Yesterday had Marvel TV fans going crazy when we finally got a release date for Netflix's upcoming team-up miniseries The Defenders, and now the news has dropped that the in-development small screen take on Squirrel Girl and Marvel's New Avengers has found its home. Freeform, which entered the comic book storytelling world last year, has surprisingly put in a straight-to-series order for New Warriors, and it's an important first for Marvel.
That's right, New Warriors and its bushy-tailed spotlight hero will be the very first scripted TV comedy in the Marvel universe. Specifics aren't plentiful, but the show will center on six powered and able young people who aim to make the world a better place, even though they're absolute novices as compared to the mega-team The Avengers. The show will mesh a coming-of-age element into the fun, and audiences will see the characters entering a point of their lives when love and hormones and things are popping up. I'm hoping for cringe-worthy moments at every turn.
While the actual lineup of heroes -- or pre-roes if you want to go that route -- is still being kept under wraps, everyone involved was smart enough to make it known that we're definitely going to get our fix of live-action Squirrel Girl. The fan favorite character really broke out in recent years with her acclaimed solo comic series, championed for its humorous tone, and it'll be former Cougar Town and Scrubs writer/producer Kevin Biegel is being set up to take on writing and showrunner duties.
I admittedly wouldn't have assumed Freeform would be where it landed. When the project went into development last year, the partnership between Marvel and ABC Studios had many thinking the studio would give Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. another comic counterpart on ABC proper. But considering the NBC's DC Comics comedy Powerless hasn't done much to win over audiences or critics since its debut, it's entirely possible the powers that be were a tad more skeptical to put this on a network TV scale.
Not that Freeform is a problematic choice. It's owned by ABC, after all, and the channel is currently putting a Cloak and Dagger TV series together to air in 2018. That series will be a more emotionally invested take on the romance between its central pair, as well as their superhero adventures, so Marvel is clearly comfortable letting Freeform be a testing ground where it can stretch its genre muscles. Here's hoping something horror-based comes next, but is better than Dead of Summer was.
Squirrel Girl made headlines before the TV show went into development when actress Anna Kendrick expressed interest in playing the character, which still seems like a perfect choice. Fans also then boosted Stranger Things favorite Shannon "Barb" Purser into that dreamcasting list, too. And when THR interviewed Freeform's executive vice president of programming and development Karey Burke, she spoke a bit about casting for the chipper hero.
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.
It's not clear when we'll hear about that casting, or when New Warriors will end up making it to Freeform in full, but we will likely be waiting until some point in 2018 to get our eyes on it all. In the meantime, there's lots of other excellent series heading to TV in the near future, and you can find them all on our midseason premiere schedule and our summer TV guide.