Back in February, we heard that both Runaways and Cloak and Dagger were beginning to film, bringing television adaptations of Marvel Comics to a younger audience. At the time, there wasn’t much information about if only the pilots were filming, or if either of the series were being shot in totality.
For Runaways this news was sometimes confusing. The show was originally announced as being straight-to-series, but because they filmed a pilot, it wasn’t certain that things behind the scenes hadn’t changed. In February, it was clarified again that the show was ordered straight to series for Hulu. However, it seems that there was still some uncertainty behind the scenes. Last weekend, Gregg Sulkin, who will be bringing the character of Chase Stein to life, mentioned at a panel at Wizard World that the writers’ strike gave the actors a sense of uncertainty about the series.
They shot the pilot back in February, but with the potential writers’ strike looming, they had no idea what their fate would be.
The possibility of a writers’ strike was a unexpected threat to the industry, arising this spring during the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) renegotiation with the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP). Previous strikes have greatly impacted new television shows, either by killing early momentum, or delaying the project until networks are no longer interested. It felt like the MCU would have been immune to the strike, at the time, but it appears that there was more uncertainty with these new shows than we expected. Or, this could be the rational nervousness of young actors that have landed a too-good-to-be-true role in the Marvel family.
Jeph Loeb, the Head of Marvel TV, called Gregg and told him that he was about to hear three words that would change his life forever: “Welcome to Marvel”. Gregg played it cool on the phone but geeked out afterwards.
It would make sense, if you had just landed a role with Marvel, to be waiting for the other shoe to drop. Luckily, the WGA and AMPTP reached an agreement at the last minute, and everything is moving forward as planned. In fact, the rest of the first season of Runaways will be filming soon.
The cast is heading to Los Angeles in three weeks to begin filming the first season of Runaways. Gregg joked that he was excited to be able to sleep in his own bed.
Runaways is one of the few Marvel properties to film in Los Angeles. The only other is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Though most actors make LA their home (and it is still the heart of the film industry), it’s become rare for them to actually get to work there, as well. In fact, he may be working there for a while, as his contract is for seven years.
When Gregg signed onto the show, he wasn’t given the script. He knew Josh Schwartz was involved with the project and that was enough for him to sign on for seven years.
We know Marvel likes to sign actors on for a long time, but it is always nice to know exactly how long. It’s possible that seven years is a standard introductory contract for the television side, which gives insight as to when we could expect changes for some of the folks we have seen for a while, like Chloe Bennett or even Charlie Cox. Sulkin is just getting to know his character, who he says may be the biggest change from the comics.
Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the showrunners of Runaways, plan to stay true to the comics but will also make it their own. Gregg acknowledged how much Chase means to a lot of people and feels the responsibility to do a good job. He says out of all the characters, Chase probably changed the most. In the comics, he’s stereotyped as a dumb jock, but they hope to make Chase more layered in the television series.
If there is one thing that Marvel Television has done well, it is giving characters more dimension as they are brought to life. It is great to see that Runaways is moving forward, and hopefully we’ll have news soon on when we will see these characters on Hulu. Until then, what changes would you like to see in Chase’s character as Sulking brings him to life? Let us know, in the comments!