. Within the series, half of the first season is that journey, and what happens when they arrive. “Six issues of a graphic novel are roughly about an hour and 10 minutes of a movie; for something like an eight-part drama on TV, you really have to flesh it out,” he says. “It just goes a little deeper than what I had maybe two panels do.” He emphasizes, however, that these flourishes won’t contradict the comics. Though he sold Millarworld to Netflix, he remains president so he can maintain control of his creations. Overall the series has made the writer realize the value of television, and while a second season has not yet been confirmed, he’s already thinking about a third and fourth, and how it will dovetail with the upcoming Requiem. The story that began in 1929 continued through 2021, and collected in four volumes, will soon continue far into the future in the concluding two volumes. “We saw the parents, then we have the present, and then we see their
WHY DOESN T SUPERMAN SOLVE THE WORLD S PROBLEMS? WHY DIDN T HE STOP WARS FROM EVEN EXISTING? — MARK MILLAR
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Brainwave (Ben Daniels), Lady Liberty (Leslie Bibb), and The Utopian (Josh Duhamel) are the leaders of The Union.
children in the next storyline,” he says. “That storyline goes way off into the future where we discover everything about humanity, superheroes, all these things. It’s a big, grand, high-concept, sci-fi thing beyond that.” Listening to the jovial Millar discuss the scope of his Jupiter universe, which is imbued with optimism, one might not think this is the same person known for employing graphic violence in his works. He thinks his films especially are violent yet hopeful, and fun. Kingsman is a rags-to-riches story, and “you feel great at the end of Kick-Ass, even though you’ve seen 200 people knifed in the face.” But he doesn’t consider his writing to fit under the dark-and-
gritty label, and he’s not interested in angst, which he finds dull. With Jupiter’s Legacy, the comic and the show, he views the tone as complex but not “overtly dark.” Additionally, Millar says he thinks society needs hopeful characters such as Captain America, Superman, and yes, The Utopian in 2021—as opposed to an ongoing genre trend of heroes drowning in pathos. “The Superman-type characters are just now something from a pop culture, societal point of view, we need more than ever,” he says. “The last thing you want is seeing the world as dark, as something that makes you feel bad. Never forget Superman was created just before World War II in the
midst of the economic depression by two Jewish kids who were just scraping a living together... I just think it’s so important when things are tough to have a character like that that makes you feel good.” Even though Utopian suffers for his idealism in the comic, Millar says his ideas are passed on. This is The Utopian’s legacy. “Ultimately, he wins if you think about it,” ponders Millar. After a successful career spent creating characters and re-shaping superheroes with 80 years of history, the new pantheon of Jupiter’s Legacy may become one of the defining and lasting features of Mark Millar’s own legacy.
JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION | DEN OF GEEK
Lizz Wolf’s costumes for Jupiter’s Legacy on display.
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JUPITER’S LEGACY ARTIST FRANK QUITELY AND COSTUME DESIGNER LIZZ WOLF ON HOW THEY TRANSLATED THE LOOK OF THE COMIC FROM THE PAGE TO THE SCREEN. BY R O S I E K N I G H T
HOW DO YOU bring a comic book to life? It’s a question that studios have been struggling with since they first began making live-action superhero serials in the 1940s. Netflix’s newest comic book series adapts Image Comics’ metatext on the medium, Jupiter’s Legacy. Created by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely, the story centers on two generations of heroes. In its quest to bring this story to life, Netflix has enlisted costume designer Lizz Wolf. Though she’s new to the superhero genre, she has plenty of experience with massive actioners— including Rambo, The Expendables, and Pacific Rim: Uprising—and she dived in head-first to create a unique and vibrant visual landscape which respected the comics while bringing the texture and depth needed to translate the archetypal heroes to the small screen. In an unusual series of events, Wolf was brought on very early in the production in order to allow her to build the sartorial universe of Jupiter’s Legacy from the ground up. It was a rare chance for the costume designer to truly create something immersive and all-encompassing. “This project was an opportunity that very few costume designers get,” Wolf says. “In order to conquer the Herculean task of bringing the vast universe that Mark Millar and Frank Quitely had created to life, I had to strap myself in for the ride of a lifetime.” JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION | DEN OF GEEK
1) Below: Frank Quitely’s cover for issue #1 of Jupiter’s Legacy features Brandon and Chloe Sampson in front a monolithic statue of their parents. 2) Right: George Hutchence aka Skyfox contemplates his super suit. Lizz Wolf’s costume design for the show is significantly different from the comic.
