Marvel is broadening its approach to television with New Warriors, a new live-action comedy centered on six young adults with unusual abilities who aren't quite ready to be heroes.
The Freeform series is set to debut in 2018, and it marks Marvel's first foray into the half-hour comedy format. Cougar Town's Kevin Biegel has been tapped as showrunner, and Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb — who also serves as an executive producer on The Defenders — will executive produce on Marvel's New Warriors as well.
MTV News caught up with Loeb at the Freeform Upfront this week, and he confirmed that they're currently in the process of casting the roles of Squirrel Girl (an Avengers fangirl who can talk to squirrels), Debrii (a low-level telekinetic), Microbe (who can communicate with germs), Speedball (who launches kinetic balls of energy), Night Thrasher (a shameless vigilante), and Mister Immortal (who can't die, duh). Despite the fact that Squirrel Girl has never been an official member of the New Warriors in the Marvel comic, she's certainly the character with the largest profile heading into production.
When it comes to finding the perfect Doreen Green, a.k.a. Squirrel Girl, Loeb said the criteria is simple: "Someone who's unbeatable. That's the most important part." Casting her pet squirrel, Tippy Toe, is still TBD.
Whether you love Squirrel Girl or had no idea that a hero with the ability to communicate with squirrels even existed, Marvel's New Warriors is more than your average superhero tale. It's a coming-of-age story set in the Marvel Universe, and it features a cast of superpowered misfits who want to make a difference in the world like their heroes, The Avengers, but just aren't there yet.
"We wanted to do a show that commented on what it's like to be somebody who wakes up one day, and no matter what they do, they're not going to get that front-page story," Loeb said. "They're not going to be the heroes that they really want to be. Iron Man saves a cat, and it's a story that everyone follows. These guys go out and try and save the world, and [people are] not really going to get what they're trying to do."
New Warriors follows that uncertain time of entering adulthood, when you feel like you can do everything and nothing all at once. For Loeb, the existential panic that all twentysomethings face was the selling point of the series.
"It's an opportunity to talk about what it's like to grow up in this Marvel Universe," he said. "And those six characters, and the way that we've put them together, particularly featuring Squirrel Girl, I think is going to give people a lot of smiles."
It may go without saying, but as the show has said, in its world, bad guys are just about as terrifying as bad Tinder dates.