Josh Duhamel, who is starring as Sheldon Sampson/The Utopian in the new Netflix series Jupiter's Legacy, revealed how the show differs from the Marvel and DC universe. The 48-year-old star is best known for playing William Lennox in the Transformers movie franchise.
Jupiter's Legacy is based on Mark Millar (Kiss-Ass, Wanted) and Frank Quitely's (We3) comic book series of the same name. Published in 2013, the limited series drew inspiration from Star Wars, King Kong, and Roman mythology. The comics received positive reviews from critics and ignited a spin-off series titled Jupiter's Circle. Steven S. DeKnight (Daredevil, Smallville) was tapped to executive and develop a television adaption of the series for Netflix in 2018.
When asked what differentiates Jupiter's Legacy from Marvel and DC, Duhamel stated that the show “is an examination of what it would be like to actually live this kind of life, to have these kinds of powers.” The actor believes that people will connect with the family drama elements. The actor also told TVLine that the theme of a young generation disagreeing with the ways of their elders is a topic that is relevant to current events. “These new ideas and opinions on how things should be run are not what Sheldon is used to, so he is forced to start listening. And I think that there are themes there in common with what’s going on in the world now.”
Signing James Gunn to direct The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker were very shrewd moves, as Gunn could maybe even pull off Star Wars, so those two are already looking better than almost everything else preceding this point. The only question is whether the obscure Black Adam and The Flash will be allowed the opportunity to establish the identity they so desperately need, while The Batman goes out on a solo mission that can at least do for DC Comics what the rest of Warner Bros. films have failed to achieve.
Duhamel joked that earlier in his career, he had never come close to landing a role in a superhero-related project. “Earlier on [in my career], I was up for some things. I went and auditioned for some stuff. But I never really came that close,” said the titular star of Jupiter's Legacy, while adding, “I figured my time as a superhero had come and gone!” Of course, Duhamel is no stranger to blockbuster projects, having portrayed William Lennox in four of the live-action Transformers films from director Michael Bay. Over the course of the Transformers films, Duhamel's Lennox rose in the ranks, starting off as a Captain and leader of the Army Rangers team in the first film before obtaining the position of U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel by the time he appeared in The Last Knight.
The eight-episode first season of Jupiter's Legacy is centered on two generations of superheroes. The older generation, known as The Union, received their powers in the 1930s and were the world’s first superheroes. The group includes Sheldon Sampson (Duhamel), Walter Sampson/Brainwave (Ben Daniels), Grace Sampson/Lady Liberty (Leslie Bibb), Fitz Small/The Flare (Mike Wade), and George Hutchene/Skyfox (Matt Lanter). Duhamel’s Sampson was the former leader of the pack and possesses the powers of flight and superhuman strength.
The series will explore the fallout of The Union and the effects it has had on their children, who struggle to live up to the legacy of their parents. The younger generation includes Chloe Sampson (Elena Kampouris), Brandon Sampson/Paragon (Andrew Horton), Petra Small/The Flare II (Tenika Davis), and Raikou (Anna Akana). Jupiter's Legacy is just one of the Millar adaptations Netflix is developing after acquiring his company, Millarworld Limited.
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