When Marvel announced that Freeform had picked up New Warriors before Cloak and Dagger even premiered, fans were both surprised and excited as it meant we’d not only get a live action take on Squirrel Girl, but also our first half-hour comedy from the entertainment giant. The half-hour comedy series had received a straight to series pickup from the network, with the expectation that — like Cloak and Dagger — it would premiere sometime in 2018. Unfortunately, plans have since changed and after the pilot reportedly “tested through the roof,” Marvel decided to pull the project from Freeform in hopes of securing a home for the series elsewhere. Since then, there’s been no news as to when New Warriors will finally debut, however, following the success of Marvel’s Runaways on Hulu, we wouldn’t be surprised if Marvel and Disney have at least approached the streaming service about the rights to the series, and that’s not a bad thing.
Initial reports suggested that Disney had considered saving the project for the launch of their own streaming service in 2019 but ultimately decided against it in hopes of debuting the project in 2018. That leaves few options as to where the series could go. Given that Disney is set to pull their titles from Netflix, which is home to the The Defenders and The Punisher, it’s highly doubtful they’ll sell any more shows to the streaming giant. And although ABC would seem like a safe bet, it’s important to remember that superhero shows haven’t necessarily done well on the network. Inhumans was meant to be a big event series for ABC and IMAX but ended up being dubbed a failure, pulling in less viewers than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ever has. And although Disney opted to save S.H.I.E.L.D. — which does well in delayed viewing — the firing of Paul Lee, and hiring of Channing Dungey would suggest the studio is focused on revamping the struggling network, leaving the fate of S.H.I.E.L.D. and any other future Marvel projects up in the air. That leaves Hulu, where Marvel’s fantastic Runaways series is currently streaming its first season.
The Runaways was originally meant to be a movie, and had even undergone casting back in 2010 with actress Keke Palmer having been attached to the project. While many expected Marvel Studios to try and revisit the propsed film later one, things never worked out, and instead the beloved heroes were brought to the small screen courtesy of Marvel Television and Hulu. Adapting a series like The Runaways, which not only features a dinosaur (Old Lace) but also a glowing teenage alien isn’t exactly an easy task, and yet, they succeeded in doing just that. They’ve fully embraced the source material, while also expanding upon the story told throughout the comics. The parents are not simply villains for the sake of being villains; they’ve fleshed them out just as much as the children. Sure, it would have been nice to see New Warriors join Cloak and Dagger on Freeform, but perhaps the decision to pull the project will work in the show’s favor.
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