Has Marvel's New Warriors show been canceled? Back in August 2016, there were reports that Marvel and ABC were developing a half-hour comedy series, centered on Doreen Green a.k.a. the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Two years on, though, news about this series seems to have petered out, and sadly it's increasingly looking as though New Warriors may have been quietly canceled.
Marvel Television has had something of a rough year. Although Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was renewed for both a sixth and seventh season, they're only going to run for 13 episodes apiece. Netflix has pulled the plug on no less than three of their Marvel shows; even the flagship Marvel Netflix series, Daredevil, has been canceled. Moreover, Marvel Studios is preparing to launch their own range of big-budget limited series on the Disney Plus streaming service, which has the effect of making the existing TV shows feel like even more of an afterthought to the MCU.
The TV arm of Marvel Entertainment could really do with a big win, and New Warriors could well be it. A pilot was said to have tested extremely well with audiences in 2017 (according to The Hollywood Reporter it even caught the eye of Disney executives). Unfortunately, there's been no news about this series for quite some time. So what's happened to Marvel's New Warriors?
- This Page: What Happened To The New Warriors Show?
- Page 2: Is The New Warriors Show Dead?
What We Know About The New Warriors TV Show
New Warriors was originally picked up by Freeform in 2016, with Kevin Biegel (Scrubs, Cougar Town) recruited to write the first episode and serve as a potential showrunner. The official synopsis teased that it would consist of characters "with powers and abilities on the opposite end of the spectrum of The Avengers," who were struggling to work out just how to become the superheroes they desperately want to be. At the time, Freeform was focused on a demographic group they described as "becomers" - those experiencing a series of firsts in life, including first loves and first jobs - and a superhero TV comedy exploring the journey to adulthood seemed like a smart bet. Freeform was clearly excited about the show, and Executive VP of Programming and Development at Freeform Karey Burke declared that it was "tailor-made for spin-offs."
Cast and characters were officially announced in July 2017, with Milana Vayntrub (This Is Us) signing up as series lead Squirrel Girl. The character was created by Will Murray and the legendary Steve Ditko in 1992, and was designed as a throwback to the Silver Age of comics. Cheerful and enthusiastic, Squirrel Girl was an improbable hero who successfully beat up even the likes of Doctor Doom and Thanos. She came back into vogue in 2005, when Dan Slott made her a part of the Great Lakes Avengers. She's since gone from strength to strength, and currently stars in her own ongoing series. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is one of the books at the heart of a deal between Marvel and Scholastic, which sells graphic novels to young-adult readers.
The rest of the cast was a blend of the comic book New Warriors and the aforementioned Great Lakes Avengers: Derek Theler (Baby Daddy) as Mr. Immortal, whose body can recover from any injury; Jeremy Tardy (Dear White People) as Night Thrasher, a potent Batman-esque vigilante who funds the team in the comics; Matthew Moy (Steven Universe) as Microbe, a shy hypochondriac who can control germs; Kate Comer (The Comeback) as Debrii, a low-level telekinetic; and Calum Worthy (Austin & Ally) was brought on board to play Speedball, Squirrel Girl's big crush, who generates powerful energy fields around himself.
Related: Who Are The Official New Warriors?
New Warriors Was Supposed To Premiere In April 2018
Freeform commissioned a New Warriors pilot, which reportedly tested well. They originally planned to premiere the series in April 2018, but then something went wrong. There were reports that Freeform had been unable to find room in its 2018 programming slate for the comic book-based TV series - but these seemed rather odd, given the same reports claimed Freeform was keen enough to fight hard for the Marvel content in the first place. Whatever the truth may be, apparently Freeform offered Marvel a spot in 2019, but the House of Ideas was keen to see New Warriors hit the small screen a lot sooner than that. So the New Warriors partnership between Marvel and Freeform came to an end.
Unfortunately, it's believed that these plans were complicated by decisions made at an executive level in Disney. The parent company was in the early stages of planning out content for their streaming service, and was no longer keen on competitors acquiring their content. There were reports that Marvel Television was no longer allowed to shop outside of Disney; although these have been denied, it's worth noting that no new Marvel TV series have been approved outside of Disney since New Warriors was pulled from Freeform.