Squirrel Girl, Squirrel Girl! She’s a human and also a squirrel!
Marvel's Squirrel Girl has become a fan-favorite among comic readers, with her quirky powers of both a squirrel and a girl winning over those skeptical of what sounds like a too-silly superhero. As a result of her popularity, talk of the hero joining the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe has increased in recent years as fans urge the company to bring Doreen Green a.k.a. Squirrel Girl to life.
An initial wave of speculation was sparked in 2014 when Marvel filed a trademark for the character - though that has since seemingly been tied to the comics giant preparing for a Squirrel Girl solo series that launched in 2015. Another round of speculation began this summer when a number of actresses mentioned their interest in playing the character in live-action.
Now, we have news that Marvel is developing a live-action version of Squirrel Girl as the focus of a half-hour comedy series following the teenaged group of superheroes, New Warriors. However, the series still seems to be very early in development. So, with Doreen Green a.k.a. Squirrel Girl potentially coming to the small screen - and possibly joining the MCU - we dive into the comic book background of the character and how she may fit into the team on Marvel's New Warriors.
Who Is Squirrel Girl?
The character of Squirrel Girl was created by artist and writer Steve Ditko, who is responsible for a number of comic book heroes including Doctor Strange, along with writer Will Murray, who worked on Iron Man and The Punisher as well. In her original appearance in a 1992 issue of Marvel Super-Heroes, Squirrel Girl sought out Iron Man in hopes of impressing him and becoming his sidekick. Though he initially wrote her off, she managed to rescue him from Doctor Doom using her squirrel-based powers, impressing the veteran hero - though not enough for him to take her on as a sidekick.
Squirrel Girl later resurfaced in 2005 and 2006 as part of the Great Lakes Avengers, during which time her original squirrel companion, Monkey Joe, was killed; Squirrel Girl then took on a new companion who she named Tippy-Toe and has been with her ever since. However, many fans remember Squirrel Girl for her work with Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, as the nanny to their daughter Danielle Cage, while they're part of the New Avengers. Additionally, she's slated to join an upcoming team within Marvel Comics, the U.S.Avengers.
The latest comic iteration of Squirrel Girl comes in the form of her solo series that launched in 2015, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, from writer Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson. The series kicked off with Doreen Green heading to Empire State University where she planned to major in computer science, but she quickly learned that balancing her college social and academic life with her superheroics would be a difficult task. In the earlier issues of the series, Squirrel Girl faced off against Kraven the Hunter and Galactus, defeating them through use of both her squirrel and girl powers.
As for what exactly Squirrel Girl's powers entail, she has the proportional speed and strength of a squirrel, along with some of their characteristics - most notably, her trademark large bushy tail. She is also capable of talking to squirrels, including her companion Tippy-Toe, and organize the creatures to help her defeat villains. Although she was originally introduced as a mutant, it was later retconned that she is "medically and legally distinct from being a mutant."
Though heroes and villains within the Marvel universe, as well as readers of the books, have written off Squirrel Girl for her silly name and/or slightly ludicrous powers, she has one of the best fighting records of any Marvel superhero. Some of the villains she has defeated include Galactus, Doctor Doom, Baron Mordo, M.O.D.O.K., Thanos, The Mandarin, Ego the Living Planet, and various members of the Avengers. In many instances, Squirrel Girl uses her squirrel powers - though she has also been known to use her girl powers as well (which is to say, her ability to talk through a problem rather than use her fists).
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl has garnered plenty of praise from comic book fans since it was launched, renewing interest in the possibility of adapting Doreen Green to some sort of live-action property within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans have their own ideas of who could be good for the role, but some actresses themselves have thrown their hats into the ring, voicing their desire to play Squirrel Girl should Marvel Studios adapt the character.
Who Could Play Squirrel Girl?
Most notably, one particular favorite casting among fans is Pitch Perfect's Anna Kendrick, who kicked speculation of her becoming Squirrel Girl into high gear earlier this summer when she suggested she'd be interested in the role. Others in Hollywood have come out in support of Kendrick as Squirrel Girl, including director Edgar Wright, who worked with the actress on Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, calling for there to be a movie. Avengers: Infinity War directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, also voiced their support of Kendrick as Squirrel Girl.