visual language and start the design process. This design language was a culmination of the extensive research we did for each of the superheroes and their subgroups. I relied heavily on science and nature to guide me. I was inspired by everything from the natural world, architecture, black line tattoos, ancient symbols, alchemy, microbial photography, atomic ordering, complex life forms, and parametric equations.” When it came to directly adapting the costumes from the comics, for Wolf it was a balance of respect and inspiration. “In the beginning, I focused on the story to inform the design,” she says. “In order to achieve a cinematic feel, we had to extrapolate what was intrinsic to telling the story through an emotional color palette, composition, function, and the capabilities of each member of the Union from the source material. Then, of course, we had to pump them into three-dimensional characters.” When Quitely visited the set, he got
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to explore those three-dimensional reimaginings of his art, something that he calls a privilege. While he visited each and every part of the production, and enjoyed it all, the costume department was something of a highlight for the creator. “They were very faithful to all the main costumes,” Quitely explains. “But because there are so many supporting characters, they had basically come up with a lot of costumes that were just inspired by what they’d already found in the comic. That was really great to see.” Discovering the creators were fans of her designs early on was an unforgettable moment for Wolf. She was keen to talk about their impact on her, and what she called a seminal vision of superheroes. So when Millar, Quitely, and the showrunners came back with good things to say, it was “the catalyst of confidence” for her. “It was truly a professional high point to hear that Mark [Millar] had liked the designs and the direction we were going in.” Wolf says. “That
IMAGE CREDITS: IMAGE COMICS, NETFLIX
Seeing that world come to life has been nothing short of a joy for artist and Jupiter’s Legacy co-creator Quitely. While the show does bring plenty of new layers to the costuming and characters, he was blown away by how much inspiration they took from the comics. Even when things were changed he feels it was for the better. “Where they have embellished things, it’s not so much that they’ve done their own thing,” Quitely says, “it’s that they’ve taken what we had in the comic, and they’ve added to it and translated it in a way that’s going to work better for television. It’s a very interesting process for me to see.” So how did Wolf get started on translating such an epic series through the lens of costuming? “As this universe is literally littered with superheroes and villains with varying degrees of power, I created a doctrine based on the character depictions in the comic book,” she says. “A platform of their capabilities and back stories. This was the connective tissue to then assemble a
acknowledgment was everything!” Paying homage to the silhouettes and color schemes of the comics costumes was key to Wolf. But she wanted to amp up the technology and detail. With suits that have to exist over decades, it was vital to make sure that they had durability and that classic Golden Age vibe. “These suits had to travel the expanse of 100-plus years and hold up, as well as remain relevant and be able to inspire generations to come,” she says. “That was a challenge!” Wolf battled through those challenges and found unexpected inspiration in the works of industrial 3D knitters. Diving deep into this new creative process gave Wolf a new insight, and what she called “single thread technology” led to the basis of what she describes as the show’s “suit mythology,” which also shaped the designs of the next generation’s suits. Taking inspiration from anatomical artists like George Bridgman and Andrew Loomis, Wolf crafted a musculature for the super suits that was exaggerated yet natural. And she even built the origin of their powers, imbued following an “event,” into the suits. “This muscular structure was a molecular reaction of this event integrated into the suit itself,” she says. That level of detail was something that immediately stuck out to Quitely. He was particularly excited by the intricate detailing that Wolf and her team added. Though the costumes might look the same from a distance, up close Quitely found an impressive array of subtle details, including emblems and alien patterns built into the material itself. “They’ve put so much thought and love and enthusiasm into the way they’ve gone about recreating this world, making it bigger and fuller in a way that will work for television,” Quitely says. “It’s been fantastic.” Wolf was equally as enamoured with the process, describing it as a highlight of her storied career. “Designing the superheroes was an incredible thrill! I’ve experienced nothing like it. I’d have to say overall that Jupiter’s Legacy is my favorite project that I have ever done!”
Sacred Geometry The hidden detail in Jupiter’s Legacy’s super suits. Lizz Wolf added a unique costume detail which created its own visual language, much of which was inspired by the concept of “Sacred Geometry.” The term references the idea of ascribing meaning and symbolism to certain geometric shapes and proportions. While usually used in religious buildings and art, Wolf strived to craft a superheroic Sacred Geometry for each of the six Union members using symbolic emblems and totems which were later integrated into their suits. “These were extractions or reflections of each character’s individual journey,” Wolf explains. While researching the look of Jupiter’s Legacy, the team discovered amateur micro photography of frozen ice crystals. This naturally occurring phenomenon developed into
the overall language of the costumes. “We created a series of these lichen-like formations that represented expressions or glyphs based on an alphabet of sorts,” Wolf says. “It was used on each of the Union’s super suits as an adornment or to create declarations.” The Utopian signified a particular challenge as his plain white suit was simple yet iconic. But Wolf built on his archetypal comic book silhouette that she felt represented the mythology of the character. While she didn’t feel like he was particularly formidable at first, once they built in Sheldon’s own Sacred Geometry which was built from “extractions from conjured celestial maps that could have guided Sheldon in his calling” the costume designer reveals, “he emerged to be very intimidating.” Fitz Small aka The Flare (Mike Wade), one member of the original group to visit the island.
JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION | DEN OF GEEK
OLD SCHOOL VS. NEW SCHOOL DRESSING TWO GENERATIONS OF SUPERHEROES. JUPITER’S LEGACY is a story about family, two
generations of distinctly different heroes. The older and more archetypal group known as the Union are shaped by idealistic dreams and Golden Age comics. Then there’s the children of the Union, whose lives have been molded by their parents’ fame, privilege, and celebrity endorsement campaigns. When it comes to costuming, the differences are clear. The Union wear classic superhero suits, making them icons of hope and heroics. But their children rock civilian outfits, still just as recognizable but a clear rejection of the traditions of their family.
