Interview with the Producers of Marvel’s Runaways

Hulu will be dropping Marvel’s Runaways later this month, so we sat down with the producers to discuss the process of adapting Brian K. Vaughn’s infamous comics into a streaming series. Given how popular the books were, producer Jeph Loeb admitted that it had always been at the top of their list. “Everything that we do is always tied to who’s going to be the showrunner, who’s going to be the voice of show, and who has the passion for that,” he explained. And the writing team of Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage (who are responsible for the cult hits Gossip Girl and The O.C.) were just the people to bring that necessary vision to life.

“That was our hope and our dream was to be able to work on this,” Schwartz said of their early meetings with Loeb and Marvel. “And it’s always been one of my favorite books.” He passed that love easily onto Savage, and their respect for the material in evident in the first two episodes of Runaways. In order to more fully tell the story of these six teenagers, the producers and Hulu decided it would be best to lead with the characters and slow down the plot instead of racing right out the gate. Thus the idea of retracing the kids’ steps through the parents’ eyes in the second episode was born. “We came to that pretty early, as we were starting to lay out the season,” Schwartz. confirmed. “Because there’s so many people to set up.” But not every episodes after will be that way. As Savage teased, “You don’t necessarily know at the beginning of the episode how it will be weighted.”

The original creator, Vaughn, wound up being much more hands-on than originally anticipated. He was respectful and supportive of the creative process, but he was also available to give further insight into certain character motivations and plot points. Schwartz also noted that, “there’s a backstory now to the kids that is new, different from the comic, which he was super on-board with.” So whatever changes Runaways may make to its beloved characters, at least we know the author agreed with them.

Of course, any comic reader worth his or her salt hunts for Easter Eggs when watching a show based on their favorite material. And while Schwartz and Savage promise there will be some of those to watch out for, Loeb cautioned that, “We’re not interested in having an Easter egg farm.” It was imperative for them to also include the perspective of someone who isn’t as familiar with the source material. As Savage so eloquently stated, “It was just really important to me that everyone felt welcome to the show. It really hurts my feelings when I watch a show and get a vibe early
on that this isn’t for [me.]” That being said, there will still be enough shout outs and special moments for fans to get excited about. And most significantly, Schwartz promised that the show would be honoring “the spirit of the comic.”

The first three episodes of Marvel’s Runaways will be available through Hulu on November 21st.

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