Marvel TV Watch: 'Cloak & Dagger,' 'Runaways' Bosses Reveal Season 2 Plans
Welcome back to The Hollywood Reporter's Marvel TV Watch, a rundown of all things Marvel on TV. All year round, we'll highlight all the major twists, epic fights, new mysteries, exciting castings and everything else that goes down on Marvel series on the small screen, no matter the network or streaming site. This week, we're dissecting that Cloak & Dagger season one finale and what that ending means for its newly-ordered season two, as well as visiting the set of Runaways to see how the Hulu series is ready to lean into the comics more.
Cloak & Dagger
It's a good thing Marvel and Freeform already ordered a second season of Cloak & Dagger. After taking a full 10-episode season to turn Tandy (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone (Aubrey Joseph) into the superpowered heroes fans know them as from the comic books, the two interconnected teens finally embraced their abilities and saved New Orleans in the season one finale. Now the series can go pedal to the metal in bringing their comic book destinies to life. But with Tyrone still wanted for a murder he didn't commit, he was forced to go into hiding ... in the exact same church Tandy used to live. Tandy, on the other hand, decided to move back home in a strange twist of fate as the future heroes known as Cloak and Dagger swapped circumstances.
"They're on opposite sides of the coin again," executive producer Joe Pokaski tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Now that they've come into their own, season two is about becoming vigilantes in earnest and how do you do that in the real world. It's really about social justice, learning how to stand up and potentially standing up too much where you cross the line and become a villain yourself."
Pokaski is definitely talking about Tandy and Tyrone as they learn to master their powers and fight for the greater good, but he also could be referring to Brigid O'Reilly (Emma Lahana). After she was shot in the finale by her fellow detective, the corrupt Connors (J.D. Evermore), her fate was left up in the air. "We see someone that looks a lot like O'Reilly coming out of the water so that's obviously something we're leaning into from the Cloak & Dagger mythology," Pokaski says, referring to Brigid's comic book legacy as the dangerous antihero Mayhem. "It's been interesting for us to set up Brigid O'Reilly as the friend to Cloak and Dagger in season one and then in season two she will be something slightly different," he confirms.
Two other characters' fates were also left on a cliffhanger in the finale. Mina (Ally Maki) wasn't seen again after Tandy somehow got away from her after she was infected by the homicidal "terrors" energy. "As far as Mina is concerned, like the rest of the people that were turned into terrors, she did revert the minute Tandy and Tyrone expelled the energy into the sky," Pokaski says. "But we're going to pick up with her in season two as someone who felt, as a woman, violated by this thing and as a scientist, who might be able to find some answers."
Mina is going to be the conduit for Cloak & Dagger as the series explores some new themes in season two — like women's rights and issues — along with continuing to drive the conversation forward about race in America. "We are very fortunate to get back almost our entire writing staff and it all starts with representation," Pokaski says. "So we make sure our writers room is filled with as many people who do not look like me as possible. We have really good writers who allow ourselves a wide enough berth to have real conversations and find the truth across our experiences. That's the key; it's what people talk about a lot but we try to actually execute it. Next year we're hoping to not only talk about race but also talk about some issues, some things that happen to young girls and women in this country that aren't talked about enough."
The final character whose fate was left hanging by the end of the season one finale was Detective Connors, after Tyrone used his cloak to make the corrupt killer disappear. "There is something steeped in the Cloak & Dagger lore in the idea of going inside Tyrone's cloak," Pokaski says. "He's the first person that's been sucked into Tyrone's cloak. We're going to learn more about what happens to you when you are in season two."
As for that Stark and Rand shout out in the finale, that definitely blurs the lines of how Cloak & Dagger fits into the larger MCU and other Marvel TV series. "Ideally I'd love Tandy and Tyrone on the big screen and small screen as utility players the way they are in comics," Pokaski says. "There are a lot of legal hurdles and corporate barriers to doing that, but in an ideal world it would be fun to see Aubrey and Olivia cross over with the Runaways or cross over to the Netflix universe or even into the films. Cloak and Dagger show up very early on in the Runaways comic and there's hopefully there's some karma we can fulfill there."
With that idea in mind, The Hollywood Reporter visited the set of Runaways to find out if a rumored crossover could happen this season. But unfortunately it doesn't sound like fans should be holding their collective breath for any official crossover with Cloak & Dagger in season two. "We'll have a reference that's late in the season that will probably be our first real bread crumb that connects to the MCU," executive producer Josh Schwartz revealed. If it's just a reference, it's probably too much to hope for any onscreen character-swapping ... at least, for now.
Standing in the brand new underground hostel set for season two, Scwhartz was joined by executive producer Stephanie Savage, along with the stars to reveal how the kids finally running away from home in the season one finale makes Runaways into a entirely new show in season two ... one that's much closer to the comic book source material. "Season two is a very different version of the show with the kids living together, the information they have about their parents vs. in a way, season one was like a murder mystery of them figuring out what was going on," Savage said.
One of the biggest changes comes in the way of the main location, the underground hostel the kids take refuge in, as its ripped right from the pages of the comics. Underneath Griffith Park, the dilapidated mansion covered in graffiti used to be home to a magician as well as '80s punk squatters before the runaways take it over in season two, now that they've learned the truth about their parents. "It's very cool how we find it and you'll see that in the first episode," star Allegra Acosta said. Living on their own in a rundown mansion, the sheltered teens are going to have to fend for themselves for the first time ever, and it won't come easy. Star Lyrica Okano joked that the kids will have to "learn to adult" this season, as they move into the hostel.
But the new location isn't the only thing Runaways is bringing to life from the pages. "There are some characters who appear in the book who will be appearing this season on the show that we're very excited about," Schwartz said, before noting that they couldn't reveal any details just yet. However, "they're really popular, exciting characters," Savage added.
And now that the kids have actually run away and know about their individual powers, Runaways can finally get into the stories that fans have been waiting to see since the first season began. "It's going to accelerate. We are now running with our kids," Schwartz said. "We are now into that part of the story and that part of the adventure. The focus shifts now to these kids trying to survive on the streets, and they're kids from Brentwood — they are not really used to living on the streets of Los Angeles. There is a greater tension and momentum in where we are at the part of the story."
That also means the teens will be using their powers more, something that fans were craving more of in the first season. "Everything about this season is bigger, bolder," Schwartz said. "We're really embracing that element of the show this year."
Runaways is currently in production for season two, expected to stream on Hulu this winter. Cloak & Dagger will return for season two in spring 2019 on Freeform.