It may have taken them a while, but the main characters in Marvel’s Runaways are just that – runaways. Runaways Season 2 is set to focus on the kids on their own for the first time.
It took Alex (Rhenzy Feliz), Nico (Lyrica Okano), Karolina (Virginia Gardner), Gert (Ariela Barer), Chase (Gregg Sulkin), and Molly (Allegra Acosta) the entirety of Season 1 to be convinced that their parents were involved in shady dealings. The season ended with the kids squaring off against Jonah (Julian McMahon) and their parents, and finally learning what Pride was really all about. The six went on the run – not only as runaways, but as murder suspects — taking the heat for a kid their parents offed. Showrunners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage say that slow buildup to them leaving was always part of the plan.
“If you grow up in a happy house you’re not going to just believe the first thing you discover and run,” Schwartz tells Fandom. “It was a big deal to run away and we really wanted to earn that.”
“Once they run away they aren’t coming back home, so we really wanted to establish those parental relationships,” Savage added. “We felt that 10 episodes wasn’t that long to wait to have them run away, and now that they’re on the run things are moving fast and furious.”
The Biggest Ever Marvel TV Set
Throughout the first season, we witnessed the kids’ posh LA lifestyles. They wanted for nothing, and spent their days juggling the concerns of an average teenager. That’s all changed now, and without all the amenities and services they’re used to – like Ubers to hand – everything is harder.
“Nico says it right away — they suck at being runaways,” Schwartz says.
The runaways catch a break early on when they literally stumble across a rundown mansion – called the Hostel – hidden beneath Los Angeles’s Griffith Park. That’s almost harder to believe than the idea of them pushing a velociraptor around in a shopping cart. Introducing the Hostel into the show was what Schwartz and Savage were most excited about for the early parts of Season 2.
“Having the Hostel in the show has been such a joy,” Schwartz said. “It’s such an iconic part of the comic. The first time Brian [K. Vaughn, writer of the Runaways comic] stepped foot on set, he got emotional.”
“It’s the biggest set that Marvel TV has ever built,” Savage added. “It’s really fun to shoot in. It has tons of visual layers, the actors love being there, and the fact that we can shoot in Los Angeles and can connect our interior set with the real exterior at Griffith Park is the coolest thing ever.”
Alex Finds an Outside Connection
Despite having no money, no home, and a (false) murder accusation levelled against them, the kids aren’t about to ignore their intense teenage feelings anytime soon. Alongside the long-awaited confrontation with their parents, the end of Season 1 also finally saw Chase and Gert getting together, and Nico and Karolina share a kiss – much to Alex’s chagrin. Savage and Schwartz say that those moments are still front and center at the start of Season 2.
“Gert and Chase ended last season as kinda a thing, and we’re picking up pretty quickly where last season ended. It’s very complicated very early,” Schwartz teases. “Once they find the Hostel to live in are they going to share a room? They’re thinking, ‘What does this mean for our relationship?’”
When it came to Nico and Carolina’s kiss – and their budding relationship – the show wanted to go further than the Marvel comics did.
“The Karolina/Nico relationship is a big part of this season,” Schwartz continued. “That’s where we took something that was hinted at in the comics initially, but unrequited, and wanted to lean into it for the show.”
With Nico showing more and more interest in Karolina, Alex – who spent the first season crushing on Nico – ends up finding someone outside of their band of misfit runaways.
“Alex gets a relationship outside of the runaways, which was a fun area for us to explore,” Savage said. “It takes us to a world we haven’t been in previously, and gives his characters a lot of opportunities to learn about himself and where he’s from.”
Despite spending the lion’s share of their time trying to create an earthquake that will rip California from the mainland, the runaways’ parents became quite relatable at times. There are definitely different shades of menace in every single one, and even a few that you want to see switch sides (looking at you Dale, Stacey, and Robert). Continuing to strike that balance this year remained as high a priority as it did last season.
“It’s one of the big challenges, but also what’s fun about the show, to build out the gray areas with the parents,” Savage says. “They’re tied to this mission that’s going to help their kids in the future, which is ultimately why they’re doing it. It’s a really interesting knot that we could take our time untying, and especially when not every parent shares the same perspective on it.”
But just because the parents may be doing everything for their kids’ future, it doesn’t mean they’re going about it the right way.
“All that being said, we wanted to remind the audience right at the beginning of Season 2 that these parents are capable of doing bad things, and wanting to get their hands dirty,” Schwartz added. “They’re still Pride. They’re still deadly.”
Marvel’s Runaways Season 2 arrives in the US on December 21 and in the UK on January 2.