We interviewed the cast and showrunners of Marvel’s Runaways and learned some terrifying and exciting news about season 3!
Marvels’ Runaways took New York Comic Con by storm this year with an explosive panel and some high-quality interviews, worthy of the scale of the season they’re putting together. As Josh Schwartz, one of the showrunners, put it: “It’s by far the biggest season we’ve ever done, in terms of the stakes of the show, the casualties of this season, the visual effects, the magic, the dinosaurs still represented, aliens… it’s awesome. Huge.”
While we can’t tell you about the entire first episode they screened at the panel (it was a first time for the cast, too, as they had never seen the episode!), we can share some of the intriguing tidbits we learned about season 3 of Marvel’s Runaways, which will become available on Hulu on December 13. The new trailer is also out!
What is everyone up to?
Allegra Acosta, who plays Molly, said: “For Molly, it’s a really wonderful season because she’s travelling on her own and going off on this course independently. She’s left off extremely anxious and she wants to be right with Gert immediately… She really wants to protect her, and wants to go save her. But also she’s extremely weary about this new character that we have, Xavin… She doesn’t know what they are about, doesn’t know how to feel about them.”
In season 3, she’ll have to “inherit the trait of being responsible” while going through “a battle with her innocence.”
Gregg Sulkin wasn’t too into standing in his underwear for “way too many days.” But he’s also more and more impressed by where Marvel’s Runaways is taking his character: “Josh and Stephanie have done a great job of respecting the comic books, and respecting the comic book fans, but also making things a little more complex for the TV version.”
This he sees shine through particularly through Chase’s character development: “His whole life he’s had to bite his tongue, he can’t talk back to his dad, a lot of him is pent-up frustration and anger, and so over the course of the show, especially in season 3, you then see Chase finally stepping into who he is and who he’s going to become.”
As for the fistigons? They’re getting an upgrade — and apparently they’re a lot more comfortable than they used to be (they used to cut up his fingers).
Rhenzy Feliz said that Alex puts up a lot more walls this season, and that comes with its own challenges — but it’s not the first time they’ve come up: “The sacrifices he’s willing to make, I wouldn’t necessarily. For example, in season 1, when they decide ‘Okay, let’s just leave without Karolina,’ that’s not necessarily the mentality I would have.” He also mentioned, “Alex’s fate in the comics” during the panel, and while he tried to write it off as hypothetical, it sets off alarm bells for anyone who knows what happens in the comics…
Here are the real important questions, though: Will Alex finally get his own bedroom? Why doesn’t he have a bedroom? Feliz is just as indignant as we are. “You tell me! Everyone gets a room but me, okay, got it. I guess they’ve got to accommodate the couples. No, he doesn’t get a bedroom.”
Karolina, meanwhile, according to Virginia Gardner, “leaves behind her faith a bit. I think she feels a bit betrayed by it and what it ended up standing for. She gets closer to her mom again, too. I think all the Runaways get closer to their parents again this season. We do have to team up with them a few times. I think part of growing up is understanding why your parents make the mistakes they made and learning to forgive, and some of that starts to happen this season.”
Ariela Barer said, “There’s a lot of inner turmoil with Gert about whether she is a superhero or not, and what being a hero means to her. So, there’s a lot of push and pull with her internally about that. So, maybe being a hero is going into activist mode, and helping people on a larger scale of policy changes and stuff like that. Maybe being a hero is going on the streets and helping the individual person. There are a couple of moments where Gert learns that maybe her real powers are just her words. She gets a lot done when she can just sit face-to-face with someone and let it all out.”
She thinks this sends an important message. “This newer generation of teens just care so much about all the right things, and Gert just cares so much, and that’s such a relatable thing, of wanting to help and maybe not always doing the right thing, but wanting to, and maybe doing it better next time.”
Gert will develop her powers more this season — both the power of her words, and her connection to Old Lace — but Nico will have a parallel journey that won’t be quite as nice.
Lyrica Okano went through a lot of darkness with her character this season: “This season, Nico deals with learning what it means to sacrifice for the ones you love, and that was the reason she resented her parents so much for the first two seasons. Like, why do they do the things that they do? They gave up so much of their morals because they wanted to protect Nico.”
Her biggest ally? The staff. Her biggest threat? The staff. And her emotions are finally getting the best of her. “She feels so much and she doesn’t know how to express it. I think that explains why she wears so much makeup, why she is goth. I relate to that because as a teenager I didn’t know how to deal with all the feelings that I had, and express those feelings, so you build a hard shell — and that’s Nico.”
