Keith David would have played MODOK in Marvel’s canceled New Warriors TV show. Before Kevin Feige took more control of Marvel Entertainment, Jeph Loeb and Marvel TV had multiple shows in development on various networks. ABC had Agents of SHIELD, and Netflix had the Defenders shows, but Freeform was set to pick up another Marvel show after Cloak & Dagger. The project was a sitcom based on the New Warriors, which had Milana Vayntrub cast as Squirrel Girl.
Development on New Warriors moved quickly after it was announced in 2016, with the full cast announced in the summer of 2017 before the start of production. New Warriors was ordered to series by Freeform, but the channel wasn’t involved with the show after the pilot was filmed. It was reported that Freeform was unable to find a slot for the show. In contrast, other reports said the pilot tested so well that Marvel wanted to find New Warriors a new home with a bigger potential audience. However, the show has effectively been canceled after three years of no news – and now the showrunner is teasing what could’ve been.
Kevin Biegel was tapped to serve as the showrunner on New Warriors and has now revealed on Twitter that his long-term plans included the live-action debut of MODOK. In the comics, MODOK (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing) is a super smart villain with an enormous head, who is confined to a floating metal chair. Now, Biegel has revealed that part of their season-long plan for New Warriors was to turn Keith David’s character into MODOK.
The appearance of MODOK is one of the few story points of New Warriors that has ever been teased. It was known that the roster of characters included Mister Immortal, Night Thrasher, Speedball, Debrii, and Microbe, but there was no evidence that MODOK was part of the plan. When Keith David was cast, he was said to be playing a man named Ernest Vigman, who was described as “a caustic municipal employee who butts up against the hopeful energy of the New Warriors.” That is a very different description from George Tarleton, the man who became MODOK in the comics, so it appears Keith David becoming MODOK would’ve been a big surprise.
The inclusion of MODOK in New Warriors is quite the bombshell for Biegel to drop on fans who were already heartbroken that the show never moved forward. A comedic take on the New Warriors and a show starring Squirrel Girl was an exciting project at the time, and now that we know Keith David could’ve played MODOK, the cancelation of New Warriors is all the more disappointing. Now fans of the insane Marvel villain will have to hope Kevin Feige has plans for MODOK somewhere in the Marvel Cinematic Universe instead.
MORE: Ant-Man 3 Should Bring MODOK To The MCU
Source: Kevin Biegel