For artist Frank Quitely and writer Mark Millar, the Union’s costumes were key, as were their influences. “We went right back to Superman and Batman. The early Marvel and DC heroes. The heroes from the mid 1930s through the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s,” Quitely says. The older generation wear traditional suits making them easily identifiable as heroes. “We were looking at everything that had gone before. We were wanting things that were recognizable and reminiscent of classic superheroes, even for people that weren’t immersed in comic book culture. Most people have got a rough idea of what Superman and Spider-Man are about. We wanted to deal with archetypes and representations of superheroes that would still strike some kind of chord with people that only had a passing interest.”
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IMAGE CREDITS: NETFLIX
1) THE UTOPIAN When it came to designing the Utopian, Quitely looked towards Superman and other classic Golden Age stories. But for costume designer Lizz Wolf, it was all about building only on what already existed in the comics. Keeping his white silhouette was key and Wolf “built on the mythology of the character,” giving him what she calls an “almost archaic, statuesque feel.” She adds that building that texture was key. “This is where the musculature was profound in exhibiting his mortal strength,” she explains. “This brought majesty to his suit, and then Josh Duhamel brought his god-like presence!”
2) SKYFOX One of the most significantly different costumes is that of Skyfox. Gone are his leotard/undies from the comics. Instead, Wolf crafted something with “a rugged sexiness.” The team retained his “iconic color scheme that is certainly a nod to royalty and his social status as George Hutchence.” But rather than drawing directly from the comics, they shifted tactics. “His inspiration was part gunslinger, part playboy, 100% badass,” Wolf says. “His equipment is intentionally worn low on hips to provoke that rock star, cowboy vibe. He also has what amounts to the ‘Rosetta Stone’ of the Union embedded in his suit. The crowning element is his fractal-like Fox emblem. It’s like a talisman inspired by his fox-themed heirloom jewelry pieces from the 1920s.” 3) BRAINWAVE Another slight shift was Brainwave. In the comics, his suit evolves in the modern age. But Wolf decided to keep his iconic early look for the entire series. “This allowed us to really make his suit beam and keep his natural swagger evident. I love his suit and his veining motif. He just lights up in it and it appears to be actively circulating.” Wolf reveals that a strange mistake ended up playing a vital part. “That fabrication was one of those divine accidents. During our R&D period, a run of printed fabric went in an unintentional direction. That material mysteriously became more radiant when stretched over his muscular structure. That mistake became the end result.”
THE NEXT GENERATION
Growing up in Scotland shaped Quitely’s choice to make the younger generation’s uniforms their everyday outfits. “I read a lot of comics when I was younger. Desperate Dan, Dennis the Menace, The Broons. The characters tend to wear the same clothes,” he explains. “It’s the same with your Saturday morning cartoons like Scooby-Doo. Their costumes are part of the aesthetic of each character. They wear the same clothes and colors all the time because it makes them more recognizable. To some extent we did that with the characters in Jupiter’s Legacy that didn’t have a superhero costume. Even if the clothes change, they have a recognizable style. And it’s important to try to stick with that because it helps build the character and it helps make the visual storytelling easy to follow.”
JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION | DEN OF GEEK
JUPITER’S LEGACY INTRODUCES A SUPER -POWERED ENSEMBLE WHO FORM THE UNION … AND THEIR OFFSPRING. SAY HELLO TO THE NEW HEROES IN TOWN .
NAME: Grace Kennedy Sampson
BY E D G R O S S
Mark Millar’s Jupiter’s Legacy is a multigenerational saga spanning from 1929 to the present, intertwining superheroics with family drama. Brought to the screen for Netflix, it boasts a cool cast of established stars and buzzy newcomers, who we spoke to exclusively to discuss their characters, inspirations, and what we might expect from Jupiter’s Legacy now and in seasons to come. “Audiences are really smart and want good storytelling,” says Matt Lanter, who plays George Hutchence/ Skyfox. “They want characters with depth, and this is a character-driven show, first and foremost.” Leslie Bibb, who plays Grace Kennedy Sampson/Lady Liberty, agrees. “We realize you can be the
V I TAL S TAT S
ALTER EGO: Lady Liberty
strongest person in the world, and yet be weak when it comes to your children. We all have an Achilles’ heel and none of us has the answer. I hope the human story of it translates.” It’s so human that it gives us an unlikely superhero-in-therapy angle, too. “One of my favorite scenes in the show,” laughs Josh Duhamel, who plays Sheldon Sampson/The Utopian, “is when I go to seek therapy—from a super villain. Sheldon’s able to talk to him about the things he’s dealing with. One of the main things he’s dealing with is that he’s the most powerful dude in the world, but has no clue how to deal with his 20-year-old daughter.” Meet Jupiter’s Legacy’s superteam and the next generation following in their footsteps.
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POWERS AND ABILITIES: Super strength, speed, and sight; power of flight; some level of invulnerability; knows when people are lying. NEED TO KNOW: Wife of Sheldon Sampson, mother to Brandon and Chloe, and founding member of The Union. The glue that holds the Sampson family together.
