Marvel’s Hulu series Runaways has cast its dysfunctional teenage superhero team. Marvel posted the announcement to the official news blog earlier today. The casting announcement is for the six main characters.
Created by Brian K. Vaughn and Adrian Alphona, Marvel Comics series Runaways is the story of a group of teenagers who discover that their parents are part of a villainous organization known as “The Pride.” The teens unite to battle their parents while learning to wield their newfound superpowers and harness their greatest strengths as individuals. Gossip Girl creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are running the Hulu series.
Here’s the rundown of the main cast.
Rhenzy Feliz as Alex Wilder
Alex Wilder, the son of Godfather-esque mob bosses, has no special abilities; what he does have is prodigious logic skills, which he uses as the de facto leader of the Runaways. Marvel describes Alex as “a bit of a loner who wants to reunite his childhood group of friends.” Runaways will be Feliz’s second time on Hulu; he recently played Spencer on Season 2 of the Hulu original series Casual.
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Lyrica Okano as Nico Minoru
Nico Minoru is the daughter of dark wizards; she herself inherits their extensive magical abilities, as well as the Staff of One, which she uses to channel her abilities. Marvel describes Nico as “tough, intelligent, and independent” with a Goth aesthetic that sets her apart from the crowd.
Lyrica Okano bounced around television after starring in a low-budget martial arts film titled Ikenhisu: To Kill With One Blow. Most notably, she portrayed the character Chrissy in Season 2 of the Showtime drama The Affair.
Virginia Gardner as Karolina Dean
Karolina Dean is the only alien in the group. Her parents were Majesdanians, an alien race that harnesses the power of the sun in the form of rainbows. Marvel describes the character as having a “model-perfect exterior” which belies the rumblings of teenage rebellion lying underneath. Initially, Karolina is also the group’s only explicitly gay character.
Sometimes credited as “Ginny Gardner,” Virginia Gardner has appeared on several high-profile television shows, including Glee and How To Get Away With Murder. Her longest run is as the character Lexy Bloom on the ABC family comedy The Goldbergs.
Ariela Barer as Gert Yorkes
Gertrude Yorkes (“Gert” for short) is best described as a combination of two Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters: Willow Rosenberg and Anya Jenkins. Like Willow, Gert is book-smart; like Anya, she is deeply sarcastic, with plenty of zingers commenting on the various situations in which the Runaways find themselves. Marvel’s description of her as a “purple-haired, bespectacled, contemporary riot grrrl” is spot-on as well. She is the daughter of time travelers and forges a mental link with a dinosaur she discovers while raiding her parents’ house.
Ariela Barer was Super Martian Robot Girl on the Nickelodeon children’s series Yo Gabba Gabba!; she was also cast as the younger version of Cece in two episodes of New Girl’s second season. Barer was most recently on Netflix’s widely-acclaimed One Day At A Time remake as Carmen.
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Gregg Sulkin as Chase Stein
Chase Stein is the oldest member (age-wise) of the Runaways, though he’s also probably the least talented. Nonetheless, he exhibits excellent engineering skills, which hides beneath his simpleton exterior. Chase is also hot-headed and a bit of a wild card within the group. In addition to his getaway vehicle Leapfrog, Chase also wields powerful gauntlets called “Fistigons.”
Marvel and Hulu really went the extra mile for Chase. Gregg Sulkin has a long history of young adult television, from his brief stint on Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures to roles in Disney’s The Wizards of Waverly Place and Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars. His most recent role was as main cast member Liam Booker on MTV’s Faking It.
Allegra Acosta as Molly Hernandez
Molly Hernandez is the youngest Runaways member, which earned her the affectionate nickname “Mol.” She’s no slacker, though; her childlike exterior is belied by her superhuman strength and invulnerability.
Molly is the character with the most changes from the comics to the Hulu series. The character’s last name in the comics is “Hayes” but has been changed to “Hernandez” for the show. Additionally, her abilities are mutant in origin and she is a big admirer of the X-Men. These elements likely won’t be included in the Hulu series due to Fox’s current ownership of the X-Men franchise. Similar hand-wringing over the term “mutant” plagued the second Avengers film, which included two high-profile mutants (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch) as part of its plot.
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Acosta has been performing since she was six; her most recent high-profile work was on Nickelodeon’s 100 Things To Do Before High School.
The rest of the cast will be announced at a later date. Marvel’s Runaways will premiere on Hulu sometime in 2018.
[Featured Image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images]