While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is set to enter Phase 3 with the premiere of Captain America: Civil War, the television side of Marvel Studios’ massive shared superhero universe continues to grow as well. Marvel’s push into TV began when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debuted on ABC in 2013, then continued to grow to include the midseason relief series and Captain America: The First Avenger spinoff Agent Carter. Next, Marvel expanded to launch The Defenders universe on Netflix with Daredevil, followed by Jessica Jones, and which will also include Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
Back at ABC, Marvel TV has a handful of new series in various stages of development, including the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff Marvel’s Most Wanted, the studio’s first foray into superhero sitcoms with Damage Control, and an untitled project from John Ridley. Now, Marvel TV will continue to expand with an adaptation of Cloak and Dagger set up at the ABC-owned Freeform.
Variety is reporting Freeform has given Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger a straight-to-series order, though no writer is yet attached to the project. The superhero love story will follow Tyrone Johnson a.k.a. Cloak and Tandy Bowen a.k.a. Dagger. Read a breakdown of the series:
The live-action interracial romance follows the duo, two teenagers from very different backgrounds, who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers while falling in love — Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone has the ability to engulf others in darkness. They quickly learn they are better together than apart, but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging.
Since they were introduced in 1982, the superhero duo of Cloak and Dagger has appeared in Marvel Comics as well as various other media such as video games and the animated Ultimate Spider-Man series. In 2011, Marvel was reportedly developing a Cloak and Dagger television series for ABC, along with shows dedicated to the Hulk and Jessica Jones. The latter characters have since been utilized elsewhere in the MCU while Cloak and Dagger have now found a home at Freeform.
The characters of Cloak and Dagger have long been fan favorites, and the breakdown of the series seems to be perfect material for Freeform’s younger-skewing audience. The network made a name for itself – previously as ABC Family – with its young adult novel adaptation Pretty Little Liars, and the network’s most recent foray into supernatural has been with YA adaptation Shadowhunters, which has stuck to its source material (perhaps to the point of its own detriment). But, with Pretty Little Liars heading for a seventh season and Shadowhunters renewed for season 2, the network has clearly found success in its adaptations aimed at its “Becomers” audience (ages 14-34).
Of course, Cloak and Dagger will be Freeform’s first foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the powers of this superhero duo could prove difficult to portray on television – especially depending on the budget granted to the series. Additionally, those hoping to see Cloak and Dagger given the Marvel/Netflix treatment of a gritty more mature adaptation may be disappointed as Freeform is much more likely to keep the series family-friendly. But, that being said, the romance aspect of the Cloak and Dagger story seems like a perfect match for Freeform. Plus, at the very least, the Cloak and Dagger series is an indication that the television side of the MCU is continuing to expand in order to include a variety of tones and superhero stories for all kinds of audiences.
We’ll keep you updated on Cloak and Dagger as more information becomes available.