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GRACE IS A WOMAN WHO HAS THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD ON HER SHOULDERS.
Have you secretly desired to play a superhero? JOSH DUHAMEL: Not at all. I thought I was too old to play a superhero at this point, but the guy I play is an aging superhero. Plus, they can age me down, too, so I go from my 30s to the present day, which is about 90. That’s quite the span. JD: Yeah, I go from this young man to this grizzled superhero who’s seen it all and has carried the weight of the world on his shoulders for 90 years.
How did you “find” Grace? LESLIE BIBB: My mom passed away unexpectedly a couple of years ago, and I remember being struck with how I saw her change; how fearful she got as she got older. Did you tap into that fear? LB: What I incorporated, probably subconsciously, was the moxie that she had when she was younger; her fearlessness in a world that was very male-dominated. This is especially true for the first season, where it’s so important to show the idealism that they once had. How would you say that Grace evolves? LB: What you see with Grace, especially in the present day, is a woman who has the weight of
the world on her shoulders, which is becoming more difficult, because her husband is digging his heels in and there’s no bend to him. But the world isn’t the same as it used to be. We are bringing knives to a fight where people have drones. As a result, there’s a ripping at the seams and, at the end, her not toeing the company line, not standing in a unified front with her husband. That seems to represent quite the change… LB: By the end, she’s finding her voice and asking herself, “Where’s the fearless girl I used to be? What have I given up for this that maybe I don’t agree with anymore?” The set of rules that worked back in 1929 just don’t work anymore, and she experiences an awakening.
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That must take a toll on Sheldon. JD: There’s a worldweariness about the guy that I love, because this code that he’s lived by for so long, and what he believed in, he’s started to wonder if it’s working. And the younger generation, the public, and even the other original six that he started this thing with are starting to question his leadership. Was that part of the attraction for you? JD: The interrelationships and the dynamics between this family, and how dysfunctional it is in some ways, is what really drew me to it. I loved the idea of a superhero family from a psychological point of view. The superhero stuff is fun, don’t get me wrong—I do really enjoy putting that suit on—but at the end of the day I wanted to be part of a really good story. I think that’s what we have.
JOSH DUHAMEL V I TA L S TAT S NAME: Sheldon Sampson ALTER EGO: The Utopian POWERS AND ABILITIES: Flight; physically the strongest man on the planet; semi-invulnerable; super speed; energy beams from his eyes; telekinesis. NEED TO KNOW: Leader of The Union, Grace’s husband, Brandon and Chloe’s father, Walter’s brother, and the world’s greatest superhero. Sheldon insists all superheroes abide by the code, but times have changed in the last 90 years...
Josh Duhamel plays Sheldon Sampson, aka The Utopian, a powerful superhero who's the leader of The Union.
JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION | DEN OF GEEK
BEN DANIELS Q:
Walter has an amazing arc—what attracted you most? BEN DANIELS: What fascinates me is that the family drama happening before we go into spandex is so full and rich. You can just mine it like any other drama that you do that hasn’t got flying and fighting or whatever it might be. Do you think that’s why it works so well? BD: Despite the powers, they’re all very human. It has a vibe to me of ancient Greek theater, where the stories were about the same families and were intertwined. There are battles and gods walk the Earth with mortals. All the stories are about the frailty of the human condition under this inescapable hand of fate. How would you describe Walter Sampson? BD: Walter is a mass of insecurities that manifest in very different ways before he gets his super power and then later on in life. But I think it’s all linked to that insecurity. Once I’d unlocked that, it meant that I could push apart, even further, those two different personalities and then link them with this insecurity. When he’s a younger man, he’s this highly sensitive person and finds it hard to process emotion. He’s swamped by it and has been the butt of family jokes since he was a kid and he’s resented it. There’s that famous saying: “Show me the boy at seven, and I will show you the man.”
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MIKE WADE Ben Daniels as Walter Sampson, a founding member of The Union known by his superhero alterego, Brainwave.
What was the appeal of Fitz? MIKE WADE: He’s someone who can take what works and discard what doesn’t. America is an example. Fitz loves his country and sees it as a great nation. He knows there’s work to be done and he’s not just talking about what’s bad, he’s saying: “Okay, I’m willing to step up and do my part.” The story spans many decades, so how do the changes in society affect Fitz? MW: Fitz is impacted because The Union has a code. We don’t lead, we inspire. We apprehend the bad guys, we don’t kill anyone. He lives that, because Fitz has been injured in battle, so it’s not just talk.
V I TA L S TAT S NAME: Walter Sampson ALTER EGO: Brainwave POWERS AND ABILITIES: Flight; acute psychic powers to destroy the mind; can survive as far into space as satellites go. NEED TO KNOW: Founding member of The Union and Sheldon’s older brother. He has his own ideas about how superheroes should conduct themselves, and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.
