Jeph Loeb Wants Marvel's Runaways To Last 5 Years, At Least

Marvel TV's Jeph Loeb at San Diego Comic Con.
Marvel TV's Jeph Loeb at San Diego Comic Con. Getty Images

Even though Daredevil, Luke Cage and Agents of SHIELD made it to production first, Runaways was always on Marvel’s radar, Jeph Loeb told Player.One at New York Comic Con.

Go back five years and look up when Marvel Television was in its infancy. “There’s no secret about this,” said Loeb. “People put together lists that they wanted to have, and consistently you'll see Runaways was in the top five, even the top three, and that speaks to what Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona created.”

Loeb thinks Runaways rose to popularity because it’s a story people can understand and relate to across the board. Every teenager thinks their parents are evil… so what if they actually were? The Runaways, a fifteen year old comic, had storylines built on women and characters from diverse life experiences.

“It was really something that was a jump away from things that people were doing in comics at that time,” Loeb said. “Whenever Marvel Television starts talking about a property we are going to do, it begins with trying to find the showrunners that have the vision and passion for material. We aren't in this to make 10 episodes, we are hoping this is going to last for five years, at least.”

That’s when The OC executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage came along and “tried not to screw it all up” (their words, not mine). With Runways already internally being referred to Marvel’s version of The OC, when Schwartz and Savage expressed interest, it was a done deal.

“I’m not a comic book person, but I fell in the love with the world that Brian and Adrian created,” Savage told Player.One at NYCC. “I love the characters, the strong female characters, the diversity. Every issue had an amazing cliffhanger at the end, the story moved quickly, it had a super contemporary voice, like, ‘LOL’ clever. It felt like an amazing opportunity to try and take that and translate it into something real.”

The next step was choosing the right platform. Schwartz and Savage said larger networks may have forced them to only focus on the kids, or made other restrictive demands.

“Nobody is pressuring us, ‘So can Pride be a law firm and can maybe someone be a detective? We are free to tell the story. Hulu was open to the idea of telling that balanced story, and also have that focus on adults,” Savage said, before Schwartz interrupted, “We can say shit and shitballs.”

That freedom to take the necessary time to create a series that could last was the main reason Marvel chose Hulu, especially when Vaughn revealed the reason the comics moved so fast was because he thought they were getting cancelled with every issue. “So we had the opportunity to slow down that first volume and dig in,” Schwartz said. “That was something Hulu encouraged.”

Given the positive reviews and the fact Savage, Schwartz and Loeb are all on board to take their time with Runways, we can only hope Marvel’s seasons-long vision plays out.

The first three episodes of Marvel’s Runaways are now on Hulu.

Join the Discussion
Top Stories