The cult British sci-fi series Misfits is getting the American remake treatment thanks to a new pilot order from Freeform. Debuting back in 2009 on E4 in the UK, Misfits took the superhero concept and turned it on its head years before Deadpool hit theaters. Focusing on a group of juvenile offenders in a community service program, the five teens are granted superpowers following a mysterious storm. Mixing brash humor and a dark sensibility, the show explored real-world issues like teen pregnancy, rape, and racism, all while telling an ever-expanded sci-fi story about a Britain slowly overrun by special abilities.
Like Suicide Squad, the bratty twist on the superhero formula inspired a legion of fan artist and shippers to give the series new life over the years. Hulu’s acquisition of the series further broadened its appeal, though it still remained a cult hit. After five seasons, the show ended in 2013, but soon after work began on repackaging it for American audiences. Last year, Freeform was all set to tackle the show from Fake Empire, and now it’s finally come to fruition.
Deadline is reporting that Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage of Fake Empire are parterning with Diane Ruggiero-Wright to bring the reboot to life. Ruggiero-Wright will write the pilot, which was just ordered by Freeform, and will also serve as the showrunner. On top of that news, four of the five main characters have been cast, with Ashleigh Lathrop (Sirens), Tre Hall (Rebel), Jake Cannavale (Nurse Jackie), and Allie MacDonald (Orphan Black) all coming aboard.
Lanthrop will play Alisha, a materialistic teen who gains the power to control the sexual desires of others. Hall will play Curtis, an athlete who is gifted with the ability to reverse time. MacDonald will tackle Kelly, a street-smart telepath, while Cannavale will portray fan-favorite Nathan, a smart-ass whose power remains a mystery for much of his run on the show. The last character to be cast will be Simon, the socially awakard teen who can turn invisible.
In the original series, Simon was portrayed by Iwan Rheon, who would go on to play Ramsay Bolton on Game of Thrones and will next portray Maximus on Inhumans. As one of the longest-running cast members and the actor with the biggest career since the show, his role will likely be the hardest to replace.
While fans will likely view the development cautiously, the creative talent is reassuring. Ruggiero-Wright is best known for her work on iZombie and Veronica Mars, while Fake Empire are heading up the Dynasty reboot and will tackle Runways for Marvel over on Hulu. The pilot will also be directed by frequent Grey’s Anatomy helmer Victoria Mahoney. It should fit nicely alongside Cloak & Dagger and New Warriors, two other teen-focused superhero shows coming to Freeform. And if all involved can match the dark comedy of the original, then Misfits could be an intriguing update on a beloved series.