Netflix may soon have some competition when it comes to their streaming monopoly on Marvel’s colorful heroes. Netflix has landed huge hits with Marvel’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones, with Luke Cage on deck next. But now Hulu has ordered a pilot based on the fan-favorite Runaways comic series, from the Gossip Girl team of Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. The pair will serve as showrunners should the project go to series.
Deadline reports that Hulu is ordering a pilot and several scripts for Runaways. The show is based on the comic created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona, which originally launched in July 2003. The series follows a group of teenagers who discover their parents are supervillains. In the comic, the kids soon learn they’ve inherited their parents’ powers, which is a good thing since their parents are soon trying to kill them. The book ran through 2009, with Joss Whedon writing several issues after Vaughan left.
Schwartz told Deadline, “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.
Savage said, “Josh and I can’t wait to get to work for Marvel and Hulu.”
Jeph Loeb, EP and Head of Marvel Television, added, “We’ve known the Runaways‘ story would make great 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.” Loeb will serve as executive producer on Runaways.
Vaughan was working on a film version of Runaways beginning in May 2008, but the project fell by the wayside as Marvel began focusing on their burgeoning Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s unclear at this point whether Runaways would be part of the MCU, existing in the same continuity as the Marvel films, ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Netflix shows.
In addition to working with Savage on the teen drama Gossip Girl, Schwartz co-created Chuck and created The O.C. Stephanie Savage is also a TV veteran, having worked on Hart of Dixie, The Carrie Diaries, and Astronaut Wives Club. Together they’ve got plenty of experience working on younger-skewing shows, and Chuck had enough of an action element that Schwartz should handle the comic-book material well.
Partnering with Marvel is a bold move, one that can only help as Hulu transitions away from the ad-supported model and into a subscription approach more in line with Netflix. Bonus points if they get Joss to write an episode.