He goes through a very serious injury as The Flare. MW: It’s a different world than we came up with. Even with his physical injuries, what means the most to Fitz is that his daughter is out there now. It’s one thing for him to be hurt and not be able to perform the same way
V I TA L S TAT S NAME: Fitz Small ALTER EGO: The Flare POWERS AND ABILITIES: Can transform his body into a solid mass of light, which grants him the power of flight and the ability to project energy blasts. NEED TO KNOW: Founding member of The Union and the team’s heart and soul, now supporting his daughter on her own superheroic journey.
that he did, but to see his daughter risking her life—well, that really makes you question the code you live by even more. His daughter is pivotal to him... MW: Seeing things through the eyes of his daughter, who has a heart of gold and is able to forgive him—well, if Fitz can take what works and discard what doesn’t, then she can do it 100 times better.
WHAT MEANS THE MOST TO FITZ IS THAT HIS DAUGHTER IS OUT THERE NOW.
JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION | DEN OF GEEK
DAVID JULIAN HIRSH Q:
What was the excitement level for you about being cast in the show? DAVID JULIAN HIRSH: There were so many interesting things going on in my life for three months prior to being cast, and it was the first time in my life that I said, “I cannot wait to do a superhero show.” That’s pretty specific. Why? DJH: Just like what Richard Conrad in a way goes through in terms of how they find him and how he hooks up with the rest of the team back in 1929, I’d had an accident in my own life. Something had happened and saved me, and it was the first time I said, “I absolutely want to do something huge, something greater than me, something spiritual, something like a superhero show.” The next thing I know, this script shows up. What was the appeal of this superhero for you? DJH: I was always very drawn to the power of superheroes, but also the
V I TAL S TAT S NAME: Richard Conrad ALTER EGO: Blue Bolt POWERS AND ABILITIES: We don’t know yet! NEED TO KNOW: A founding member of The Union and a neonatal surgeon when we meet him in 1929. However, in the present day, Conrad is no longer part of The Union, and his fate remains unknown.
double lives that they had to lead between their private selves and their public selves. You live as a human, but you also live as a powerful superhero. And not only is Blue Bolt living the life of a neonatal surgeon, but he also has another double life. There are many layers to him, and as an actor that’s what I dream of. The more layers you have, the more there is to work with. The deeper you go, the more you have to understand.
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What appealed to you about George? MATT LANTER: I remember seeing a bit of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in that character. I also kind of saw a little bit of flair, like a Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. I also wanted a bit of Paul Newman, who’s one of my favorite actors. All of that was my inspiration for George. This is such a great time for fans of superheroes, with Justice League, Avengers, The Boys and, now, Jupiter’s Legacy, and they’re all so unique. ML: They are, and I think in a few years people are going to realize how big this actually is in terms of being the first show that’s opening up “Millarworld.” People are going to realize that it’s DC, Marvel, and Millarworld, and it’s exciting to be a part of that. This show focuses on the relationship between the parents and their kids. ML: Which is what makes this story so unique. We’ve seen the guy in the suit and he’s saving the world, but this multi-generational family dynamic that Mark Millar has created is so interesting. And it’s such a basic idea, in a way. What if Superman had a kid and he’s a jerk and can’t live up to being Superman? And the world Millar’s built has the kids of these six superheroes signing contracts with big companies like modern-day influencers. It’s just a wild, cool idea.
V I TA L S TAT S NAME: George Hutchence ALTER EGO: Skyfox POWERS AND ABILITIES: Flight; super strength; can survive a mile above Earth; uses engineering skills to create tech to use against villains NEED TO KNOW: Another founding member of The Union and Sheldon’s former best friend before they had a falling out. Now considered the greatest supervillain in the world, George hasn’t been seen for years. His whereabouts and his loyalties are still a mystery.
PEOPLE ARE GOING TO REALIZE THAT IT’S DC, MARVEL, AND MILLARWORLD. JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION | DEN OF GEEK
ELENA KAMPOURIS Q:
Who is Chloe, as far as you’re concerned? ELENA KAMPOURIS: The thing I loved about her is that she has so many layers and a lot of depth. And there’s so much to unpack, because, on one end, she’s unfiltered, quite brash, and her powers are tethered to her emotions, which is fun, because it makes her quite unpredictable. Chloe’s emotions are pretty heightened... EK: Yes, but it comes from a place of just feeling deeply and being so sensitive. She’s very deep-feeling and that’s why she’s so hurt. She’s in a major place of pain and navigating all of these feelings of guilt and dysfunction with her family dynamic at the moment. She’s got a lot of baggage, but that’s what made her so much fun to play, because it’s not the kind of character that you come across all the time. You had the opportunity to pull back her layers? EK: Exactly! You get to see what makes her tick, what’s driving her to act out or rebel against the family code and family dynamic. We explore the dysfunction of the super beings and the idea of perfection versus imperfection. Order versus disorder. Chloe embodies chaos and disorder versus The Utopian’s order and the code and perfection. He’s so caught up in being the symbol and representing invincibility, and she’s so clearly “vincible” and so clearly imperfect.
CHLOE EMBODIES CHAOS AND DISORDER. 26 DEN OF GEEK | JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION
IAN QUINLAN Elena Kampouris plays Chloe Sampson, the super-powered daughter of Sheldon and Grace who rebels against her parents’ ideals.
