Freeform has ordered its second Marvel TV show in New Warriors, the comedy series about a superhero team that includes fan-favorite Doreen Green aka. Squirrel Girl. The Freeform channel is owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group (which currently airs Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show) and recently put in an order for another Marvel comics adaptation, in the form of Cloak & Dagger. Similar to Cloak & Dagger, New Warriors is going to be geared more towards a young adult audience than previous Marvel Cinematic Universe properties (of both the movie and TV show variety) have been.
New Warriors revolves around a group of teenaged superheroes, though it was previously reported that the show will “put the focus” on Squirrel Girl. The Doreen Green character has already been the subject of much fan casting and speculation, with both Anna Kendrick and Stranger Things‘ Shannon Purser having thrown their names in the ring for consideration. As of right now, however, no casting decisions have been made.
THR is confirming that Freeform has ordered a ten episode season of New Warriors, just like the ten episodes of Cloak & Dagger that have been ordered thus far. Former Scrubs writer and Cougar Town co-creator Kevin Biegel is close to finalizing a deal to write the first episode of New Warriors and serve as the showrunner on the comedy series. You can read the official synopsis for New Warriors, below:
New Warriors revolves around about six young people with powers living and working together. With powers and abilities on the opposite end of the spectrum of The Avengers, the New Warriors want to make a difference in the world … even if the world isn’t ready. With Freeform focused on a group dubbed “becomers” — those experiencing a series of firsts in life including first loves and first jobs — New Warriors explores the journey into adulthood, except in this world, they’re not quite super and not yet heroes and the guys can be as terrifying as bad dates.
Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb, who is producing New Warriors, has issued the following statement, regarding Freeform’s decision to order the show to series:
“Marvel’s New Warriors have always been fan favorites and now particularly with the addition of Squirrel Girl, they are Marvel Television favorites as well. After the amazing experience we’ve had with Freeform on Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger we can’t think of a better place for our young heroes.”
Kathy Burke, the executive vice president for programming and development at Freeform, confirmed to THR that Kendrick and Purser’s names have already come up as part of the Squirrel Girl casting discussion; adding that the channel feels they are in a “unique position” with the character on TV and that Burke is “interested to see if name actresses feel right for it.” While Squirrel Girl was tipped for an MCU movie of her own before the New Warriors TV show was reported as being in development, one benefit of her making the jump to TV instead means there’s less pressure on Marvel/Freeform to cast a “big name” and more room to recruit a newcomer/potential breakout star for the role, instead.
As for New Warriors itself: the show is part of Marvel’s larger efforts to expand the MCU to encompass stories and characters more strictly intended for a YA audience. So far, the company has both Cloak & Dagger and New Warriors moving forward at Freeform, as well as Runaways on Hulu, but if these shows succeed then it will open the floodgates for even more Marvel comic book teenaged superheroes to join the MCU in the future. Marvel TV continues to grow in other directions too, of course, with such upcoming series as Inhumans on ABC and The Punisher on Netflix aiming to appeal to the same crowds that have turned out in larger numbers to watch those providers’ other Marvel TV shows to date.
We will bring you more information on New Warriors as it becomes available.