Today we are celebrating Marble Hornets, the runner-up in our big Webseries Wednesday poll, with an exclusive interview!

When we launched Webseries Wednesday on Hypable, we did a massive poll to determine the ultimate webseries. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries took first place, with the scary Marble Hornets coming in a close second.

Last week we featured Marble Hornets, introducing its Blair Witch-esque premise and exploring how the series might change since it is being adapted for the big screen.

Now we have an interview with Marble Hornets creator Troy Wagner, where he delves deeper into how this smash hit series was created.

Hypable: As shown from our poll, Marble Hornets is very popular! What do you think draws people to the show?

Marble Hornets screenshotTroy Wagner: Yeah, I’m amazed we got so many votes! I’m more than happy with coming in second place to a series as big as The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, too.  Big congratulations the them for coming out on top!

As far as what draws people to Marble Hornets, I’ve gotten lots of different answers to that question from lots of different people. The overall thing, I’d say, is the mystery behind it all. The audience knows as much as the protagonist Jay does, and I think the feeling of slowly uncovering all of this with him is something people like. There’s also the people that are in it just to be scared, which is also a totally valid reason to watch. I think something we usually try to work towards is “come for the scares, stay for the story.”

What sets it apart from other webseries?

TW: I think it’s the free-flowing nature of it. No one entry has a minimum or maximum length. Some entries are a few dozen seconds, while others have pushed 16 minutes. It’s however long it takes to show the next bit of information. Besides, we figure runtime isn’t going to be something on the minds of the characters that are “shooting” it, which I think adds to the realism. That’s not to say it’s the first ever webseries to do that though. Lonelygirl15 was set up in much the same way, back when it was going on.

How have you found the webseries format working both for the story format and building an audience?

TW: Marble Hornets is set up in a very strange way, in terms of how the mechanics of it all work. The entire thing is told through the first person perspective of whoever is holding the camera at the time, and the Youtube channel that all these videos are going to also exists in the world of the story as well. It’s all really weird things to consider when writing, and it’s challenging to keep all of the rules in mind.

With television and movies, companies pay large amounts of money for things like focus groups and maximizing exposure for a certain demographic. When dealing solely with the internet, you’re able to get near instantaneous feedback from tons of different places (twitter, facebook, tumblr, etc). That’s something that definitely helps the content creators refine their stuff, to see what’s working well and what needs to be tweaked or removed. Constantly working to make it better is what will typically lead to a better product, and ultimately more viewers.

Marble Hornets

Tell us about the movie adaptation! How will it be different from the series?

TW: Oh man, I wish I could tell you everything about it! I’d definitely get in trouble if I did though. Everyone is keeping a tight lid on it for now, but it’s all going surprisingly smoothly thus far. I can’t wait for everyone to be able to see it.

After so many episodes, have you gained any insight into making webseries you wished you’d known at the beginning?

TW: It’s impossible to please 100% of people 100% of the time. No matter what you do there will always be people that just aren’t into it, and that’s completely fine. The more you stress about trying to make every single person happy, the more likely it’ll be that you’ll end up with a bland mess. It’s really important to remember that YOU should also like what you’re making. People lose sight of that sometimes, myself included.

With Netflix, Amazon and YouTube all moving in on the original series market, do you have any thoughts about how the webseries movement will affect the television landscape/industry in the future?

Marble Hornets DVD cover

TW: I think we’re at the beginning of a major major shift in how people watch things now. With internet speeds increasing, and with fiber optics HOPEFULLY just around the corner, making long form shows specifically for the internet is much easier for pretty much everyone, not just the larger companies like Netflix or Amazon. I think, because of this, television networks are now at a disadvantage and will need to find a way to change with the times. In my own personal opinion, I think a time might be coming where the line between a TV and your computer will be pretty blurred. More so than it already is now, even. What all that entails, I’m not sure, but I think it’s a very exciting time.

Thanks to Troy Wagner for participating in this interview! Check out Marble Hornets on YouTube, and head to their website to order the DVDs!

Next week in Webseries Wednesdays, we’ll feature a new webseries, so stay tuned!

Forget seeing Luke Cage and Daisy Johnson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to Jeph Loeb, it’s simply too hard to plan.