What was shooting this show like? IAN QUINLAN: Like shooting three movies. We go back in time, then in the present we have the superhero side of things that feels like Christian Bible Camp, and on the other side is Hutch and the Hutch Gang—it’s like the Sex Pistols meets the Guardians of the Galaxy. What attracted you to it? IQ: When I read the script and realized it was Mark Millar, it blew my mind. I read all of his stuff growing up: The Ultimates, Civil War, The Authority. Once I knew it was him, I was, like, “Oh, I know what this guy wants.”
V I TA L S TAT S NAME: Chloe Sampson ALTER EGO: Unknown POWERS AND ABILITIES: Super speed, strength, durability, stamina, and senses; flight; telekinesis; sonic scream.
Which is what? IQ: When he did Civil War, it asked, “What are our values? Where are we going? Do we want to adopt a new set of codes of conduct?” I found that very similar to The Union in Jupiter’s Legacy, when their children are getting ready to take over and don’t necessarily subscribe to their code. And what happens when they want to make changes and there’s nobody really to hold them accountable?
V I TA L S TAT S NAME: Hutch Hutchence ALTER EGO: None POWERS AND ABILITIES: Possesses the Power Rod, which allows Hutch to teleport himself and others anywhere simply by naming the location. It also emits energy blasts. NEED TO KNOW: Son of George Hutchence. A complex, charismatic wild card who prefers the company of young villains. Hutch didn’t inherit his dad’s superpowers, but relies on his Power Rod, which enables him to navigate life as a con man with a conscience.
And how does Hutch fit in to that situation? IQ: Well, he doesn’t really subscribe to heroes and villains or capes and spandex. That’s what felt like Mark Millar: he’s always talking about this theme of superheroes and how they would fit into the real world and what society would actually have to say to them. I found that very cool and very exciting.
NEED TO KNOW: Daughter of Sheldon and Grace, sister of Brandon. She’s immensely powerful, but rejects everything her parents stand for. Chloe has forged her own path to fame; a path that threatens to go against everything her parents have sworn to protect.
JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION | DEN OF GEEK
TENIKA DAVIS Q:
How do you view Petra as a person and how would you say she evolves? TENIKA DAVIS: Fiercely loyal and protective of the people she loves, and through the series she determines whether she’s willing to pay the price of protecting her loved ones.
V I TAL S TAT S NAME: Petra Small ALTER EGO: The Flare II POWERS AND ABILITIES: Like her father, Petra can transform into a mass of energy, fly, and project powerful energy blasts.
Petra isn’t a character who appears in the comics, so how did you discover who she is? And what was your feeling about her costume? TD: Asking an insurmountable amount of questions to discover as much as I could about her! And the costume is a beautifully crafted second skin that forces me to have better posture. It’s definitely helped me be mindful of the things it stands for: love, justice, family.
jumping for joy, screaming, “We’re doing it, we actually get to fly!” This is literally the childhood dream. I’m so grateful to be allowed to do this as work.
Q: What was it like dealing with all of the special effects? TD: I’m a die-hard fan; I love superheroes so much that it would only be natural that I become one. And the little girl inside of me is
Q: How would you describe the power of this show? TD: It always comes down to love. We have created a unique family that we’re just hoping you all fall in love with.
NEED TO KNOW: Takes over from her father, The Flare, although there is tension between them; Fitz understands Petra’s doubts about The Union more than Sheldon does his kids’.
THE LITTLE GIRL INSIDE OF ME IS JUMPING FOR JOY. 28 DEN OF GEEK | JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION
As a relative newcomer, how are you handling being part of what could be a huge show? ANDREW HORTON: Being an actor on any level opens you up to scrutiny, but when you’re on Netflix’s new superhero show, that’s definitely a bit of weight on the old shoulders. It’s intimidating, but also incredibly exciting. How do you view your character, Brandon? AN: Brandon in the comics is kind of like this petulant dick, basically, for lack of a better word. He’s completely disengaged with his father, still trying to be part of The Union and impress, but he keeps failing. How does this affect him? AN: It just makes him angrier and more disillusioned with everything that his father stands for. The series basically sets up the backstory where he gets to that point. In it, he’s incredibly earnest, works really hard, and has still got these rose-tinted glasses on. But he’s still not living up to expectations, though he’s very much in training to take over the mantle of The Utopian. Brandon didn’t have a costume in the comics, but you do on the show. What’s that like? AN: The costumes were immense and imbue so much to the character without even having to try. You see the Superman suit and it’s so iconic. Not saying that this is iconic—I hope it will be—but what an amazing feeling of power.
ANDREW HORTON Andrew Horton plays Brandon Sampson, aka Paragon—a powerful superhero-in-training who's trying to live up to his father's mantle.
V I TA L S TAT S NAME: Brandon Sampson ALTER EGO: Paragon POWERS AND ABILITIES: Telekinesis, which allows him to fly and move large objects; can survive in outer space; can project energy blasts from his eyes; super hearing. NEED TO KNOW: Son of Sheldon and Grace, brother to Chloe. In training to assume the mantle of The Utopian and become the new leader of The Union, he struggles to live up to his father’s mythic legend.
