Everything was going smoothy and production dates were set for the adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona’s award-winning Marvel Comics series, Runaways. Director Peter Sollett (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) had signed on to direct Runaways and casting had seemingly begun with rumors starting to run wild.

The Runaways movie was scheduled to start shooting in March and the expectation was that the youth-centered flick would share the summer of 2012 with The Avengers so Marvel and Disney would again have two theatrical releases that year. As of last week, the report came out from Deadline that Marvel is simply too busy to work on this next year and that Runaways has now been delayed.

Runaways tells the story of six teenagers who learn that their parents are super-villains. Together they gather weapons and run away to learn more about themselves and the powers they have, using them for good and not following the path of their parents.

While Runaways would undoubtedly be a lower-budget Marvel Entertainment production, it’s based on a series entirely unknown to the mainstream and would have to rely on casting and marketing to sell itself and not the brand or characters.  Could that be the main reason for the delay?

Marvel editor-in-chief reiterated recently in an interview with MTV that Marvel Studios isn’t a “big” company and they have to be careful about selecting what properties get the greenlight for film or their new-found TV division. They have to consider what fans want and what will work internationally since Disney is a very international corporation.

In the meantime, Sollett has been offered another director’s job but we do not know yet for what. Is it another Marvel film?

With Iron Man 3 getting a release date of May 3, 2013 after Disney bought back the distribution rights for it and The Avengers, this leaves empty gaps for at least a secondary film to debut in 2012 and 2013. Potential properties that could see theatrical release could be the long-awaited Ant-Man movie by Edgar Wright or perhaps an Iron Fist or Dr. Strange movie for which both projects have writers. Assuming Marvel (and Disney) wish to still make Runaways down the road, it could come a year later.

The goal for Marvel Studios is to have two blockbusters a year and while their may be plans in place for potential Marvel movies leading up to 2017, they’re going to have to move quick if they want to fit another in for 2012.

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Source: Deadline, MTV