However, other actresses have also volunteered to don the bushy tail and take on the mantle of Squirrel Girl. Stranger Things' breakout actress Shannon Purser spoke about her desire to play Squirrel Girl, following a tweet where she mentioned her interest in the role. Additionally, comedian Lauren Lapkus tweeted that she wants to play Doreen Green as well.
As for who could potentially play Squirrel Girl in Marvel's New Warriors series, it likely depends on where the show ends up. Last we heard, Marvel and ABC Studios were shopping the series around to potential cable networks and streaming services, so where it eventually lands will impact which actresses will be considered to bring Doreen Green to life. That said, in general, Marvel TV tends to cast lesser known actors and actresses for the leads in their TV projects. While Purser certainly fits that bill, Kendrick may be more of a stretch especially since she has very few TV credits to her name.
How Does Squirrel Girl Fit Into The New Warriors?
In the comics, Squirrel Girl has never appeared as a member of the New Warriors; writer Fabian Nicienza did have plans to include Doreen Green in the '90s run of the superhero team he worked on with artist Mark Bagley, but those plans didn't come to fruition. That said, Squirrel Girl did have a connection to the New Warriors of the comics in that she had a crush on one of the members, Robbie Baldwin a.k.a. Speedball.
However, if we look at the animated realm of the Marvel Comics mythos, Squirrel Girl is a member of the New Warriors as they appear on the Disney XD television series Ultimate Spider-Man. She first made a brief appearance in the second season of the show before becoming more of a series regular in seasons 3 and 4. In addition to being part of the New Warriors on the series, she's also a student of the Triskelion's S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy and a friend to Spider-Man.
Since we don't know much about Marvel's New Warriors series, it's difficult to say how it adapts Squirrel Girl and her relationship to the superhero team. It's possible the show pulls from both the comics and Ultimate Spider-Man mythologies in that she'll be a member of the New Warriors and potentially pursue a relationship with Speedball - that is, if he's included in the television series. Or, the New Warriors show may go an entirely different route and introduce Squirrel Girl and the team in a different way.
What Can We Expect From Marvel’s New Warriors Series?
Because New Warriors still seems to be early on in development - and Marvel and ABC Studios have yet to confirm the series or offer official details - what the show ends up looking like will largely depend on a number of factors. First off, where there series lands (that is if it's picked up by a network or streaming service) will likely impact the overall kind of show that is developed. A New Warriors series made for Hulu or Netflix may not necessarily look the same as a show airing on Freeform or one of ABC's other networks.
Secondly, it has not yet been revealed who is part of the creative team working on New Warriors. The tone, direction, and execution will rest on the shoulders of a showrunner along with a team of writers, producers, and directors. Plus, other than Squirrel Girl, it's unclear which members of the New Warriors are expected to be part of the live-action team - though it's likely Speedball will be included given his connection to Doreen. Then, of course, it remains to be seen who will be cast as Squirrel Girl and the fellow leads of the show.
All that being said, we do know New Warriors is set up as a half-hour comedy series (although, that could change as well; The CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was originally developed as a half-hour series before being lengthened to an hour at the network's request). The comedy aspect of the show is interesting because it could be that New Warriors leans toward sitcom, in the vein of NBC's Powerless, or more toward dramedy, which is in line with The CW's DC superhero lineup. Certainly, given the New Warriors' teenaged roster of heroes, it's likely the series - and, subsequently, the version of Squirrel Girl - will skew more toward a younger audience.
Still, New Warriors will undoubtedly work to capture what fans have fallen in love with about Squirrel Girl: her quirky powers, her snarky commentary, her overall positive tone, and (hopefully) one or both of her squirrel companions, Monkey Joe and Tippy-Toe. Though, of course, it may be tricky to bring Squirrel Girl's appearance - tail and all - and squirrel friends to life. But, exactly how Squirrel Girl will come to life in live-action for the very first time remains to be seen as Marvel and ABC continue to develop New Warriors.
We’ll keep you updated on New Warriors as more information becomes available.