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'Marvel's Runaways' finale postmortem: Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage talk Season 1 ending

Kelly Woo
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
The cast of Marvel’s Runaways (Photo: Greg Lewis/Hulu)

Marvel’s Runaways finally lived up to its name.

In the Season 1 finale, the six teens confronted their parents in an epic, emotional showdown at the school construction site. Alex (Rhenzy Feliz), Karolina (Virginia Gardner), Nico (Lyrica Okano), Gert (Ariela Barer), Chase (Gregg Sulkin), and Molly (Allegra Acosta) refused to back down until the dastardly Jonah (Julian McMahon) showed up. Karolina fought with her power against her true father, but was no match for him … yet.

After rescuing Karolina, the kids did what they do early on in the Marvel comics version — run away from home. Meanwhile, their parents made a new, wary alliance to take down Jonah and get their kids back.

Hulu recently renewed Runaways for a second season. Yahoo Entertainment talked to show creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage about the finale and what’s coming next.

Yahoo Entertainment: Did you ever joke about just not having the kids run away?
Schwartz: First of all, we don’t joke. We’re all business, all the time. No joking! (Laughs) But no, we never joked about that. We wanted to explore the full dynamic of these kids living under the same roof as their parents and being suspicious of them and the parents being suspicious of the kids. Once they run away, then that story is over, and we can never tell that story. So, we knew they were going to run, and we wanted to get as much mileage as we could before that happened.

Savage: And Season 1 had a very tight timeline. The first and second episodes told the same story from two different points of view. So, the whole season probably fits into a couple of weeks.

Marvel’s Runaways (Photo: Greg Lewis/Hulu)

That finale’s showdown scene was great. How much of it was in the script by Quinton Peeples and how much did director Marc Jobst bring to it?
Schwartz: Scenes like that are always a true collaboration between writer, director, stunt choreographer, and visual effects supervisor. It’s really about what do we do that’s cool and that we can do well? Sometimes you want to do everything in the world, but we really wanted to focus on this father-and-daughter clash.

So … what’s in the hole? We learn that whatever it is, it’s alive, so might it be a Gibborim giant from the comics?
Savage: You’ll definitely see more of what is down there. It will definitely be tied to the mythology of the comics, but it may not take exactly the same route the giants take in the comics.

The kids and the parents are in opposite places from the beginning of the season. In the premiere, the kids were all divided and now they’re united, and the parents the reverse.
Schwartz: It felt like the natural place for the story to be going. The Runaways is the story of this group of kids coming into their own, both individually but also as a group. For them, to kind of assemble, as it were, and take back the power, that would naturally cause a splintering amongst the Pride.

It sets us up for so many fun stories and dynamics next year — parents are in pursuit of the kids, the parents are also divided among themselves, and while it seems that the kids are unified, there are some cracks.

Marvel’s Runaways (Photo: Greg Lewis/Hulu)

How will the storytelling change in Season 2? Will you toggle between the kids and parents?
Savage: We’ll definitely be checking in with both kids and parents, but the show is going to be very different next year with the kids together in one world and the parents in another. We won’t have that weaving in and out of different stories in different households.

Schwartz: I think the kids’ story is going to naturally expand, because their environment is changing and they’re finding themselves in an entirely new world without the resources they’ve grown accustomed to. They’re going to be relying on people they meet as runaways. So probably the storytelling may shift in that regard, but the parents are always going to be an important part of the story.

And can we expect to see the hostel, which is where the kids go in the comics?
Savage: We’ll definitely see where the kids are living and hiding out.

Schwartz: We can say it.

Savage: We’re doing the hostel!

How will these budding relationships — Gert and Chase, Nico and Karolina — develop going forward?
Schwartz: I think now that we have all the characters living under one roof, different couples feel the impact from all the kids being forced to live together. For Alex, seeing Nico and Karolina and the beginning of something and you’re on the outside, that’s a lot more painful when you’re sharing the same roof.

Julian McMahon as Jonah (Photo: Greg Lewis/Hulu)

We saw a glimpse of the capsule that Victor is in. Are we going to see him next season?
Savage: Victor will spend some time in Jonah’s box, but he’ll be coming out one way or another. But what that actually means in terms of who Victor is and what his allegiances are remain to be seen.

In the finale, Alex met up with Darius and came back with a bunch of money and a gun. Are we going to see him explore a more dangerous side?
Savage: Yeah, that’s definitely the case. We have a little bit of missing time with Alex, what he did that night when he was gone — maybe he just went to an ATM and Darius handed him one of his pistols. Or maybe they did something together!

Are we going to meet some new characters next season?
Schwartz: Absolutely. There’s a great opportunity the hostel presents us with. We’re excited to see which one of those fits for the next season.

How much have you planned out?
Savage: We have yet to convene the room for Season 2.

Schwartz: We just finished Season 1!

Savage: When we were planning the end of the season, we had some ideas in mind where Season 2 would be going.

Schwartz: It’s a whole new show. It’s really exciting.

Marvel’s Runaways (Photo: Greg Lewis/Hulu)

You both have been open about putting your own spin on the comic. But now that the kids have run away, will that still be the case, or will you follow the comic a bit more?
Schwartz: It was important to all of us — [comics writer] Brian K. Vaughan and Marvel — that the comic book is one experience, and it’s obviously one of the all-time great comic books. We want to give you a different experience, one that’s inspired by the spirit of the comics. We started to chart our own course; the comic will always be our guide. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the material inspiration that the comics offer us. It’ll always be our North Star.

What kind of feedback have you received for Season 1?
Schwartz: The feedback has been amazing. The finale feels like it really excited and satisfied people and set them up for Season 2 in a really dynamic way. I think we feel really touched and it’s engaging to see the passion of the fans. Certain characters and couples engender more vocal passion. The social media response to the show has been really wonderful. And I think for Hulu, they’ve really been pleased with not only the audience for the show but how engaged the audience is.

Marvel’s Runaways is currently streaming on Hulu.

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