Marvel Cinematic Universe: Making Room For ‘Runaways’

by Brett White

Bad news, “Runaways” fans. It looks like the feature film adaptation starring Marvel’s youngest and coolest kids won’t leapfrog into theaters anytime soon. And, just like in the source material, it’s all because of adults—specifically the Avengers.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the big-screen success of “Marvel’s the Avengers” has halted any film not closely tied to the Avengers brand. Even having a script by “Iron Man 3” screenwriter Drew Pearce hasn’t helped, as he revealed on the Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith podcast.

“We were really close to being made, and then this movie started to happen called ’The Avengers,'” said Pearce. “Oddly, it pulled focus from the unheard-of brand ’Runaways,’ and it really did kind of consume the Marvel Cinematic Universe.” But even with this focus on the Avengers, surely there’s some way to work this ragtag group of super-kids—all of whom are the children of super-villains fighting to right their wrongs—in somewhere.

Phase 3
Marvel’s Phase 3 will be bookended by “Ant-Man” and “Avengers 3,” but the films in-between remain a mystery. We know there are at least two more films in there as they already have release dates, but we don’t know what they could be. Pearce admitted that “Runaways” could pop up in Phase 3, although that still puts the movie a few years away.

“[The script is] there—maybe it’ll be a Phase Three movie. I really hope so. I’m really proud of it and I think it’ll be a brilliant film, but I think it all depends what Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel, his master plan is.”

Marvel One-Shot
As fans are learning by watching the newly-released “Agent Carter” short film included on “Iron Man 3’s” Blu-ray, the Marvel One-Shots are rapidly expanding in scope and budget. What started out as small conversations or quick three minute vignettes with an action scene has ballooned into shorts lasting over ten minutes with multiple action scenes. If the One-Shots keep getting more complex, there’s no reason why Marvel couldn’t test the waters with a “Runaways” one. Perhaps one featuring the dastardly deeds of the kids’ parents, the Pride, as they dominate the Los Angeles underworld? Maybe one featuring a day in the life of young Molly Hayes after discovering that she’s a mutant—or whatever the heck they’re going to call mutants in the MCU?

“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season 1
As we saw in the pilot, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is not above making tiny references to Marvel minutiae (unless you missed Skye namedropping Project Pegasus or Simmons’ “journey into mystery” reference). They’re also up for taking cross-country treks, and they spent a lot of last night in the Runaways’ west coast turf. Plus, the cast’s powersets fit comfortably within TV budget range—except for Gert’s velociraptor Old Lace, which could be tough to handle. But even if the kids can’t show up, there’s no reason why the Pride—their evil parents—couldn’t pop up for an episode with a hint of things to come.

“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season 3
This is a bit of longterm planning, but “S.H.I.E.L.D.’s” season three debut (if it makes it that far, but it’s off to a good start) will hit after “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” meaning that Ultron’s “son,” the robotic Runaway named Victor Mancha, could be the perfect way to tie-in the TV series to that year’s big Marvel movie. We don’t know how closely “S.H.I.E.L.D.” will interact with the Marvel movies as they hit theaters, but this could be too good of an opportunity to pass up.

How would you work the Runaways into the MCU? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!