Comic-Con 2022: Neil Gaiman Reveals Failed Pitch for Marvel 1602 Series

Marvel's What If...? will reportedly feature an episode that centers on the alternate-universe story Marvel 1602 in its upcoming season, which made Comic Con International the perfect time for Gaiman to remind the world that he actually tried to get a full-on 1602 TV show made, but was rebuffed by management. The story has been told before, but it's especially crazy to think of in the wake of successful adaptations of American Gods, Good Omens, and now Sandman in recent years (plus Lucifer, although that barely resembled the Gaiman take).

Known in-story as Earth-311, Marvel 1602 was a 2003 miniseries by Gaiman and Andy Kubert, which reimagined the Marvel Comics heroes as if they existed in the Elizabethan era. The series, which featured the likes of Nick Fury, the X-Men, Daredevil, and Spider-Man, ended up being a hit, spawning numerous sequels in the years since.

Back in 2012, Marvel Studios honcho Kevin Feige was quizzed about the idea of doing 1602.

"Something like 1602 I think would be really cool to do at sometime down the line. I love it. It is spectacular," Feige said at the time. "But the key to it, the fun of it, is that you need to know those characters very well. You need to know each and every one of those characters and who their present-day reincarnations are in order to enjoy and understand and appreciate how Neil was able to reinvent them and do that period spin on them for 1602. If you don't know them yet and if they haven't had their own stories yet, I don't think it would be as much fun. If you don't know them well and you haven't been introduced to them in a similar medium in their traditional environments, plucking them out of that won't seem as unique or different....You need the audience, or the movie-going public to have a great understanding of who they are before you alter it like that."

1602 is one of the best-known alternate universes in Marvel, and one of only a few that would make sense with characters already established. Something like Age of Apocalypse, while hugely popular with comic book fans, would require some X-Men worldbuilding before anything could be done.

Would you want to see Marvel TV make a Marvel 1602 series, now that things like What If...? have become a reality? Sound off in the comments below.