Runaways co-creator Brian K. Vaughan had a pretty major role in bringing his Marvel Comics series to television. At New York Comic Con, Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb and showrunners Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz discussed the role Vaughan played in the show’s development and how his day visit turned into a month-long stay.
“One of the things that I think makes it unusual, at least in my experience, most of the time it’s when you are adapting something into another medium, the original person is not there with you, because they’re still going on in that medium,” Loeb explained. “Brian [K. Vaughan] happens to be someone who knows the medium of television and the medium of comic books, and so we were very lucky in thinking that… I mean, tell them how Brian came for a day.”
Schwartz picked up the story from there, saying, “We were like, ‘Come on, Brian! Come to the room, meet everybody!’ I was obviously a fan of Runaways. Everyone was obviously a fan of his. ‘Just come by! It’ll be fun!’ And he was like, ‘I don’t want to make it weird for people.’ We’re like, ‘Just come for lunch.’ So he came for lunch on the first day, and then stayed for a month.”
“We didn’t even want him to leave,” he added. “He had some more award-winning comics to go write. But it was amazing for all of us, because it just gave us great encouragement and confidence in making some of the changes that we kind of felt like we needed to make in order to translate the comic to television, but not only having his blessing but also having his ideas and having his awesome brain on that stuff as well, so that was a really fun collaboration. It doesn’t hurt that he is the nicest person.”
“It was important to us that he be involved in order to keep the spirit of what was going on, but also that Josh and Stephanie had the confidence and the support from Marvel to say, ‘No, go make this your own. Make this something that works,'” Loeb shared. “Because it doesn’t make sense to us to just take a comic and then just shoot the scenes that in the comic, because – if you read the comic – then you know what’s going to happen, and if you’ve never read the comic, then you’re being really unfair to the comic because you’re basically just sort of putting it up there. They should have different elements to them.”
“It wasn’t even like he was giving notes. He was like on the same side of the table as us, like nervous,” Savage pitched in.
“He was pitching ideas,” Schwartz clarified. “He was like, ‘I hope you guys like this pitch!’ We’re like, ‘Brian, let’s workshop that a little bit.'”
Produced by Marvel Television and ABC Signature, Runaways stars Rhenzy Feliz as Alex Wilder, a loud-and-proud nerd; Lyrica Okano as Nico Minoru, a budding wiccan with a carefully crafted goth facade; Virginia Gardner as Karolina Dean, whose model-perfect exterior disguises an eagerness to explore her identity and desires; Ariela Barer as Gert Yorkes, a brash, purple-haired social justice warrior; Gregg Sulkin as Chase Stein, a lacrosse-playing heartthrob with flashes of engineering brilliance; and Allegra Acosta as Molly Hernandez, the youngest member, known for her positive outlook and deep yearning to belong. The 10-episode first season of Runaways debuts Tuesday, November 21 on Hulu.
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