Earlier this month, I wrote about how Cloak & Dagger could prove to be a big part of Marvel Television going forward. Now, I’m back with a list of potential showrunners worth considering to run the show. However, judging by how far off I was on my list when it came to potential The Defenders showrunners, I’m guessing this list will completely miss the mark in the end.
When it comes to television shows about individuals with super powers? Misfits easily tops the list. It was daring, it was expertly written*, and it was fun. It also didn’t hurt that the series wasn’t afraid to go dark while still maintaining an expertly balanced level of humor throughout. Which is precisely why I’d love to see someone like Overman tackle Cloak & Dagger for Freeform. Is this a possibility? I’d wager no, however, Freeform is currently developing an American re-make of the series so they’re clearly a fan of Overman’s work. The problem here is that Cloak & Dagger may be too much like Misfits for Overman to be interested in – assuming Freeform were to reach out to him. Given the characters and their origin story, it’s going to have a dark feel throughout, even if the network is keen on showcasing a romance between the two characters. Therefore, why not bring in someone like Overman that can tackle the serious while still delivering a unique and twisted take on a superhero story?
*Note: We’re talking the first three seasons here, folks. After that, while the show was still enjoyable, it was definitely uneven.
“Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.”
Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered nearly twenty years ago and is still considered one of the best television shows to hit the air. The reason behind this? Whedon’s skill at taking the crazy (vampire, witches, praying mantis, etc.) and injecting the perfect amount of humanity into it. (“The Body” is still one of the best hours of television you’ll come across today.) These days, you’ll be hard pressed to find a showrunner with as impressive a resume as Whedon. From Buffy and Angel, to Dollhouse and Firefly, Whedon has showcased his knack for taking these out-there ideas and has grounded them, allowing these characters to teeter on the edge between fiction and reality. When it comes to a series like Cloak & Dagger, this is the type of showrunner you want involved in the project – someone that can tackle their insane powers while still delivering a solid arc that delves into their rather dark origin story.
In fact, while thinking of Cloak & Dagger, I constantly kept thinking back to Buffy the Vampire and Dollhouse. These are two shows that I think Cloak & Dagger would be smart to take inspiration from. Inject the crazy, but balance it with humanity. Make it fun, truly explore their powers, just don’t forget to also explore these characters and who they are beneath it all. To me, this is why Whedon would be the perfect choice. While many are quick to point out issues they have with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which I still feel receives far too much hate), it’s important to note that Whedon isn’t the showrunner on that series. He helped to bring it to life, and yes, he wrote and directed the pilot, but the show very much belongs to his brother and sister-in-law, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen.
Of course, with Ike Perlmutter now heading Marvel Television, chances of Whedon coming back to Marvel for a series like Cloak & Dagger are rather slim to none, unfortunately.
If I had to choose a runner-up for Whedon? It’d be Thomas. Much like with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Thomas’ Veronica Mars is still hailed as one of the best TV shows to premiere in recent years. (Granted, many will probably be willing to debate the quality of the third season.) With Thomas currently busy working on CW’s iZombie these days though, it’s highly unlikely he’ll have time to showrun a series like Cloak & Dagger. Of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t include him on my wish-list. There are plenty of showrunners that juggle multiple shows after all.
After seeing what Thomas was able to do with iZombie, I’d actually love to see him tackle a superhero property, and Cloak & Dagger would be the ideal selection – to me, at least. If the network wants to push the romance angle while still offering up a quality superhero series? There are very few showrunners I can see that’d be able to do just that, and Thomas would undeniably be one of them. His work on Veronica Mars – the series and the movie – as well as iZombie prove that he’s perfectly able to deliver something unique for fans. Like Whedon, Thomas has a knack for knowing how to balance the good with the bad. He allows the humor to flow naturally, maintaining a perfect balance of comedy and reality.
I’m probably going to get yelled at for this option, given the reaction Whedon fans have towards her name after Buffy the Vampire Slayer, however, given her work on shows such as Buffy and UnREAL? I’d be curious to see what she could bring to a show like Cloak & Dagger.
Of course, with her insanely busy schedule these days, chances of this one happening are rather slim to none. Noxon is a producer on UnREAL and Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, with another series (Sharp Objects) on the way. Plus, she has also been busy writing screenplays for upcoming feature. So I’m not entirely sure where Cloak & Dagger would fit in there, especially given Freeform has already announced that the series is to premiere sometime next year. So as interesting as it would be to see Noxon return to a genre series, it definitely doesn’t seem feasible at the moment.
“The Prom“, written by Noxon, is still a great Buffy episode, so I can’t ever fully dislike her later work on the series.
One of the things Marvel Television has done so well is bringing in the right showrunners for their projects. Perfect example? Melissa Rosenberg and Jessica Jones. It was the perfect match, leading to not only a downright fantastic first season, but one of Marvel’s best releases to date. When it comes to Cloak & Dagger – especially given the network – it’s going to be just as vital that they really focus on finding the right showrunner. So if we’re going with unpredictable choices here, Sera Gamble would have to be one of my main picks. She has worked on shows such as Supernatural and SyFy’s The Magicians, two shows that would make her pretty damn great pick for the job. Not to mention, like with most of the other showrunners Marvel Television has brought in, Gamble is still relatively ‘unknown’.
If Gamble isn’t an option, however, how about Emily Andras? She’s currently serving as the showrunner on SyFy’s Wynonna Earp – a series that is criminally underrated. (It’s incredibly campy but downright enjoyable.) Given the ratings for the series, I’d imagine a second season isn’t exactly on the table at the moment, making Andras a perfect candidate for Cloak & Dagger. While Freeform will, undoubtedly, be a much stricter network than SyFy, I could honestly see Andras injecting the same sort of excitement from her work on Wynonna Earp into a series like Cloak & Dagger.
The more I think about this option? I really want to see it happen.
Honorable mention (courtesy of Rhiannon!): Ben Blacker.
Blacker doesn’t have nearly as much experience as the others on this list, but as Rhiannon pointed out to me, he does have experience as a comic writer. The one thing that would probably work in someone like Blacker’s favor? It may not come down to experience, but rather the vision sold to the network when looking at potential showrunners.
Who would you like to see picked as the showrunner for Freeform’s Cloak & Dagger? Sound off in the comments below!