Marvel TV head honcho Jeph Loeb explains why they partnered with Hulu for Runaways, instead of airing the upcoming comic book series on Netflix. In the four years since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered and officially launched the small screen portion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios' TV division has continued to expand its corner of the MCU, with eight shows having already debuted. And the studio plans on releasing another four within the next year, including Runaways.
Runaways, based on the comic book team of the same name created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona, marks Hulu's first comic book series, and the first project developed between Marvel and the streaming service. The decision to put the series on Hulu in the first place, though, has puzzled many people, especially considering how successful Marvel has been with Hulu's competitor, Netflix, over the past two years. Now, ahead of the series' premiere next month, Marvel TV's Jeph Loeb has explained the decision to partner with Hulu.
Related: Marvel's Runaways Teaser Trailer
In an interview at NYCC 2017, Loeb explained why they decided to partner with Hulu for Runaways and that they had been actually trying to develop a project with the streaming service for quite some time.
“What we do with every show is we look at where the best place is. We absolutely had a lot on our plate at Netflix, but wasn’t the reason for it. We were very excited about the possibility of joining a network that was young and growing in the same way that when we went to Netflix it was young and growing on the original side. It really feels like we’re in the right place at the right time with the right show.”
Aside from making ABC the studio's home base, Marvel TV has been busy shepherding a multi-series agreement with Netflix over the past few years, and those shows have managed to rake in millions of viewers worldwide. Still, the studio wanted to pursue other opportunities elsewhere, such as their deal with Hulu, and, surprisingly, the recent success of The Handmaid's Tale convinced them that they made the right decision.
“The fact that as we’re coming around the clubhouse turn with Handmaid’s Tale erupting and becoming part of the culture is huge. People who previously might have been going ‘what is Hulu?’ are now going ‘I have Hulu’.”
Certainly, part of the benefit of airing these shows on different networks and streaming services allows the studio to cater to different audiences, aside from devout comic book fans, who would normally watch most, if not all, of Marvel's TV shows, no matter where they're shown. After all, whereas shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Daredevil have the potential to crossover, shows such as Runaways and Cloak & Dagger likely wouldn't fit in with Netflix's street-level heroes, but that doesn't preclude them from inhabiting the same shared universe.
Runaways premieres November 21 on Hulu.