Marvel's M.O.D.O.K. first look reveals supervillain's mundane family on Hulu series
Marvel's M.O.D.O.K. — Hulu's new animated series starring Patton Oswalt as the titular and villainous floating head who was recently featured in the new Marvel's Avengers video game — began with one simple question: What does the Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing do when he's not striving for world domination and fighting the Avengers?
"We obviously love the character as this big villain who is always trying to take over the world and run his evil organization [AIM]. His design by Jack Kirby is so absurd and monstrous that we thought, where does this guy go at night?" says executive producer Jordan Blum, who co-created the comedic series with Oswalt. "Does he go home to a house and have all these mundane things he has to do? Does he have a family we never knew about? The more we discussed, the more it just kind of made us laugh and then we tried to figure out well, what would that family be? Who would marry M.O.D.O.K and how hard would it be to be his son or to be a daughter in M.O.D.O.K.'s image?"
Thus, M.O.D.O.K. was born.
Marking the House of Ideas' first foray into adult animated comedy, M.O.D.O.K. dives into the megalomaniacal supervillain's home life and stars Aimee Garcia (Lucifer) as his wife Jodie, Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) as his oddball son Lou, and Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) as his daughter Melissa, who shares her father's striking appearance. The stop-motion series follows M.O.D.O.K. as he tries to balance running AIM and his demanding family. Unfortunately, he's failing at both — and EW has your exclusive first look below.
When the show begins, we learn that M.O.D.O.K. has been a very neglectful husband of late. As M.O.D.O.K. flounders at work, Jodie has found success through her mommy blog-turned-lifestyle brand. This disconnect forces them to reevaluate their relationship, especially after an incident in the pilot captured in the image below.
"That is them at dinner where he is celebrating a very stupid victory after maybe doing some damage to her career," says Blum. "He does some mad scientist things that end up having negative results on their marriage."
Alas, things aren't going any better at work because A.I.M. is on the verge of bankruptcy due to his lackluster leadership. Thus, a Google-like Silicon Valley company named GRUMBL swoops in to acquire M.O.D.O.K.'s evil organization. At first, this seems like a great idea because GRUMBL promises to let M.O.D.O.K. continue what he's been doing — you know, killing henchmen on a whim and fighting the Avengers as much as he wants. Unfortunately, that's not what actually happens because M.O.D.O.K. must now deal with things like a board and H.R.
"If you're making a show about super villains, you have figure out something more evil [for them to face], so corporations," jokes Blum before adding. "It seemed like an interesting foe for M.O.D.O.K. to come up again because it's one thing to try to kill Iron Man, but it's another when you have all this corporate red tape. He can't blast his problems away, which is how he solves every problem. It'll be his greatest test: Can he out-smart a corporation and take back control after he unknowingly gives it away?"
His main adversary will be Austin Van Der Sleet (SNL's Beck Bennett), GRUMBL's "post-merger-integration-consultant” at A.I.M who elicits quite the reaction from M.O.D.O.K. in the image below. "Even though Austin always kind of smiles and spews corporate jargon at him, [Austin is] constantly gaslighting and manipulating him as M.O.D.O.K. falls further within the organization. He's a much more worth adversary than even Captain America for M.O.D.O.K. because it's a battle of wits between the two. "
Thanks to Stoopid Buddy's work on the stop-motion animation, the show can easily move between big screen action and a "handheld docu-verité style." Says Blum: "We'll see the big battles and the big fights, it's a huge sci-fi Marvel Universe show, but we thought it would be really funny to see [M.O.D.O.K.] dealing with water cooler gossip at A.I.M. shot in this very handheld style and make it feel like you're working at AIM alongside him and the same with the family, too. It's kind of a little inspired by things like Modern Family and The Office where it just makes you feel like you're part of the group in the show."
Marvel's M.O.D.O.K. — which also stars Wendi McLendon-Covey, Sam Richardson, and Jon Daly —doesn't have a premiere date yet; however, you can join the show's producers and cast for their virtual New York Comic-Con panel Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT.