Screenwriter Drew Pearce has found some great success at Marvel Studios. After ‘Iron Man 3’ made a big splash (and caused a bit of controversy amongst fans), he went on to pen the most recent Marvel One-Shot short film, ‘All Hail The King’, which appears on the Blu-ray release of ‘Thor: The Dark World’. However, his very first project with the House of Ideas was a much lesser known collection of heroes from the Marvel Universe. Back before ‘The Avengers’ was even part of the equation, Pearce adapted ‘The Runaways’, Brian K. Vaughn’s teen hero team of supervillain offspring. The series was acclaimed among the comic book community, but the film project was put on the shelf after Earth’s Mightiest Heroes took center stage. Recently, the writer opened up once again about this beloved team.
In an interview with Collider, Pearce shared his great love for ‘The Runaways’ and discussed his long history with the team that hasn’t yet resulted in their appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He started out by praising creator Vaughn and went into some of the details of the movie as they related to the comics:
“I adore the comics, and the first thing I ever talked to Marvel about. In my first general meeting with Marvel, they were like, ‘We love No Heroics! If there was anything you’d like to do at Marvel, what would it be?’ and Runaways was at the top of my list. I think Brian [K. Vaughan] is—often a misused word—a genius. Saga currently shows that as well as anything else.
So yeah, I had used the first arc as my template. It’s a hugely cinematic arc. I can’t really comment on how I used the twist, but I think thus far you can see from some of the stuff I’ve done I do quite like a twist. You can definitely presume that some of the zig-zagging that goes on in ‘Runaways’ the comic made it into the movie. “
He went on to say that there was a bit of ‘The Godfather’ in his version of the story, but not in a braggadocious sort of way. Then, he touched on how it played on certain tropes of the superhero genre and presented them in a new and exciting way:
“But I think the big difference being that—as grandiose as it sounds—cinematically I wanted it to reflect (and this is going to sound ridiculous), but for me, ‘Runaways’ can be ‘The Godfather’ of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And The Pride in my version were an even more branded crime syndicate. I think if you then look at the arcs and character twists you were talking about, and that lineage, it’s in a very analogous way.
Plus, what I think is so original about ‘Runaways’ is that it takes sort of the ‘Spider-Man’ conceit of ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ and I actually played that out on the other side of the fence. The kids realize that through the misuse of power by their parents, and then have to find their own journey like it’s a mirror of that. I think there is nothing like it in the world, in the world of superhero comics and in superhero movies. And I think it could be brilliant. As you can hear, I’m so deeply passionate about it, and I have no idea whether or not it gets made.”
He concluded by saying that he and Joss Whedon, who also wrote an excellent arc for the team, have surprisingly never talked about the Runaways since they’ve both been busy with the current state of Marvel’s films. But with the director of ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ as one of the main guiding forces behind this shared universe, hopefully Pearce gets in Whedon’s ear sometime soon so we can finally see this movie get made.
What do you think about Drew Pearce’s take on ‘The Runaways’? Were you disappointed when the film was shelved in favor of ‘The Avengers’? Do you think we’ll ever get to see the team make it to the big screen? Share your thoughts in the comments below.