As for Nico and Karolina’s relationship, which is a big focus of season 3 of Marvel’s Runaways: “I know the fans are nervous, and they’re right to be!”
We asked the showrunners the one question we’ve been dying to ask since season 1: Will we finally get to see some time travel? Shwartz said, “We can’t answer that,” but he also seemed to nod!
Plus, Elizabeth Hurley joins Marvel’s Runaways this season as the new villain — a powerful witch that deals with dark magic, and seems to be powerfully connected to Nico.
Stephanie Savage says that she was the perfect choice: “We were looking for someone to play a really clever, charismatic, witty, mean witch — if she was British, all the better.” Plus, she fit right into Morgan LeFay’s over-the-top outfit with no effort!
Diversity done right
The actors who play Molly and Gert had a lot to say about how Marvel’s Runaways gets diversity right. Acosta said that Runaways originally introduced the characters as stereotypes… but then developed them into an amazingly complex, diverse group. She particularly enjoyed bringing her Latinx heritage into Molly’s story:
“I always talk to the writers and make sure that it’s not because they want to check a box, and make sure that it’s genuine. When I read [the Quinceañera scene from season 2] at first I was like, ‘Oh, are they going to stereotype this?’ but walking into the set, everyone did it with so much grace… they didn’t do it as if it was going to be a Sweet Sixteen: They took it as if it’s a part of American culture, which our culture is. It was a Quinceañera that showed a celebration of this girl growing up, and family is such a big part of our culture.”
She also said that she helped out to ensure the Spanish in season 2 wasn’t awkward. “I always want to root for my culture and represent it accurately.”
Barer, meanwhile, lauded the importance of having so many different female characters on screen. “When I was growing up, there wasn’t really a lot for me to look at and find myself everywhere. It wasn’t like I could just pick. It was either I cared about the girl character, or I cared about the Mexican character, but it wasn’t like I had many options, and this is who I actually relate to as a person. And that can be very empowering to watch, when you can actually choose based on personality and not identity. Although identity is also important!”
What about Gert and Chase?
Sulkin knows exactly what motivates this ship. “Chase’s love and respect for Gert is the fact that she’s a very independent woman, and that she’s very driven, and she’s definitely stubborn. She could do anything and he would still love her. Love is a very tough emotion, and you can’t make that disappear, even if you tried to. It’s one of life’s most powerful forces, in my opinion. Chase definitely has the lovebug.
“It’s a very important relationship for TV audiences to see. We’ve been sort of playing into stereotypes for many years, and I think that hopefully people watch their relationship and realize that two people who are so different, who were raised different with two different mentalities and two different traditions, can still be in a relationship through communication… no matter the skin color, the race, sexual orientation… you look at Nico and Karolina, I think the show has done a good job of trying to educate our youth. They need to be watching healthy relationships on TV because that’s potentially what they’re going to look up to.”
That being said, Acosta told us what to expect this season: “Expect the slowest burn. The slowest warm tingle. It’s a lot of work to come back from something like that. You have to put in hard work to regain someone’s trust.”
The crossover with ‘Cloak and Dagger’
Possibly the most exciting part of season 3 is the recently announced crossover episode between Runaways and Cloak and Dagger! The cast and showrunners are extremely excited about it, just like the fans.
But it wasn’t easy to plan, even though it was a big part of Runaways’ concept from the beginning. Jeph Loeb, executive producer and head of Marvel TV, pointed out:
“In comics, you just draw [the crossover] in. In production, it often has to do with people’s availability, but also more importantly, is the story right for it? And Marvel tends to in the first season want to make sure that the audience is getting to know the characters. Last season it was really a situation where both shows were shooting at the same time. And this time around, we looked at it and looked at what’s going on, and it ties in very nicely with some of the things that happen…”
Schwartz added: “The things that Cloak is wrestling with and the things that Nico is wrestling with really start to overlap.”
The special effects overlap, too. Gardner was happy that Olivia Holt, who plays Dagger, also knew what it was like to have a bunch of lights glued to her and be plugged into a wall nearby. She loved seeing how their powers complement each other.
Would they consider doing a reverse crossover, where the Runaways go to New Orleans? Well, there’s a lot more of the Runaways… and there’s also a dinosaur to consider. Also, Sulkin doesn’t seem too keen on going to New Orleans! He likes to stick to L.A. But everyone seemed to have a gleam in their eye, which to us, confirms that we’ll have another season for both shows to be excited about.
All 10 episodes of season 3 of Marvel’s Runaways will arrive Friday, December 13 on Hulu.