After becoming the box office champ, Marvel has set its sights on conquering the small screen with an expansion of new series. One of the shows expected to bring a new flavor to the prolific superhero franchise is Hulu's Runaways, an adaptation of the cult classic comic book, which follows a group of six teenagers who discover their parents are actually super villains and subsequently run away to stop their parents' evil scheme from coming to fruition.
The show is set to be released in November, and everything seemed to be in place in terms of cast as the countdown to the premiere kicked off. Surprisingly, though, a major casting announcement has come our way. Doctor Doom... err, #JulianMcMahon –– of Nip/Tuck fame –– has been cast in the series.
According to Deadline, the actor will be playing a character named Jonah, who'll be an important asset for the Runaways turning on their parents. Executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage expressed their excitement to have the actor come onboard the project:
"We're incredibly excited to add Julian to our exceptional cast and we can't wait to see what he brings to the world of Marvel's 'Runaways.'"
There's a fun little fact about McMahon's casting. He played Doctor Doom in Fox's, er, doomed Fantastic Four saga in the mid-2000s. In 2015, #Marvel relaunched the Runaways with a new lineup of characters, and in that story, one of the original team members, Molly, attended the Victor Von Doom Institute for Gifted Youths. You gotta love those little coincidences.
Speculating on casting announcements for superhero adaptations with barely any details is complicated, mainly because #TV series and films aren't entirely faithful to their source material. Case in point, there isn't a character in the Runaways comics that fits the description of McMahon's Jonah, which makes me think he'll be a new player. As I started going over the character in my head, the pivotal role he'll be playing in the show got me thinking:
Could Jonah Bring A New Dynamic To The Series?
The tidbit about him being instrumental in turning the Runaways against their parents piqued my interest. While details on the character are scarce, it looks like he'll be in charge of guiding the young heroes in some way. That prospect excites me because, taking into account the characters' comic book backgrounds, Jonah could bring a unique mentor-mentee relationship between him and our six misfits.
In the #comics, once the Runaways escaped from home, they were on their own. They didn't have family or parents to guide them or fall back on. In fact, their parents were psychotic murderers who desired immortality above all else. And as if that weren't enough, the police were after them for a murder they didn't commit.
Essentially, every adult figure in their lives was trying to take them down, which in many ways had grave psychological repercussions for them. Keep in mind, I'm simply speculating, but that's where the show could separate itself from the comics. This time around, the six young super-powered characters could have someone guiding them in Jonah.
Assuming that mentor-mentee relationship is actually happening and I'm not delving too deeply into a dead end here, there's a lot of potential to mine from it. For starters, it could pave the way for an intriguing psychological exploration of each hero as a lost teenager: Seeing your own parents trying to kill you has definitely got to give you trust issues, so how would the heroes feel about this new person into their lives? Do they feel insecure? Do they accept him? Do they even trust him?
If Jonah is indeed playing the role I'm envisioning, he offers a great chance for us to delve into the minds of our heroes, and throw a unique dynamic into the increasingly crowded superhero genre, so I'm crossing my fingers to see that dynamic happen.
The Runaways will run into our TV screens on November 21, 2017.
Are you excited to see what McMahon's Jonas can add to the Runaways mythology? Let me know in the comments!