Marvel's New Warriors, or simply New Warriors, is an upcoming American cable television series created by Kevin Biegel, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films and other television series of the franchise. The series is produced by ABC Signature Studios and Marvel Television, with Biegel serving as showrunner.
The series stars Milana Vayntrub as Doreen Green / Squirrel Girl and Derek Theler as Craig Hollis / Mister Immortal, who make up the New Warriors with Jeremy Tardy, Calum Worthy, Matthew Moy and Kate Comer. The young group learn to cope with their new abilities in a terrifying world. By August 2016, Marvel Television had developed a series centered on the New Warriors and began offering it to cable networks and streaming outlets. In April 2017, New Warriors received a series order from Freeform, with Biegel joining as showrunner and writing the first script. By that November, Freeform was no longer airing the series, and it was being shopped around.
The series, consisting of 10 episodes, is planned to premiere in 2018.
|Created by||Kevin Biegel|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Distributor||Disney–ABC Domestic Television|
|Related shows||Marvel Cinematic Universe television series|
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
By the end of August 2016, Marvel Television and ABC Studios were developing a half-hour comedy series based on the New Warriors featuring Squirrel Girl, with the series being offered to cable networks and streaming outlets. In April 2017, Freeform placed a straight-to-series order for Marvel's New Warriors, marking Marvel's first foray into single-camera live-action comedy, and their first half-hour series. Kevin Biegel was also nearing a deal to write a script and serve as showrunner for the series, who Marvel had attached to the project before Freeform ordered the series. Executive Vice President of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory signed on to executive produce the series alongside Biegel.
Karey Burke, Executive Vice President of Programming and Development at Freeform noted the network had interest in working on a Squirrel Girl series before Marvel was ready to move forward with anything, and before Freeform ordered their other Marvel series, Marvel's Cloak & Dagger. Burke also felt Freeform was the best network for New Warriors after Marvel "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... 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." Biegel was confirmed as showrunner in July 2017.
In November 2017, the series was no longer set to air on Freeform. The pilot for the series was said to have "tested through the roof", with high-level executives at Disney taking interest in the project. Marvel wanted the series to air in 2018, but Freeform found that it did not have room in its schedule for the series, and agreed to give the project back to Marvel; the studio would shop the series to new partners who could release the series in 2018, potentially only looking at companies that are Disney-owned, and hoping to secure a two-season pick-up from the new network. In June 2018, Loeb said Marvel was still looking for a network to air the series.
Casting was expected to begin "shortly" after the series was announced in April 2017. Burke noted that actresses Anna Kendrick and Shannon Purser, who had both publicly expressed interest in portraying Squirrel Girl, had been discussed for the part. She added that the network had historically "made a lot of stars", but noted that the character put them in a unique position, saying "The character is such a calling card. I'm interested to see if name actresses feel right for it." By July 2017, Purser and Mae Whitman, who has also publicly expressed interest in the role, were among those that had been seriously considered for the part, with the character having been written with Whitman in mind. Discussions of Whitman were cut short due to her commitments to the series Good Girls. In early July, the series cast was announced, with Milana Vayntrub as Doreen Green / Squirrel Girl, and Derek Theler as the series' co-lead Craig Hollis / Mister Immortal. Also announced were Jeremy Tardy as Dwayne Taylor / Night Thrasher, Calum Worthy as Robbie Baldwin / Speedball, Matthew Moy as Zach Smith / Microbe, and Kate Comer as Deborah Fields / Debrii.
Production on the pilot episode had taken place by November 2017, and production had been scheduled to resume in January 2018 pending the series being picked-up by a new network.
Discussing potential connections to Cloak & Dagger in April 2017, Burke said that the two comic properties are "not particularly connected" given "their tones are so wildly different", adding, "There are many degrees of separation with where they fall in the Marvel universe. But anything is possible with Marvel." In July, Loeb said there were no plans to crossover, nor to crossover across networks with the similarly themed Marvel's Runaways on Hulu. He added that Marvel wanted the series to find its footing before further connecting with other elements of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, saying "You'll see things that comment on each other; we try to touch base wherever we can... It's being aware of it and trying to find a way for it to be able to discuss in a way that makes sense."
On whether the network would consider spinoff series for each of the characters on the New Warriors team, in a similar fashion to Marvel's Netflix series, Burke felt they "absolutely" could given the characters Marvel chose "are all really singular and could each carry the show that they're on. They're bound together ... for as long as we choose with this show but it's conceptually tailor-made for spinoffs." When the series was no longer at Freeform, it was still considered to be likely to produce multiple spin-offs in a similar model to the Netflix shows.
New Warriors is planned to premiere in 2018, with the series consisting of 10 episodes.