What We Know: Cloak and Dagger


By: Jaclyn Cascio (@jaclynator)

Marvel is spreading its TV wings to a new venue: cable television’s Freeform (formerly known as ABC Family). Ready to appeal to the adolescent audience of Freeform, Marvel is set to bring the teen adventures of Cloak and Dagger to life. To find out what we know about the project so far, read on!

The superhero love story of Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson began its journey to television in July 2011, development beginning for ABC Family. Five years later, in April 2016, Freeform signed a straight-to-series order for Cloak and Dagger. August 2016 attracted Joe Pokaski as a showrunner and executive producer (alongside Jim Chory and Jeph Loeb) with writing for the show finally getting off the ground. November of the same year brought a total rewrite by Pokaski of the initial script for the show. By January 2017, the show’s namesake characters were cast and filming began in New Orleans the following month.

Cloak and Dagger is slated for a 10-episode season and is intended to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), much as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. currently operates. The show will fall into line with characters and events established within the MCU, maintaining the continuity of the universe.

While the new show may fit the current MCU mold, it may differ some from the comic book origins it hails from. Luckily, Cloak and Dagger isn’t known for having the same voracious fan base that other adaptations have had to cope with. But, knowledge is power, so a bit of information about the source material can’t hurt! Created by Bill Mantlo and Ed Hannigan, the characters made their first appearance in “Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man” in 1982. The characters were well-received and were later given their own limited series, along with a bi-monthly 1985 series. The young characters were runaway teenagers in New York City. Tyrone had fled from a terrible event in which his speech impediment prevented him from speaking and stopping a friend from being shot by the police. Tandy was running away from a supermodel mother who simply had no attention to give her daughter. Tempted into finding shelter with strangers in the city, the two found themselves mixed up with a chemist who was intent on creating a new synthetic heroin. Testing the new product on the teenagers brought unexpected results – superpowers! Tyrone gained the ability to engulf others in darkness while Tandy developed the ability to emit daggers made of light. With complementary powers, the two teenagers combined their forces to find and take down other drug-associated criminals in an effort to save other teens on the streets.

The television adaptation of Cloak and Dagger for Freeform may share some similarities with the source material, but looks to be headed in an original direction. The TV series is set in post-Katrina New Orleans. Tandy and Tyrone come from different backgrounds but are somehow connected by a childhood incident. The two gain their superpowers and soon discover that their powers work better when they are together. Their new romantic feelings for each other may become an unexpected challenge, however.

Check out a trailer for the series yourself right here!

The cast of Cloak and Dagger includes Disney’s Olivia Holt as Tandy Bowen/Dagger and newcomer Aubrey Joseph as Tyrone Johnson/Cloak. They are joined by Andrea Roth (as Tandy’s mother, Melissa Bowen), Miles Mussenden (as Tyrone’s father, Michael Johnson), and Gloria Reuben (as Tyron’s mother, Adina Johnson). Other supporting cast includes Carl Lundstedt (as Tandy’s criminal partner and boyfriend, Liam), James Saito (as Tyrone’s friend, Bernard Sanjo), and J.D. Evermore (as detective with a secret, Connors).

If the trailer makes Freeform’s Cloak and Dagger look a little like an adaptation of a young adult novel, you’re not far off the mark (and you’re not alone). Executive producer Jeph Loeb has remarked on the topic of the Marvel show appealing to the Freeform audience, “It’s a love story that happens to have characters that have always traditionally been in that age group [14-34 demographic]. It’s not like we took something and made it into a [young adult fiction]. It speaks to a YA audience and it is a YA property.” He’s right; we can’t imagine The Punisher being adapted for a family-friendly network.

But if you’re on board with some cheesy romance, whatever your age may be, Cloak and Dagger might be the right Marvel show for you! As Disney SVP Mark Endemano has described the show, “Cloak and Dagger is about character and emotion above all. It tells of a romance between Tandy and Tyrone in a way that we haven’t really seen before in a Marvel TV series. So think ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ though I can tell you that they won’t by dying at the end of the first episode.”

There’s no release date for Cloak and Dagger yet, but it’s estimated to premiere on Freeform early in 2018. Will you be tuning in?

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