The TV side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe currently exists on ABC in the form of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and on Netflix, with the individual Hell’s Kitchen superhero TV shows; as well as the upcoming Defenders miniseries and The Punisher TV show. However, the MCU is going to be rapidly expanding on the small screen over the next year, thanks to the impending additions of Freeform’s Cloak & Dagger TV series, ABC/IMAX’s Inhumans series and Hulu’s own Marvel superhero TV show, Runaways.
A film adaptation of Runaways – the Marvel Comics property about a group of super-powered teenagers who find a shared cause in uniting against their super-villainous parents – spent years stuck in the early stages of development, before (like with Inhumans) Marvel announced plans for a TV adaptation, instead. It was recently reported that both Cloak & Dagger and Runaways would begin filming within the month and now we can confirm that so much as true – thanks to Marvel having now officially revealed the main casts for both of these young adult superhero TV shows.
Here are the official main cast members for Runaways and their corresponding character descriptions:
Rhenzy Feliz (Teen Wolf) is Alex Wilder, “a loud-and-proud nerd. Admittedly a bit of a loner, Alex spends much of his free-time playing video games, but deep down, what he wants most is to reunite his childhood group of friends.”
Lyrica Okano (The Affair) is Nico Minoru: “tough, intelligent, and independent–embodies teenage angst. A budding “Wiccan,” Nico’s carefully crafted goth appearance isolates her from her peers and family, but maybe what she really needs is someone to talk to.”
Ariela Barer (New Girl) is Gert Yorkes, “a purple-haired, bespectacled, contemporary riot grrrl. Never passing up a moment to stand on a soapbox, Gert sometimes wields her persona as a brash social justice warrior to mask her true feelings.”
Virginia Gardner (Goat) is Karolina Dean: “model-perfect exterior with a lot going on behind her professionally whitened smile, is burdened by the lofty expectations and responsibilities put upon her by her parents. Underneath her veneer of privilege and perfection, Karolina is experiencing a newfound eagerness to explore her identity and pursue her own desires.”
Gregg Sulkin (Faking It) is Chase Stein, “a lacrosse-playing, high school heartthrob. While many write him off as a dumb jock, Chase exhibits flashes of untapped brilliance in engineering, not unlike his wildly successful father’s.”
Allegra Acosta (100 Things to Do Before High School) is Molly Hernandez, “the youngest and most innocent member of her friend group, is known for her peppy positivity and a deep yearning to belong.”
Brian K. Vaughn co-created the Runaways comics property with Adrian Alphona and is also serving as an executive consultant on the Hulu TV show adaptation. Gossip Girl creators Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage are serving as the showrunners on Runaways and issued the following official statement, regarding the casting announcement for the series:
“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.”
The noteworthy combination of talent working behind the scenes on Runaways bodes well for the series and suggests it should have a proper YA feel to it; something that also goes for the Cloak & Dagger TV series on Freeform. Young adult drama and teenage soap opera conflicts are, surprisingly enough, unexplored narrative territory for the MCU thus far, what with the MCU movies and TV series produced thus far all having revolved around adult superheroes and/or grownup people who attain superhuman abilities. As the MCU continues to rapidly expand over the years ahead, it will be all the more important for its various corners to feel distinct and unique from one another – varying from the grand spectacle of the MCU on the big screen to the more intimate, gritty and mature stories being told over at Netflix.
In other words: a TV show about a diverse group of teenaged superheroes that is headlined by a promising cast of fresh-faced stars, like Runways, should only help the MCU’s cause, in this respect. Expect to learn more about the TV series and in the immediate future too, what with filming slated to begin in a matter of a few weeks (if even that long).
Runaways is expected to premiere on Hulu sometime in 2018.