Since Marvel began producing TV shows, Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona’s Runaways was one of the top three comic books the label yearned to develop. The comic, now a Hulu series that begins streaming November 21, follows a group of Brentwood teens who discover their parents are part of an evil cult, so they band together to stop them.
Asked by a TCA reporter today whether the show carried socio-political overtones, Runaways executive producer Josh Schwartz said: “This is a time when figures of authority are in question, and this is a story where teenagers are at that age where they see their parents as fallible and human. Just because someone is in charge, doesn’t mean that they’re here to do good.”
Again, this is part of the greater Marvel m.o: It’s not just about folding superheroes in the greater MCU universe into one big TV show or film (and there’s always a chance Runaways could bleed into other Marvel TV/film properties), but rather as Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb couched it, it’s about “taking things that are happening in the real world and we put them through the Marvel prism, and they come out as action adventures or comedies so the audience can come away and say, ‘Wow, that’s super cool’. It’s a way to comment on what’s going on outside.”
Gossip Girl EPs Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage explained it’s not a cut -and-dry plot where the kids simply discover the bad that their parents do, and promptly band together. Rather, various kids in the Runaways gang come to terms at their own pace. Marvel always saw Runaways as The O.C. in their universe. “We wanted the right showrunner, and we had a general meeting with Josh and Stephanie, and they said they wanted to do Runaways,” said Loeb.
Schwartz spoke about being a fan of the comic for some time, and got Savage hooked on it.
As for what spoke to him in the material, Schwartz said, “When you’re a teenager, everything feels like life and death, and the stakes in this story — really felt like that.”
Also appearing on today’s panel were castmembers Rhenzy Feliz (Alex Widler), Ariela Barer (Gert Yorkes), Lyrica Okano (Nico Minoru), Gregg Sulkin (Chase Stein), Virginia Gardener (Karolina Dean) and Allegra Acosta (Molly Hernandez).