Marvel Announces New Warriors TV Comedy Featuring Squirrel Girl
Is the world ready for eating nuts and kicking butts? We shall soon see. Marvel has put the greenlight on a New Warriors live-action comedy series set to feature none other than Squirrel Girl.
Back in August of last year, TV Line had a report saying Marvel was working on a New Warriors comedy with Squirrel Girl. Both Marvel and ABC Studios declined to comment at the time but The Hollywood Reporter had the official exclusive this morning saying the show will have a home on Freeform (previously ABC Family) which is owned by Disney.
“In a competitive situation with other cable and streaming outlets bidding, the younger-skewing Disney-owned cable network has handed out a straight-to-series order for New Warriors, the comic book powerhouse’s first 30-minute live-action comedy,” THR reports. “Cougar Town and Scrubs alum Kevin Biegel is near a deal to pen the script and serve as showrunner on the comedy.” And the official summary:
New Warriors revolves around about six young people with powers living and working together. With powers and abilities on the opposite end of the spectrum of The Avengers, the New Warriors want to make a difference in the world … even if the world isn’t ready. With Freeform focused on a group dubbed “becomers” — those experiencing a series of firsts in life including first loves and first jobs — New Warriors explores the journey into adulthood, except in this world, they’re not quite super and not yet heroes and the guys can be as terrifying as bad dates.
You may recall Marvel already has another superhero project set for the network, a Cloak & Dagger adaptation starring Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph in the lead roles. THR says New Warriors will be a 10-episode comedy set to launch in 2018 and it will star Marvel’s Squirrel Girl. It’s slightly odd considering that while she’s a fan of them, she’s not been a part of the New Warriors team (they’re like a younger version of The Avengers). I hear this project had been in development as an ensemble for many years. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, written by Ryan North and illustrated by Erica Henderson, kicked the character into super popularity since and is likely the direct reason for her prominence in the announcement.
For a while, a Squirrel Girl film rumor had been making the rounds. I was never sure if Marvel had serious plans but the fans certainly went nutty for it. Comedic actor Anna Kendrick had expressed interest in the role and director Edgar Wright was all for it. More recently a fans took to the idea of Stranger Things and Riverdale actor Shannon Purser getting the role. While Marvel’s Phase Four is fairly wide open at the moment (at least in public knowledge), I think Squirrel Girl on TV rules out her addition to the film universe.
“Marvel’s New Warriors have always been fan favorites and now particularly with the addition of Squirrel Girl, they are Marvel Television favorites as well,” Marvel head of TV Jeph Loeb said. “After the amazing experience we’ve had with Freeform on Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger we can’t think of a better place for our young heroes.”
Karey Burke, executive VP of programming and development at Freeform spoke a bit to THR saying “Our head of development wore her Squirrel Girl hat in the pitch, which may have put us over the top. We’ve been longtime fans.”
The more we got to know Marvel and the more comfortable they got with us as the home for their young adult IP, these conversations became easier. 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. I wanted to be in business with Marvel when I first got here but I didn’t want to chase them just to chase them. 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.
And asked whether the two Freeform shows would connect like other Marvel TV projects have, Burke said: “If you know these two properties, they’re not particularly connected. There are many degrees of separation with where they fall in the Marvel universe. But anything is possible with Marvel. Their tones are so wildly different. Cloak is this angst-filled achingly beautiful heartfelt romantic drama. And Squirrel Girl is a balls-out comedy.”
Burke added that they hope Squirrel Girl will become an “iconic heroine for audiences.” You can read more at The Hollywood Reporter.