Marvel expands onto another TV network and market with a live-action Cloak and Dagger series
Well, it looks like we are going to have to update our 64 TV Shows Based on Comics article once again, and make it 65 shows.
Variety is reporting that Freeform, the channel formerly known as ABC Family, has greenlit a live-action Cloak and Dagger TV series, based on the Marvel characters. The network is apparently so hot on the idea that has already put in a straight-to-series order.
The series doesn’t have a writer, showrunner, or stars yet, but given the network’s commitment, those should all come very soon.
The comic characters have gone through a few incarnations and retcons since their 1983 debut, but the main story remains the same. Teenagers Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen were captured and experimented on by criminals hoping to create super powered people. They succeeded, but not in the way the criminals hoped.
Johnson became engulfed in darkness and was given the ability to absorb matter, while Bowen was given the ability to produce daggers made of light. Johnson took the name Cloak and Bowen Dagger, and the two formed a romance.
Along the way it was revealed that the duo were mutants and the experiments activated their mutant genes, but Marvel’s Ultimate line went back to the idea that they were just two kids. Given that Fox owns the rights to all live-action mutant characters, the show will likely opt for science over genetics.
According to Variety, the show is being described as an interracial romance between two teens from very different backgrounds who find themselves with incredible powers. The story is being positioned for a younger audience, but it should have mass appeal.
More importantly than the show itself though, is the potential it may hold for others.
This will mark the third network to air live-action Marvel TV characters, joining ABC and Netflix. It’s unclear at this time if the show will be part of the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it seems likely. Freeform is an independent network, but ultimately it is under the Disney umbrella. Basically it will just need to approve its own request, even if it comes from very different people.
If the other two networks are any indication, and assuming the show is a success, other shows will likely follow onto Freeform – just as Agent Carer and Marvel’s Most Wanted are following Agents of SHIELD, and just like the Netflix Marvel universe may expand beyond the five planned shows to include others like The Punisher.
Freeform would also potentially open up a new avenue for Marvel characters. Netflix is focused on the grittier, adult characters, ABC is staying in the middle with smart shows for all ages, and Freeform could end up as the home for characters meant for a younger audience.
Marvel has hundreds of characters that would fit this mold. Younger teams like the Young Avengers and New Warriors would be a better fit for Freeform than they would for ABC or Netflix, and that would all help to further expand the MCU. There has already been talk of a TV adaption of the comic series Runaways, and Freeform would be the best available fit for it.
A time frame hasn’t been mentioned yet, but later this year or early next seems like a good possibility.