Ever since rebranding from ‘ABC Family’, Freeform has been trying to slowly re-establish its network, taking a page from The CW’s book by targeting young adults with both romantic dramas and superhero properties, including Cloak & Dagger and New Warriors from Marvel. While the former has already filmed its pilot, we know very little about New Warriors, other than the fact that Squirrel Girl will play a key role in the 10-episode first season. An interview with the Freeform Exectuive VP of Production, Karey Burke, has offered a bit more insight into the upcoming project and its influences.
When asked how the deal with Marvel came together, Burke pointed out that Freeform was a great home for Marvel’s young-adult properties, featuring heroes that weren’t quite ready to do any Avenging:
“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.”
It seems a big reason why New Warriors was ordered straight to series was the involvement of Kevin Biegel of Enlisted and Scrubs fame. Biegel was apparently drawn to the project due to the team’s new leader, Doreen Green aka Squirrel Girl:
“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.”
The VP also gave some insight into the casting process for Squirrel Girl, noting that actresses like Shannon Purser from Stranger Things and Anna Kendrick, who have both expressed interest in playing the character, are certainly being considered. With the shorter episode count, shelling out the extra money for an actress like Kendrick might not be totally out of the question.
“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.”
Furthermore, while the show’s title is New Warriors, there seems to be a lot of inspiration coming from the Great Lake Avengers, a team consisting mostly of underdogs and other colorful characters that would stick out in a regular Avengers line-up.
“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.”
The GLA influence was further mentioned by Kevin Biegel, who thanks writer Dan Slott not just for creating Squirrel Girl, but the Great Lakes Avengers as well:
— kevinbiegel (@kbiegel)
With Burke’s mention of spin-off shows, it seems likely that Freeform has big plans for their Marvel shows, potentially creating their own sprawling corner of the MCU to compete with The CW’s “Flarrowverse” of DC heroes.
What do you think about Freeform building a stable of Marvel TV shows? What members do you want to see join the team? Who should play Squirrel Girl? Sound off in the comments below!
Source: The Hollywood Reporter