Freeform Exec Talks NEW WARRIORS Casting, Teases Spinoffs; Showrunner Teases Great Lakes Avengers Influence

Freeform Exec Talks NEW WARRIORS Casting, Teases Spinoffs; Showrunner Teases Great Lakes Avengers Influence

It seems like Cloak and Dagger and New Warriors are just the beginning for Marvel at Freeform, as well the latter's showrunner teases some surprising connections that may influence the series.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Freeform executive VP of production Karey Burke talked about the upcoming comedy show coming to the network in 2018, Marvel's New Warriors. During the interview, she commented on what Marvel saw in the network, as well as plans going forward.

The more we got to know Marvel and the more comfortable they got with us as the home for their young adult IP, these conversations became easier. They started to see our strength with young adults and together we could create a pipeline for content that was specific to our audience that felt younger than what they're doing at the other channels. I wanted to be in business with Marvel when I first got here but I didn't want to chase them just to chase them. It was important to both of us to find the right characters that felt like they would speak directly to Freeform's audience. The Avengers wouldn't work here but the about-to-be-Avengers works here.

We were big fans of Enlisted and were excited when Marvel put him (showrunner Kevin Biegel) together. Marvel and ABC Studios had made that marriage before it came to Freeform. He has a great love for all the characters that are populating the show around Squirrel Girl. He has a deep respect for Squirrel Girl. Her greatest weapon is her optimism — and this is a character who could easily be made fun of — but she's written so lovingly that we were thrilled when he was packaged with it. When he came in and pitched it, he understood her importance in the world and as hopefully an iconic heroine for audiences.

It seems Freeform's appeal to Marvel is as an outlet for a younger skewing, YA-type audience, similar to the DC slate on the CW. When asked about other actresses who have been vocal about the role in the past (such as Stranger Things' Shannon Purser, as well as  Anna Kendrick), Burke stated:

Those names have come up! This network has made a lot of stars and we're in a unique position with Squirrel Girl and Marvel. The character is such a calling card. I'm interested to see if name actresses feel right for it.

Shannon Purser (who retweeted and favorited tweets surrounding the news of the show being greenlit) will certainly be happy to hear that she is under consideration for the lead.

When asked about the specifc makeup of the other five members of the New Warriors beyond Squirrel Girl, Burke said that the team had been picked out, but was not at liberty to say at this time. She did give an interesting hint, however, in terms of the possibility of standalone series for Doreen Green's future teammates.

The characters they've chosen are all really singular and could each carry the show that they're on. They're bound together as a band of underdogs for as long as we choose with this show but it's conceptually tailor-made for spinoffs.

Meanwhile, the showrunner himself, Kevin Biegel (of Scrubs, Cougar Town, and the tragically short-lived Enlisted), thanked the people who helped influence his vision for the show on Twitter (though identifying the creators of Squirrel Girl and the New Warriors based on their more recent incarnations, and not the respective actual original creators), and an interesting reference came up:

While the reference to the Great Lakes Avengers might not be a direct inference to members of the team (which would contradict Burke's statements of each of the New Warriors being able to stand on their own, the GLA are typically, uh, not really good at that), it does match the tone of the series synopsis of the team being "Not quite super, not quite heroes." So even if we may not be seeing the fanstastical Mr. Immortal and co in the MCU quite yet, it does set an interesting tone for how the series will be approached. Guess we'll have to wait till 2018, or at least the April 19th upfronts, to find out more!

“Marvel’s New Warriors” is about six young people with powers living and working together. With powers and abilities on the opposite end of the spectrum of The Avengers, the New Warriors want to make a difference in the world… Even if the world isn’t ready. Not quite super, not yet heroes, “Marvel’s New Warriors” is about that time in your life when you first enter adulthood and feel like you can do everything and nothing at once — except in this world, bad guys can be as terrifying as bad dates.
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