One of Marvel Comics’ most acclaimed new creations of the 21st century, Runaways, is finally coming to screen. After a film version has been languishing in development hell for years, Runaways is now set to become a TV series for Hulu instead.
The Runaways comic, created by Brian K Vaughan (Y: The Last Man) and Adrian Alphona was launched in 2003 and was a very different kind of superteam title. It featured a group of superpowered teenagers forced to band together when they discovered that their parents were all members of a supervillain collective called The Pride. Although an immediate critical hit sales were not good, until Marvel discovered that it’s collected volume graphic novel editions were particularly successful; this was binge-reading before the concept of binge-watching had become a big thing.
Now Gossip Girl creators Josh Schwartz (who also exec produced the brilliant Chuck) and Stephanie Savage are executive produce a Runaways TV series for Hulu’s streaming service.
“I’m a long-time fan of Runaways and couldn’t be more excited to bring Brian and Adrian’s characters to life,” says Schwartz.
“We’ve known the Runaways’ story would make great television,” says Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb. “And being lucky enough to have Josh and Stephanie — who have time and again created shows that speak so genuinely to this exact audience — write and produce the series is nothing short of remarkable.”
The original Runaways team comprised Nico Minoru (a witch, the daughter of wizards), Karolina Dean (a solar-powered alien, the daughter of alien invaders), Molly Hayes (super-strength, the daughter of mutants), Chase Stein (has flame-throwing gauntlets, stolen from his mad scientist parents), Alex Wilder (a child prodigy at strategic thinking and planning, the son of mafia bosses), and Gertrude Yorkes (no special powers – though she did later have a mental link to a future dinosaur – the daughter of time-traveling criminals).
At one point, Iron Man 3 scribe Drew Pearce was developing a script for a Runaways movie for Marvel, but, he told The Hollywood Reporter, once Marvel committed to The Avengers, the company lost interest in the lesser known team project:
“We were really close to being made, and then this movie started to happen called The Avengers. Oddly, it pulled focus from the unheard-of brand Runaways, and it really did kind of consume the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s there – maybe it’ll be a Phase Three movie. I really hope so. I’m really proud of it and I think it’ll be a brilliant film, but I think it all depends what Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel, his master plan is.”
Seems like Marvel had other ideas.