Marvel TV news updates regarding the Cloak and Dagger live-action TV show at Freeform, formerly known as ABC Family, has designated Switched at Birth’s John Ziffren as the rumored showrunner, according to sources with Screen Geek. In April, the series had been confirmed as a live-action adaptation and is currently in pre-production.
Further updates came in August when Marvel TV head Joseph Loeb spoke with Kevin Smith and Greg Grunberg on their Geeking Out TV show. He had confirmed that the crew had “finally put pen to paper” for the series, according to Daily Super Hero.
The reason behind the choice was in regard to Ziffren’s take on the premise as Marvel’s previous take was considered “a bit dated.”
“Cloak and Dagger’s showrunner is ABC Family/Freeform vet John Ziffren. He was picked because of his new take on the premise (as opposed to Marvel’s earlier plans of setting the show in a post-Katrina New Orleans, a setup that Freeform and Marvel now feel is a bit dated, as well as more expensive than Los Angeles), focusing more on the romantic aspect of the characters.”
The IMDB site does have him listed as executive producer although Marvel never confirmed it. He’s known for his works on classics such as Blossom and the pilot episode of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose.
The Freeform TV show is touted as a “superhero love story” between an interracial couple that had appeared in the likes of Spider-Man and X-Men.
The Creation of Cloak and Dagger
Marvel’s characters had been created by writer Bill Mantlo with artwork by Ed Hannigan. Mantlo described how the idea of Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson came to light after a visit to Ellis Island, according to Sequart.
“They came in the night, when all was silent and my mind was blank. They came completely conceived as to their powers and attributes, their origin and motivation. They embodied between them all that fear and misery, hunger and longing that had haunted me on Ellis Island.”
Marvel And The Lesser Known Characters
To quote Tom Cruise from A Few Good Men, “The hits just keep on comin’!” You see, Marvel Studios are now delving into the obscure stories of the classic comic book genre. The first Iron Man movie character wasn’t too well known back in the day and with James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, even more so. The latter was a considerable risk that Marvel Studios had intended on taking. The results were incredible.
Now the small screen comes with Netflix’s Daredevil, Jessica Jones, this month’s Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and finally The Defenders team-up. Don’t forget Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
No Real Need For Marvel To Use Existing Stories
There is an opportunity for Marvel here to bring something to the small screen world. Two characters that aren’t obligated to meet expectations when it comes to an epic story to the likes of the Marvel Civil War. In fact, there is nothing really all that epic about them in the comic book series. There is also no need to appeal to any real fan-base as they haven’t had much of a following to begin with, according to Vulture.
The Cloak and Dagger origin story tells a tale of two runaway teenagers who first appeared a 1982 issue of Spider-Man. Cloak has the ability to teleport others while Dagger can shoot daggers consisting of light.
The significance of it all when it comes to Marvel is that they seem to have no concern to adapt to the original stories. Vulture expressed that their obscurity is so veiled, it matters not to Marvel the dependence on existing stories.
“Marvel doesn’t really see the characters’ existing stories as that important to the fabric of the Marvel mythos.”
So from there, does it sound like Marvel can create for Cloak and Dagger their own “mythos”? Is this telling of Marvel’s methods in regard to the confidence they have in their abilities to appeal to the masses?
The superhero genre is a new experience for Freeform, but Shadowhunters has already established the fantasy genre. This could bode well for the duo.
Do you think Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger has what it takes for a new Marvel TV show?
[Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Images]