Although the Marvel movies and TV series ostensibly exist in the same universe, and although Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does its best to include Avengers references whenever possible, TV show characters are unlikely to ever show up in the movies.

This despite Chloe Bennet’s continued efforts to remind people that she is, in fact, Marvel’s first on-screen female Asian superhero, and the awesome crossover possibilities the Marvel Netflix series have opened up.

Marvel fans have long been aware of the difficulties of bringing TV characters into the movie ‘verse, but at the 2016 TCAs, Jeph Loeb provided a few more reasons for why it’s practically impossible to coordinate.

“Part of the challenge of doing this sort of thing is that the movies are planned out years in advance of what it is that we are doing,” Loeb says, as quoted by SlashFilm. “Television moves at an incredible speed. The other part of the problem is that when you stop and think about it, if I’m shooting a television series and that’s going to go on over a six-month or eight-month period, how am I going to get Mike [Colter] to be able to go be in a movie? I need Mike to be in a television show.”

In terms of planning out the character arcs, this makes a lot of sense. A Marvel movie might be mapped out years in advance of production, for not to mention release, which means any character scheduled to appear would need to have their stories planned for many seasons in advance. The continuity would certainly be hard to keep track of.

Of course they could still throw in cameos, which fans would probably really appreciate — and crossovers from movies-TV are much more doable, as evidenced by Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander)’s multiple appearances on AoS.

But Marvel is wary of doing that too much, too, because “we never want to be known as an Easter egg farm. It has to work within the story. We never want to do Luke Cage gets into a cab as Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock are getting out of the cab,” Loeb says, referencing The Man From U.N.C.L.E..

However, don’t lose hope yet. “Anything is possible,” says Loeb. “As I often get reported by you folks for saying #ItsAllConnected, our feeling is that the connection isn’t just whether or not somebody is walking into a movie or walking out of a television show. It’s connected in the way that the shows come from the same place, that they are real, that they are grounded.”

Would you like to see Marvel TV and movie characters cross over more?

If Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda weren’t enough to get you excited about Mary Poppins Returns, maybe Meryl Streep’s name on the roster will do the trick.

Mary Poppins Returns is not a remake of the original 1964 classic but rather a sequel to the Julie Andrews-led musical. As such, it stands to reason that we’ll be getting some new characters this time around. One of those characters will be Miranda’s Jack, who will be a street lamplighter.

And, according to Variety, another one of those new characters will also be portrayed by none other than Meryl Streep, who will be taking on the role of Mary Poppins’ cousin, Topsy. And, yes, the legendary actress will be taking on a singing role for the film.

This will also reunite Streep with her Into the Woods co-star Blunt, as well as Director Rob Marshall and Producer Marc Platt. Streep played the Witch in Into the Woods, while Blunt portrayed the Baker’s Wife opposite James Corden.

Disney’s official synopsis for Mary Poppins Returns reads:

Blunt has been cast as Mary Poppins and Miranda will play a new character, a street lamplighter named Jack. Drawing from the wealth of material in P.L. Travers’ seven additional novels, the story will take place in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Mary Poppins Returns and will hit theaters December 25, 2018.

Are you on board with ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ now that Meryl Streep has joined the cast?

Uh oh — fans of Nick and Jess aren’t going to like this news! Megan Fox is returning to New Girl in season 6 for a major arc.

Last season, Megan Fox stepped in to fill in Jess’ place while Zooey Deschanel was on maternity leave. During that time, Fox’s character Regan grew quite close to Nick! They even ended up going to Cece and Schmidt’s wedding together and made plans for the summer. With awful timing too, since it seemed like Jess was just about ready to admit her feelings for Nick.

Now TV Line is reporting that Fox will be returning for a huge story arc in New Girl season 6. It’s believed that Nick will return home from his summer with Regan alone, but she will appear around the middle of the season. The timing of her appearance is due to Fox’s own pregnancy with her third child.

If we had to guess, we’d say that the writers will definitely be throwing some angst into the script. It always seems like either Jess or Nick is pining for the other while they’re in a relationship. Will Jess try to get over her feelings for Nick with someone else? Or will she just try to show him why they should be together? Fans will have to wait and see when the show returns!

New Girl season 6 returns to Fox on September 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET!

Are you excited to see Megan Fox return to ‘New Girl’?