Marvel’s Runaways has finally earned its title.
By the end of the season one finale, the six teens at the center of Hulu’s Marvel series—Alex Wilder (Rhenzy Feliz), Nico Minoru (Lyrica Okano), Karolina Dean (Virginia Gardner), Chase Stein (Gregg Sulkin), Gert Yorkes (Ariela Barer) and Molly Hernandez (Allegra Acosta)—learned the truth about their evil parents and decided to make good on the series name and run away. It was the moment fans of the comic books had been waiting for ever since the start of the first season. And now that the teens’ origin stories have been told, it’s time to get to the good stuff.
So Nerdist visited the set of Marvel’s Runaways during the 2018 Summer Television Critics Association press tour to find out every bit of season two intel we could wrangle out of executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage along with the cast. And they didn’t disappoint!
1. The kids aren’t alright
Now that the runaways have literally run away, expect to see them struggle with being on their own for the first time. “Season two is a very different version of the show with the kids living together [and] the information they have about their parents,” Savage said. “In a way, season one was like a murder mystery of them figuring out what was going on.” The season two premiere picks up “pretty immediate, about 24 hours later,” according to Schwartz, so the excitement and adrenaline will start to wear off and the reality of the situation will kick in.
“This season you’ll see the runaways, they’re learning to adult this year pretty much,” Okano said. “They’re forced to be on their own, they have to feed themselves. They’re runaways. You’ll see them learning a lot this season.”
Sulkin noted that while it may be every teenager’s dreams to escape their parents at some point, the reality always winds up being a lot harsher than the fantasy. “We’re all very torn,” Sulkin said. “Yes, we’re a family but we just left our families after 16, 17 years, so that’s the struggle the runaways will always face. Blood is thicker than water. It seems like a dream being with your friends and having cool superpowers but there’s an underlying… ‘sadness’ is not the right word, but we’re quite emotional at the fact that the people we looked up to for 15, 16, 17 years completely betrayed us.”
2. Making a house a home
The first item on the kids’ agenda is to find shelter. This is where things start to get really cool—Runaways built an all-new set for season two and it’s ripped straight from the comics: the underground hostel. The two-story, run-down mansion will become the runaways’ new home. “This is the underground mansion you see in the comics,” Acosta says. “We’re under Griffith Park and it’s very cool how we find it and you’ll see that in the first episode.”
With walls covered in graffiti care of some punk squatters in the ’80s and closets filled with time capsules of clothing left behind by previous tenants, the hostel is the gift that will keep on giving for the runaways. But it seems like no one among them has ever heart of a broom before. Things are dusty AF.
3. The parents aren’t giving up
As the runaways settle into their new home, they have no idea the kind of trouble that’s brewing back at their parents’ houses. Pride may have lost their children for now, but they’re dead-set on locating where the kids went. “These parents, no matter [what] evil or morally reprehensible things they’ve done, they really love their kids and want their kids back,” Schwartz said. “That’s the undertow that threatens to pull the kids back.” But of course, it wouldn’t be Pride without some infighting. “Everyone in Pride has their own way of thinking they can get their kid back,” Schwartz said with a laugh.
And when we say parents, we mean all the parents, including Jonah (Julian McMahon). “It’s a story about parents and kids and every parent wants their child back,” Schwartz said. “Jonah is a parent to Karolina and that’s a big drive for him.” And Jonah is not the kind of guy to sit around and wait for his “inferiors” to mess up the very important job of finding the kids. “Jonah’s very capable of handling things himself if need be,” Schwartz said.
With evil villains as their parents, will the kids start to question their purpose in the world? Possibly. “One of the themes this year is every kid grows up to be like their parents—what does that mean for our kids and these parents?” Schwartz said. “They try to resist that and evolve but you are where you come from and who your parents are. That’s your identity and it’s so linked.”
4. The story is only getting faster from here
When season two picks up, Jonah is still in charge of Pride. It’s safe to call him the big bad for now, but he won’t always be the focus of the series. Savage reveals his storyline will be resolved “before the end of season two,” and Schwartz added that the show jumps “right into that story at the start of the season.”
Because viewers already know this world and all these characters, season two hits the ground running that will immediately hook new and old fans alike. “It’s going to accelerate. We are now running with our kids,” Schwartz said. “We are now into that part of the story and that part of the adventure. The focus shifts now to these kids trying to survive on the streets, and they’re kids from Brentwood—they are not really used to living on the streets of Los Angeles. There is a greater tension and momentum in where we are at the part of the story.”
5. New characters are coming
While Schwartz and Savage couldn’t reveal who was going to be introduced this season, they did let slip that some familiar comic book characters are joining the show. “They’re really popular, exciting characters,” Savage teased. Let the speculation begin!
6. Training montages are coming
If season one was all about the kids learning they have superpowers, season two is all about training to use those powers for good. “It’s going to be a big story this year of the kids having to work together as a team,” Schwartz said. “Last year they were coming into their powers individually and this year they have to figure out how to work as a group. Everything about this season is bigger, bolder. We’re really embracing that element of the show this year.”
7. The honeymoon phase is over
By the end of the first season, some new couples had emerged in the group of runaways, but perhaps the most exciting pairing is that of Nico and Karolina. Savage promised their relationship is going to continue to evolve this season, especially now that they’re on the run together.
“They both declared themselves to each other and now they’re in a situation where they’re living without their parents and they’re living together with the rest of the runaways in the same house which is a pretty quick advancement of a new relationship for young people,” Savage said. “So they’re going to be struggling with now just how to save the world but also how to have an appropriate teenage relationship when you’re living in such an adult situation.”
Schwartz was extremely thrilled to be able to explore that fledgling relationship more this season. “The Karolina/Nico relationship is the emotional core of the show,” he said. “It’s a big part of what’s driving the story this season.”
What are you most excited to see on Runaways season two? Let’s chat in the comments section!