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SUPERVISING STUNT COORDINATOR PHILIP J . SILVER A TALKS ABOUT BRINGING THE GRIT T Y SUPERHERO ACTION OF JUPITER’S LEGACY TO LIFE . BY G E N E C H I N G
tunt teams are some of the hardest working people in the industry. They literally put their lives on the line just to entertain us and yet there’s so little acknowledgment of their contributions. There is no Oscar for stunt work, but there should be. Netflix’s adaptation of Jupiter’s Legacy has secured one of the industry’s hottest stunt choreographers, one who is no stranger to superhero action, Philip J. Silvera. If you’ve read Jupiter’s Legacy already, you know Frank Quitely’s artwork leaps off the page, splattered with intense moments of bloodshed. Quitely’s graphic style is a perfect fit for Silvera, who says he’s always been inspired by the visceral violence of films like Goodfellas and The Godfather Part II. “My action in the past has always had a bit of a lead pipe brutality to it,” confesses Silvera. Who better to choreograph the huge superhero brawls of Jupiter’s Legacy?
SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS
Stunt work has always been Silvera’s destiny. “I always wanted to do stunts, since I was a kid.” Silvera’s father was a boxer who was just about to go pro, but his fortune took a bad turn after he broke his arm and leg. Nevertheless, Philip inherited his father’s fighting spirit. After starting his martial arts training in Karate, Silvera switched over to a Shaolinbased system of Chinese Kung Fu, which he studied for about 20 years. Silvera got his first break in 1997. He was competing in a martial arts tournament in New York City when he was approached to do an off-Broadway show called Voice of the Dragon: Once Upon a Time in Chinese America. It was a groundbreaking show from maverick playwright and noted jazz composer
Fred Ho. Silvera describes it as “a bit of an urban Peking opera, really a martial arts ballet.” The show demanded he play a character, do martial arts, fight, fall, and flip in front of a live audience. As Silvera got deeper into the stunt world, his training diversified to accommodate a wider variety of roles. He studied Kali stick fighting and even trained with Cecep Arif Rahman (The Raid 2, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum). Beyond his film work, Rahman is a genuine master of the Indonesian martial art Pencak Silat. As a stunt coordinator, Silvera must keep pushing his training forward so he can meet the demands of his next project. “I just constantly want to keep learning and evolving.” Silvera began officially working as a stuntman in movies and TV in 2005. You must work your way up to that director’s chair, and in the stunt industry, that means you’ve got to pay your dues and take a lot of hard knocks. By 2010, he got his first action and fight choreographer credit with Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II. That was followed by coordinator roles on more video games like Batman: Arkham City, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. After an uncredited assistant role on Iron Man 3, he got his first credited movie fight choreographer role for Thor: The Dark World.
CHANGING THE GAME
However, it was his work on Netflix’s Daredevil that caught the attention of both action and superhero fans. Silvera served as the Fight and Stunt Coordinator for the first two seasons of the series, and for action connoisseurs, he built a choreographic trademark for the show: the one-take fight scene. In Daredevil’s second episode, Silvera orchestrated a showstopping onetake hallway slugfest and every fan
T HE VAU LT
Ian Quinlan working with our Micah Karns (Fight Coordinator) on 2nd Unit with the rest of the stunt performers. This is truly one of the grittier sequences of the show and Ian s character Hutch didn t come to play nice, but neither did the guys behind him…. — PHILIP J. SILVERA
JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION | DEN OF GEEK
H IL LTO P S CEN E
Here we have Josh Duhamel, The Utopian, riding our tuning fork rig, designed by Action Factory. It wasn t easy riding that particular rig but Josh knocked it out of the park, as he s seen here flying/ fighting Blackstar (Tyler Mane) in the Hilltop sequence. It s going to set the tone and scope of the show that will truly surprise the fans of the series. — PHILIP J. SILVERA
of fight craft took notice. That scene propelled action in streaming TV to the cinematic level of the big screen. “I think most people would be surprised to hear that we designed that one-shot sequence in a day and a half,” he says. Silvera followed up that hallway fight with a one-take stairwell scrap in season two (an episode directed by Marc Jobst, who also directed two episodes of Jupiter’s Legacy). Hallway and stairwell fights comprise two of the three most common settings for extended fight scenes (the third being warehouses—it’s easy and cheap to find warehouse locations). Hallways serve as a device to narrow the playing field when one person must take on
several opponents. The width of the hallway restricts how many can come at the hero at the same time. Stairway fights showcase technical expertise. The footwork must be precise because one misstep can result in a devastating ankle twist for any stunt person. Additionally, falling down stairwells isn’t easy. It requires top notch stunt people to stage safely. For Silvera to deliver such highlevel fight choreography for the small screen was groundbreaking. Until the rise of streaming, most TV shows were more reserved with their action because it is a longer haul. A featurelength movie might contain half a dozen fight scenes, at best. An action
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TV series might stage that many fights in just two or three episodes, with plenty more over the course of the season. This is what made Silvera’s work on Daredevil so revolutionary at the time. “I really enjoyed bringing Daredevil to life. Charlie Cox was amazing. It was a pleasure working with Steve DeKnight on that show.” Since then, Silvera has tackled several super-powered action icons for the silver screen, like Deadpool, Terminator: Dark Fate, and the Jaegers in Pacific Rim: Uprising. Silvera has fond memories of sitting down with director Tim Miller while working on Deadpool and Terminator: Dark Fate and setting the parameters of
IMAGE CREDITS: NETFLIX, IMAGE COMICS
Above left: The Utopian takes Blackstar to task in Mark Millar and Frank Quitely’s comic. Right: Josh Duhamel re-creates the scene on screen.
