Gossip Girl creators team up with Marvel to make an on demand superhero series

Meet the Runaways

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Another day, another Marvel superhero TV series. Yep, joining the likes of Daredevil, Agents of Shield, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Cloak & Dagger and The Punisher will be Marvel’s Runaways, a new series based on the popular comic series about a group of disaffected superpowered teens that began in 2003 and has continued to run (more or less) to this day.

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However, this particular superhero adventure has a slightly unusual pedigree – because it’s being made for US On-Demand service Hulu, a newcomer to the genre, and will be spearheaded by the team who created soapy US teen drama Gossip Girl.

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Really, it shouldn’t so surprising – GG’s Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are now experts in making unusual teenagers relatable after all (having mutant abilities is more or less the same as being super-rich, right?), and anyone who’s watched Schwartz’ earlier work The OC will have picked up on his love and knowledge of comic books (as manifested in Adam Brody’s character Seth Cohen).

“I’m a long-time fan of Runaways and couldn’t be more excited to bring Brian and Adrian’s characters to life,” said Schwartz (via Deadline).

Added Savage, “Josh and I can’t wait to get to work for Marvel and Hulu.”

Created by Brian K. Vaughn and Adrian Alphona, The Runaways comic focuses on a group of LA teenagers who discover that their boring parents are actually supervillains involved in some sort of occult crime organisation, and resolve to escape and bring them to justice. In doing so, the group discover that they have their own abilities – including black magic, super-strength and a telepathic link to a dinosaur, believe it or not – and clash with various other foes as they try to make a difference.

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Unusually, the group almost entirely dispense with codenames or superhero costumes (despite existing in the same universe as the Avengers), and over the years the series has been praised for its more grounded take on superheroics.

“We’ve known the Runaways‘ story would make great television,” said Jeph Loeb, EP and Head of Marvel Television, “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.”

So to fans of either Schwartz and Savage’s work or the original comic, this is exciting news, albeit with one caveat. Unlike other On-Demand services like Netflix or Amazon Prime, Hulu currently only operates in the United States and Japan, so UK or other international fans won’t be able to watch the new series on the site for the time being. 

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We wouldn’t worry too much – it seems likely a UK broadcaster will pick up the series if there’s enough demand for it – but for now, we’ll have to try not to get too hung up on these Runaways.