Marvel announced the leads for its upcoming Runaways television series. The show, based on the comic of the same name, will be streamed on Hulu.
Runaways follows a group of childhood friends who discover their parents are supervillains working for a group called “Pride”. Discovering they have inherited their parent’s abilities, the kids band together and run away.
The Runaways comic debuted in 2003 and was written by Brian K. Vaughn with art by Adrian Alphona. Since then, the book has won an Eisner, a Harvey and was featured as one of the Young Adult Library Services Association’s best books for young adults. Vaughn will serve as a consultant for the series.
“I’m so excited for fans of the comic to watch this perfect cast of amazing actors, all of whom embody the spirit of their characters more than I ever could have imagined,” Vaughn said in a press release.
While the series was first announced in August, an adaptation has been in and out of development since the success of the first Iron Man back in 2008. With plans for a movie halted in 2013, the recent success of Marvel’s television properties has renewed interest in the story.
The series will be written by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. In 2003, Schwartz was one of the youngest show-runners in network history when he created The O.C. at age 26; Savage served as an executive producer on the same show. After that the two found repeated success with Gossip Girl. Both shows, and many since then, were produced by the company they founded together, College Hill Pictures, Inc., later renamed to Fake Empire Productions.
“We have had a total blast bringing Brian and Adrian’s amazing story to life. We’re so happy they love the Runaways we’ve assembled as much as we do,” said Schwartz and Savage in a statement.
Rhenzy Feliz (Teen Wolf) will play Alex Wilder, the son of Pride’s mob bosses. Alex has no superpowers of his own but is a genius child prodigy. He serves as the group’s unofficial leader.
Lyrica Okano (The Affair) plays Nico Minoru, a goth girl who inherited magical abilities from her wizard parents. When Nico bleeds, a staff emerges from her chest, allowing her to cast spells. Nico is the co-leader of the group and has a romantic interest in Alex.
Virginia Gardner (Goat, Project Almanac) will play Karolina Dean, a beautiful Valley Girl with celebrity parents. Karolina discovers that she and her parents are actually aliens who absorb solar energy allowing them to fly, create force fields and energy blasts, and emit the colors of the rainbow. She also faces a harsh identity crisis and struggles with her sexuality.
Ariela Barer (One Day at a Time) plays Gertrude “Gert” Yorkes, a tough, no-nonsense girl. Gert does not have powers but has a telepathic link to a dinosaur named “Old Lace” who follows her commands.
Gregg Sulkin (Faking It, Wizards of Waverly Place) plays Chase Stein. Chase does not have powers but is an engineering prodigy able to create inventions he learned from his mad scientist parents.
Allegra Acosta (Just Add Magic) will play Molly Hernandez, the youngest member of the group. In the comic, Molly originally had the last name Hayes and was a mutant with super strength. Due to Marvel not having the rights to the term “mutant”, it is unknown how much more her character will differ.
The same week as the cast announcement, Marvel also announced the leads of the upcoming Cloak & Dagger. Like Runaways, Cloak & Dagger has been in development for awhile, having first been announced in 2011 at San Diego Comic-Con.
Singer and former Disney Channel actress Olivia Holt will portray Tandy Bowen, who can emit light daggers, and Run by Night actor Aubrey Johnson will play Tyrone Johnson, who can engulf others in darkness. Cloak & Dagger will air on Freeform, formerly ABC Family. The show has already been given a full episode order.
The two shows mark a departure for Marvel television as their previous series have all been broadcast on either ABC or Netflix. ABC aired Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the now canceled Agent Carter and is developing new series The Inhumans. Netflix is streaming Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and the upcoming The Punisher, Iron Fist and The Defenders.
All of the shows will be considered part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As of now, the broadcast date for Runaways and Cloak & Dagger has still not been set. Additional cast will be announced at a later time.