superpowers in combat. “It’s always that they’re really good at this, but what’s their weakness?” The audience will accept superpowers if the film stays consistent within its constructs. For Silvera, it’s about finding a new challenge in every sequence. “What I try to do is always make it super relevant to the characters and then make it so that the audience can feel something when they watch it.”
Spanning eight episodes, Jupiter’s Legacy allows Silvera the space to stretch his legs. “I believe the action on our show pushes the story and the characters forward, as much as it does
on any of the other shows I’ve worked on in the past,” Silvera says. “And I’m super excited to see what fans think of the non-verbal storytelling, that happens within our action sequences.” Non-verbal storytelling lies at the heart of every action sequence. The fight scenes are the climax of the story and that unspoken dialogue of conflict must rise to that or else an actioner will fail. “Non-verbal communication,” stresses Silvera, “like The Empire Strikes Back, the scene that happens between Luke and Vader.” His passion for the Star Wars franchise led him to direct “Star Wars: Scene 38 Reimagined.” It was a reworking of the first lightsaber battle we ever saw—Obi-Wan Kenobi
versus Darth Vader. Silvera spliced together footage from Star Wars: A New Hope with new fight footage performed by seasoned stuntmen. “Scene 38 Reimagined” was a huge success with over 33.5 million views on YouTube. “That was a bit of a test for myself, as a second unit director and a first unit director,” says Silvera. “I wanted to see if I could add the emotional content into a sequence, that you know the character’s full story from beginning to end.”
FROM COMICS PANELS TO MOVIE FRAMES
Choreographing superheroes has its own unique rules. A still comic
JUPITER’S LEGACY EDITION | DEN OF GEEK
TOK YO AL L E Y
panel is one thing. Setting that action into motion is another thing altogether. While comics are akin to storyboarding, when it comes to fights, a few panels describe that action. It is then Silvera’s job to unravel that into a fight with a dozen or more beats. One of his favorite examples for Jupiter’s Legacy is the “Hilltop” sequence. In the original comic, it’s a ferocious battle told over only four panels. Silvera saw that raw brutality and constantly built on that mindset with his choreography. “Those four panels really set the tone of our show and you’ll see that in the first episode.” He’s especially proud of this Hilltop sequence and two more scenes that he mentions with pride he dubs “Tokyo Alley” and “The Vault,” but Silvera won’t elaborate on those cryptic titles just yet. “I don’t want to give away too much.” Fans who’ve already read the comic can probably guess what he’s talking about. “It starts off big and it stays that way up to the very end.” And for those fans familiar with Frank Quitely’s spectacular art, Silvera adds, “We do our best to match those panels and the emotion that he puts into them. He really set the bar for us. And I think we met it.”
Anna Akana, our superpowered ninja assassin Raikou. This set was both beautiful and cold to shoot on. This scene was shot in the middle of December at night. It was a true testament to the entire cast and crew’s hard work on the show to see this scene come together the way it did. Anna truly kicks major ass here while looking badass in another one of Lizz Wolf s amazing costumes. — PHILIP J. SILVERA
SUPERHERO BOOT CAMP
As with many casts, most of the Jupiter’s Legacy actors have minimal background in martial arts or stunts. However, Silvera prefers it that way. “You get to figure out their characters and their movement in a different way.” He’d have ideas for them and then see something natural come out of their body language, which he would cultivate into something entirely new. The cast was put through vigorous training where Silvera says they all worked extremely hard. “Literally a month of bootcamp with the lead actors training every day with our fight team and fight coordinator.” The cast would work on basic movements and fight drills. “And then they would ride the wire for hours because there’s a lot of flying in the show.”
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As Supervising Stunt Coordinator, Silvera is quick to credit his fight and stunt rigging team. Micah Karns is the fight coordinator and Jayson Dumenigo is the 2nd Unit Stunt Coordinator and Key Rigger, a critical role for a flying superhero show. The threesome has worked together since Daredevil and teamed up again for several projects including Deadpool 2, and Terminator: Dark Fate. “We have such a tight workflow at this point, from the years of us working together, that we know how to expedite things,” Silvera says. “We know how to keep up the pace. And we’re definitely doing seven days a week on this show.” The stunt team worked hand-in-hand with the cast for months to achieve what they wanted. “I’m super excited to see what they did come together on screen.”
Mark Millar · Wilfredo Torres
Millar · Torres · Sprouse
Mark Millar · Frank Quitely
Mark Millar · Frank Quitely
N E T F L I X
O R I G I N A L
S E R I E S