Will ‘Jupiter’s Legacy’ make a heroic return for season 2?
Another year, another superhero series. While stories of Superman, Spiderman, and Batman are nothing new, the massive success of franchises like The Dark Knight & Marvel Cinematic Universe has every production company, streaming service, and filmmaker scrambling for their version. Unfortunately, this makes many of them seem like a dime a dozen. In May of 2021, Netflix gave us the newest in Jupiter’s Legacy.
Like The Umbrella Academy & The Boys before it, Jupiter’s Legacy turns the superhero trope on its head by using characters/storylines that are unknown or relatively original in the genre. While fans have been clamoring to see what happens following the cliffhanger ending of season 1, little has been released about a planned season 2. Here’s what we know so far.
Jupiter’s Legacy premiered on Netflix on May 7th, 2021. Based on the Image comic book series Jupiter’s Legacy by Mark Millar & Frank Quitely, it was developed for television by Steven S. DeKnight, who initially served as the showrunner. Josh Duhamel, Ben Daniels, Leslie Bibb, Elena Kampouris, Andrew Horton, Mike Wade, and Matt Lanter star.
Shortly after Sheldon Sampson’s father’s suicide in 1929, triggered by Black Thursday, former businessman Sheldon travels to an uncharted island in the Atlantic Ocean, where he, his brother, Walter, and four others received superpowers.
He then creates a superhero team called the Union of Justice. His guiding ideals, never kill anyone or interfere in political matters, remain unchanged over the near-century of his adventures as the Utopian.
However, the next generation of superheroes, including his children, struggles to live up to his rigid ideals and high expectations. When Sheldon’s son, Brandon, seemingly kills one of their greatest foes, it ignites a public debate over whether those ideals are still relevant.
Reception and season 2
Rotten Tomatoes assessed fifty-two reviews and determined 38% of them to be positive, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The critic’s consensus reads, “Despite some truly epic fights, Jupiter’s Legacy is simply too overstuffed and slow-moving to land many narrative punches.” According to Metacritic, the series received “mixed or average reviews,” based on a weighted average score of 45 out of 100 from 15 critic reviews.
Audiences still seemed to love the series, as it was the most-watched show on any streaming service during its release week of May 3rd through May 9th. It picked up 696 million minutes of viewing time, beating the second-place The Handmaid’s Tale by a whole six million minutes. However, like many Netflix productions, it suffered a steep decline in viewing following the release, dropping sixty percent by May 17th.
Because of the decline and the critic’s negative reviews, Jupiter’s Legacy was canceled before season 2 could get off the ground. While the streaming service has done follow-up seasons with lesser critic love, the $200 million budget (largest of any Netflix production at the time) made it too large of a gamble to do again.
A glimmer of hope
Back in 2017, Netflix decided to forgo the usual process of purchasing rights to a comic book and just bought a whole company with Millar’s Millarworld. Included in the portfolio are Kick-Ass, Kingsman, and Wanted. After the release of season 1 and before the announcement of season 2 being shelved, creator & writer Mark Millar was asked his thoughts on what’s next. Here is what he had to say.
“I’m really proud of what the team achieved with Jupiter’s Legacy and the amazing work everyone did on that origin season. I have been asked a lot about what we’re planning next with this world, and the answer is to see what the super-villains are getting up to. I’ve always loved crime stories from Scorcese to Tarantino, and super-villains are always the most fun part of any superhero story.”
Millar has penned some of the most pivotal comic book stories of our time, including Civil War & Wolverine: Old Man Logan, inspirations for the Captain America: Civil War & Logan films, respectively. He also wrote The Ultimates, credited by screenwriter Zak Penn as his inspiration for 2012’s The Avengers. Add that to his immensely successful Kingsman: The Secret Service, and you understand his works transfer well to screen.
With his highly marketable abilities and the comment above, it was only a matter of time before fans started to speculate and Netflix delivered on the idea of a Supercrooks spin-off. Supercrooks takes place in the same world as Jupiter’s Legacy but focuses on the other side of the law. With possible crossovers of the original characters as the series’s nemesis, it could serve as a de facto season 2.
Are you disheartened about the news that Jupiter’s Legacy season 2 isn’t happening? Or are you more interested in a different take with Supercrooks? Let us know in the comments below!