Reports say Jupiter’s Legacy may have been hampered by low budget which was drastically exceeded & contributed to contention with original showrunner.
A minuscule budget may have factored into the demise of Jupiter’s Legacy. Jupiter’s Legacy premiered on Netflix on May 7th following Netflix’s acquisition of Millarworld in 2017. The series was an adaption of one of Mark Millar’s most popular comics. The show follows a group of individuals, led by The Utopian (Josh Duhamel), who acquire superpowers in the 1900s. When the next generation of superheroes comes forth in the present day, they clash against the stringent values and high expectations of their superhero parents.
Hope for Jupiter’s Legacy was initially high, with fans excited to see the first of what is expected to be a series of projects tied to Millarworld. However, after just one season, Netflix cancelled Jupiter’s Legacy. The speedy cancellation came as a surprise to many, including the cast members. Jupiter’s Legacy’s Andrew Horton expressed his devastation at the show’s cut, while Duhamel joked about being dumped by Netflix. The major reason for the cancellation was poor reception, with the series receiving a meager 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, new evidence has suggested that the show may have been doomed from the beginning.
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A report by THR suggested that Jupiter’s Legacy was hamstrung by an original minuscule budget. The original showrunner, Steven S. DeKnight, had requested a $12 million budget per episode for the series, but Netflix scaled that budget down to $9 million per episode. The decision seems to have been the onset of a long string of issues for the series. The show struggled with repeatedly going over the set budget and may have contributed to the “creative differences“ that led to DeKnight exiting the show mid-production. In the end, Jupiter’s Legacy spent far more than even what DeKnight had originally asked for, with some estimating the show’s budget reaching $200 million.
In addition to the budgeting problems, Netflix was also experiencing changes on the executive level. Netflix’s VP of Original Content, Cindy Holland, who greenlighted Jupiter’s Legacy, departed the company, as did the two original executive overseers of the series. A replacement, Bela Bajaria, was found for Holland and, as can be expected, Jupiter’s Legacy fell short in the sharp eyes of a newcomer. In addition to the show’s poor metrics, Bajaria wanted to put her own stamp on Millarworld and to continue the Jupiter’s Legacy storyline with Supercrooks. Supercrooks is the next Millarworld project that will tie into the villains of Jupiter’s Legacy and may potentially bring back some of the cancelled show’s original cast.
The evidence of Jupiter’s exceedingly low original budget only adds more questions to an already convoluted discussion. Some have criticized Netflix’s hasty cancellation of a show that might have had a decent audience, with some stats showing that the series performed well in terms of minutes of view time and the show even graced Netflix’s own top 10 charts. The low budget raises additional criticism for Netflix’s handling of the show. The biggest lesson that Netflix should take from this, though, is that the superhero industry presents tough competition. When Marvel budgets $20 million per episode for their hit Disney+ miniseries, it becomes more understandable how the low budget hindered the progress of Jupiter’s Legacy. It is unfortunate that the show boasted a strong cast and fanbase, but didn’t really stand a chance due to poor budgeting, executive shifts, and crew departures. Fans can only hope that the cast and heart of Jupiter’s Legacy gets a second, more favorable, chance with Supercrooks.
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