Disney-owned TV network Freeform has just announced plans to develop a live action series based on Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger comics.
The show will follow the titular Cloak and Dagger, two teenage vigilante superheroes who roam the streets of New York City, protecting the innocent and persecuting the evil, and occasionally mixing it up with more famous figures such as Spiderman, the Avengers, and the X-Men.
Cloak and Dagger start out as Tyrone Johnson, a homeless kid from Boston, and Tandy Bowen, a runaway from a wealthy home in Ohio. After being taken captive by a crime ring, they are used as guinea pigs for an experimental designer drug that ends up activating their latent mutant powers. Dagger/Tandy develops the ability to shoot light daggers made of life force energy from her fingertips while Cloak/Tyrone finds himself with powers of darkness and a hunger that drives him to consume people. Fortunately for him, this hunger can be controlled in Tandy’s presence, making them an ideal team for taking on drug crime.
As yet, there’s no telling how closely Freeform will be sticking to the comic book origin story, particularly since the network has yet to name a writer or director. The series will, however, be produced by both Marvel and ABC Signature Studios.
Freeform joins sister network ABC and internet TV king Netflix in bringing the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to the small screen. ABC is currently running Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and also carries Agent Carter, soon to be joined by Marvel’s Most Wanted. Netflix supplies audiences with Jessica Jones and Daredevil, with Luke Cage and Iron Fist waiting in the wings.
This gives plenty of opportunity for crossovers between Cloak and Dagger and sibling shows. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has already crossed over with bigger Marvel franchises such as Thor. Both Jessica Jones and Daredevil are already set on the mean streets of the Big Apple, though they are more violent and much darker in tone than ABC’s broadcast shows. As we’ve touched on before, Freeform is aimed at “Becomers”, it’s name for the 14-34 demographic. It seems likely, then, that Cloak and Dagger will focus less on the blood, guts, and gore and more on the romantic relationship between their teenage crimefighters.
That relationship, an interracial couple that crosses class barriers, could be Cloak and Dagger’s major draw. Freeform’s young adult target audience has been clamoring for diversity in its media for some time and has already flocked to shows that provide it. Freeform has already generated a stir with its Shadowhunters, which prominently features a gay, interracial couple. And recent deaths of minority characters on two shows of rival network The CW, The 100 and Arrow, have left many fans angry and potentially ready to jump ship for new territory. This could leave fertile ground for Cloak and Dagger to pick up a dedicated fan base in addition to the existing audience following the MCU.
We’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date on all the latest developments in this show and in the Marvel world.
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Freeform’s official website can be found here.
The Marvel TV official website can be found here.