Before the cast and crew of Marvel’s Runaways showed off the season 3 premiere, all present on stage for the New York Comic-Con 2019 panel engaged in a wholesome exercise. Executive producer and Marvel Television president instructed each cast and crew to say something they love and appreciate about the person sitting to their left. From that, it was easy to see how strong their sibling-like relationships were three years into working on this show.
The cast members went around and told each other how much they enjoy their company, or how they’ve inspired them. “This is so intimate,” said Ariela Barer, who portrays Gert Yorkes on the show. Nicknames like “Rhenz” for Rhenzy Feliz (who plays Alex Wilder) and “Ginny” for Virginia Gardner (Karolina Dean) were thrown around. Allegra Acosta (Molly Hernandez) would recall how some of them taught each other how to play certain instruments.
It was a lovely and heartwarming sight, even though the events depicted in their show were the opposite.
Absent from the cast, however, was Elizabeth Hurley, who portrays the show’s new villain Morgan le Fay. Hurley joined in via pre-recorded video, on-set and sporting her dark and sexy costume. She addressed the NYCC audience directly, teasing several plot details that were comically redacted via audio bleeps. But from the setting and atmosphere alone, it was clear that Runaways season 3 would have an unusually dark and magical tint to it.
As evident by Hurley’s Morgan le Fay and a preview clip featuring Nico Minoru (played by Lyrica Okano), this season would delve into Nico’s decent in what appeared to be the Dark Dimension. As someone who was annoyed by the first season’s explanation of the Staff of One with science, to see seasons 2 and 3 go deeper into proper Marvel magic is quite curious, but satisfying nonetheless.
And as a fun gag, Loeb had Okano start up the premiere screening with her own “magical abilities.” In classic, Marvel (and Comic-Con) fashion, all were instructed to not take out their phones, lest they unleash the wrath of security.
Being barred from spoiling anything in the first episode of Runaways season 3, there isn’t too much I can say without incurring said wrath, but what I saw was fairly consistent from what I liked about the first two seasons. It was pretty clear that despite the presence of some obviously malevolent beings in the story that the Pride, the parents of the Runaways, were still very clearly antagonistic forces; the question posed to the kids, however, is the degree of force they’re willing to use to stop their parents.
The cast and showrunners returned on stage after the screening to field some questions. It was clear from the audience how much of an impact the comic series had on them; many stated that the series was their favorite comic book title, and one questioner even told the panel that she had named her daughter after Molly. But one unexpected questioner, even to the panel, was none other than Brian K. Vaughn, the co-creator of the original comics. With his stealthy presence, he was able to hear the praises of his title firsthand.
Much of the talk from the panel involved the show’s upcoming crossover with Freeform’s Cloak & Dagger, with the cast members saying that the presence of stars Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph “wakened [their] spirits] on set. While Marvel Television held out before, Loeb said that for season 3, they finally decided to reach into their “bag of tricks.”
While Marvel Television has had a rough 2019, Runaways appears to be a respite. It was hard for even the most jaded Marvel fan to not smile at anecdotes about Gregg Sulkin tying Virginia Gardner’s shoelaces together, while Rhenzy Feliz somehow caught the slack for the deed. Or how the cast members were laughing so much from filming a scene that they had to be taken aside for a “pep talk.” Or how a late scene in season 3 involved a fair amount of improvisation, a scene where the kids can “just be kids.”
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until December 13, when all of the Marvel secrecy for Runaways is lifted on Hulu.