What a time to be a Marvel fan.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has crossed some intangible threshold, resulting in a rapid expansion that can be hard to keep up with at times. From the nine mega-blockbuster films scheduled to release within the next three years, to five confirmed series under development on the Netflix side of things, to the multiple projects both ongoing and upcoming on primetime television broadcast, we are truly in a golden age of Marvel comic book adaptations. And these are only the projects we already know about.
Well today we can add another beloved property to the list, as Deadline reports that Hulu has ordered Marvel's Runaways to series.
Gossip Girl creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage will be taking the reins as both showrunners and writers, with additional executive producers Jim Chory, Liz Rowinski, and Marvel Television's EVP Jeph Loeb in cooperation with Marvel Television and ABC Signature.
Runaways is a 2003 creation of Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona, a coming-of-age story about six teenagers who find family with each other after discovering that their parents are part of an evil cabal of villains called The Pride.
Schwartz, who also worked on The O.C., said this about the upcoming project:
“I’m a long-time fan of 'Runaways' and couldn’t be more excited to bring Brian and Adrian’s characters to life,”
In relation to the partnership between the two outlets, Savage added:
“Josh and I can’t wait to get to work for Marvel and Hulu.”
On the choice of Schwartz and Savage as showrunners, Jeph Loeb emphasized their experience in writing stories about and for young adults:
“We’ve known the 'Runaways‘ story would make great television, and being lucky enough to have Josh and Stephanie — who have time and again created shows that speak so genuinely to this exact audience — write and produce the series is nothing short of remarkable.”
Runaways presents a unique angle to the world of superheroes, both in the perspective of adolescence (something that has not yet been explored in-depth in the MCU) and with the twist of being related to the bad guys. With next summer's tentpole film Spider-Man: Homecoming looking to tell a superhero story that is also about just being a kid in high school, it makes sense that the television side of things is looking to fill a similar niche.
Connections To Doctor Strange?
Comic fans will note that Nico Minoru, a classic Runaways character who will likely be one of the six characters teased for the series, has a villainous mother named Tina Minoru. Tina Minoru recently just made her MCU debut as one of the Masters of the Mystic Arts in the first issue of the Doctor Strange Prelude comic (yes, the preludes are considered MCU canon). Whether or not this means that we will see significant crossover between the upcoming Doctor Strange film and Runaways remains to be seen. Recent comments from both Marvel Studios and Marvel Television folks have de-emphasized the connections between their respective properties, and although it seems like a good opportunity for synergy, it's hard to say whether or not the continuity will be upheld.
The proliferation of comic book media over the last few years has at times resulted in stale and overly familiar storytelling, with tired tropes and a constant escalation of stakes that can feel numbing at times. However with the superhero fad being more bankable than ever, there is also the opportunity to explore different genres and content, and has resulted in some of the more unique and off-kilter creations in recent memory. Look no further than the whacky cosmic hijinks of Guardians Of The Galaxy, which proved that audiences can grow to love an unlikely group of misfits. If Runaways can bring something new to the table with a diverse and troubled group of teens while exploring the implications of rejecting one's own family for a new one, it could be the exact breath of fresh air that we will need as the tidal wave of comic properties approaches.
How exactly they will tackle the inclusion of an intelligent telepathic velociraptor named Old Lace is a mystery for now, but consider us excited.
Check out the latest trailer for Doctor Strange below: