At the virtual San Diego Comic-Con today, Hulu assembled a panel for its upcoming TV series Helstrom that follows the children of a serial killer, an adaptation of a pair Marvel comics characters.
Watching the trailer for it however, you’d never guess that it’s a Marvel series.
The trailer introduces us to Daimon (Tom Austen) and Ana Helstrom (Sydney Lemmon), who visit their mother Victoria (Elizabeth Marvel) in a prison cell, and ask her about something that she set loose in the world—supernatural-ish horror follows. Daimon and Ana are now detectives who are working to track down monsters, presumably to clean up after their mother.
Marvel will debut all 10 of the show’s episodes on Hulu on October 16th, just in time for Halloween.
Starting off the panel for the series, showrunner Paul Zbyszewski and stars Robert Wisdom, Ariana Guerra, and June Carryl opened by addressing a number of real-world horrors that have been taking place across the country, and how their show’s horrors pale in comparison.
Zbyszewski explained that he was particularly drawn to the story as a family affair, with the characters trying to work through their family’s history and issues.
Interestingly, the series is part of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, but you’d be hard-pressed to see any direct connection to the likes of Iron Man and Captain America. Marvel doesn’t show up in any of the marketing or in the trailer, and unless you know about the comics connection, it looks like your run-of-the-mill show about demons and supernatural terror.
The project originated with Marvel’s now-defunct Marvel Television banner, which was officially folded into Marvel Studios back in December. That unit produced shows like Agents of SHIELD, Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger, Runaways, The Gifted, and Legion, as well as Daredevil, Iron First, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and The Defenders for Netflix. In the last year, Marvel’s consolidated its efforts, putting Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige in charge of all of its creative efforts, and essentially closing down Marvel Television’s ongoing projects—except for Helstrom.
This show was developed alongside a live-action Ghost Rider series to create an interconnected horror franchise for Hulu. Ghost Rider was dropped over a “creative impass” last year, and Marvel’s TV efforts are headed over to Disney+ with upcoming shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, Hawkeye, and more.
Despite that, Helstrom has survived—and with Disney using Hulu as an outlet for its more adult-oriented content (like what you’d find on FX), it seems as though it’s being treated as a standalone thing, even though the show claims to be part of the larger MCU continuity. According to ComicBook.com, the reason that Marvel has downplayed its MCU connections is because of its horror content, which is odd—because the upcoming X-Men movie New Mutants and the Doctor Strange sequel are being billed as horror films.