Marvel’s Squirrel Girl set to star in New Warriors TV series, launching in 2018

Marvel's modern Squirrel Girl. Art by Erica Henderson © Marvel
Marvel’s modern Squirrel Girl. Art by Erica Henderson © Marvel

Freeform has announced a straight-to-series order for Marvel’s New Warriors, the second superhero-inspired project from the Disney-owned US cable network, Marvel Television and ABC Signature.

The comedic live-action adaptation of the Marvel comic will be the company’s first comedy TV series, the comic centred around six young people with powers living and working together.

Expected to premiere in the US in late 2018, we’re told the New Warriors want to make a difference in the world… even if the world isn’t ready. These are a group dubbed “becomers”, characters with powers and abilities on the opposite end of the spectrum of The Avengers, experiencing a series of firsts in life, including first loves and first jobs. New Warriors explores the journey into adulthood, except in this world, they’re not quite super and not yet heroes and the guys can be as terrifying as bad dates.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cougar Town’s Kevin Biegel (a longtime Marvel and Squirrel Girl fan) has almost penned a deal with Marvel to write the script and serve as showrunner. Marvel head of TV Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory will executive produce alongside Biegel.

So far, only one hero has been announced so far: Squirrel Girl (alter ego, Doreen Green), a “tough, optimistic and a natural leader” who is acrobatic and can talk to squirrels, first created way back in 1991 by Will Murray andSteve Ditko. The character has earned plenty of kudos thanks to the modern series written by Ryan North with art by Erica Henderson, described by one fan, Evan Narcisse, in a nifty character overview on Kotaku as Marvel Comics best superhero.

Doreen is confident and has the powers of a squirrel: she’s acrobatic, can fight and talk to other squirrels. Her most important trait is said to be her faith in people and ability to teach them to believe in themselves.

“Freeform’s mission is to deliver incredible content to young adults and Marvel Television seamlessly aligns with that mission — we couldn’t be more proud to collaborate with them on Marvel’s New Warriors,” said Karey Burke, exec vp programming and development at Freeform.

Marvel’s Head of Television, and the show’s executive producer, Jeph Loeb said of the show: “’Marvel’s New Warriors’ have always been fan favourites and now particularly with the addition of Squirrel Girl, they are Marvel Television favourites as well.”

Marvel's Cloak and Dagger
© Marvel Entertainment

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger is also in the works at Freeform, with production on a ten-episode first season already underway, and on course to premiere in early 2018, according to Freeform’s Vice President of Programming, Karey Burke, who confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that that is the network’s current plan.

The show has been trailed as a coming-of-age series based on the beloved Marvel characters. Tandy Bowen (plated by Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) come from starkly different backgrounds, each growing up with a secret they never dared share with another soul.

Once a privileged little girl, Tandy Bowen watched as her family was destroyed by a disastrous storm that uprooted her life. Now in her late teens, an unexpected encounter with a boy named Tyrone sparks a life changing event.

Young Tyrone Johnson wanted nothing more than to prove he was fearless. But when everything he held close was taken away, life taught Tyrone to be afraid. Now older and more sheltered, Tyrone closes himself off. But when he meets a girl named Tandy his life changes forever.

The cast also includes Andrea Roth (Blue Bloods) as Melissa Bowen, Tandy’s mom; Gloria Reuben (ER) as Tyrone’s mother, Adina Johnson; Miles Mussenden (Bloodline) as Tyrone’s father, Michael Johnson; Carl Lundstedt (Grey’s Anatomy) as Liam, Tandy’s partner in crime; James Saito (Life of Pi) as Dr. Bernard Sanjo, and J.D. Evermore (The Walking Dead) as Detective Connors.

There are no current plans for crossovers between the shows.

“If you know these two properties, they’re not particularly connected,” says Karey Burke. “There are many degrees of separation with where they fall in the Marvel universe. But anything is possible with Marvel. Their tones are so wildly different. Cloak is this angst-filled achingly beautiful heartfelt romantic drama. And Squirrel Girl is a balls-out comedy.”

There’s certainly no shortage of Marvel TV shows, is there? As well as Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and The Defenders on Netflix, we’ve also got Inhumans to look forward to (an IMAX/ABC series), The Punisher, the ongoing Agents of SHIELD, a Matt Nix pilot and Hulu’s The Runaways. And, of course Legion, now in its second season on FX.

Read an interview with Karey Burke about New Warriors and Cloak and Dagger on Hollywood Reporter

Buy The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Volume One: Squirrel Power from amazon.co.uk – using this link helps support downthetubes

Buy New Warriors Volume 1: The Kids are All Right from amazon.co.uk – using this link helps support downthetubes

Buy Cloak and Dagger: Shadows and Light from amazon.co.uk – using this link helps support downthetubes

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a “freelance comics operative”, currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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