Marvel’s New Warriors TV series was a missed opportunity, and Marvel Studios should show how much they’ve changed by reviving the show.
Marvel Studios would be wise to revive the New Warriors TV series on Disney+, as it would prove how far Marvel has come. Marvel Television’s New Warriors was originally picked up by Freeform back in 2016, with Kevin Biegel hired to write the pilot and potentially serve as a showrunner. It wasn’t until 2017 that cast and characters of New Warriors were officially confirmed, with Milana Vayntrub becoming star Squirrel Girl, and Freeform commissioned a pilot that reportedly tested well. Unfortunately, something went badly wrong, and the exciting superhero comedy was gone.
Biegel has recently taken to Twitter to hint at the truth. In a series of tweets — now deleted — he suggested the show was killed by “a singular power” because “it was too gay.” He seemed to be alluding to Marvel’s reclusive ex-CEO Ike Perlmutter, who didn’t want Marvel Studios to make Black Panther or Captain Marvel. Perlmutter’s general conduct and attitude ultimately caused Disney to force a corporate restructure that pulled the film studio out of the wider Marvel Entertainment group in 2015, but he nevertheless remained in charge of Marvel Television for a few years after. In addition to making these charges and allusions, Biegel shared some brilliant footage from the New Warriors pilot, showcasing Vayntrub and the puppet-squirrel Tippytoe. Of course, in the age of the Snyder Cut, these probably shouldn’t simply be taken as a former showrunner venting. It’s more likely he was rather hoping someone at Marvel would remember New Warriors now Perlmutter is out of the picture.
Marvel Studios would be wise to pick up New Warriors, and doing so would prove to the world how much Marvel has changed. The Perlmutter era was notably lacking in diversity, but since 2015 Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has promised to make that the hallmark of the MCU. Black Panther and Captain Marvel proved that — contrary to Perlmutter’s expectations — diverse films really can work, and since then Marvel has made great strides forward, with Shang-Chi & the Legend of the Ten Rings featuring the MCU’s first Asian superhero lead and Eternals featuring the franchise’s first gay superhero — and kiss. Reviving New Warriors would be another way to prove how much things have changed at Marvel since Perlmutter.
This wouldn’t just be a box ticked, though. It’s important to remember the New Warriors pilot — although not public domain — was reportedly universally praised, with some reports of Disney execs being delighted with it. Ryan North — writer of Marvel Comics’ Unbeatable Squirrel Girl series — saw some clips and mentioned them at a convention back in 2018. “I haven’t seen the whole episode, just secret clips I can’t share,” North said wistfully. “There’s a moment with [Squirrel Girl] I wish I’d put in a comic, such a sweet moment.” It really does sound as though New Warriors could be a unique addition to the MCU, a comedic show with real heart and — no doubt excitingly for Disney — a pet squirrel that could be used liberally in marketing and merchandise.
There is, of course, one major difference between a modern Marvel Studios TV series and the one Marvel Television would have produced back in 2017: the budget. One of the reasons Marvel Television has essentially been discontinued is because they couldn’t compete. Marvel Studios provide film-sized budgets to their TV shows, meaning their productions are far more visually impressive. Given Biegel and his team made something that is believed to have been so good on a much smaller budget, it’s thrilling to imagine what they could do with a bigger one. While #ReleasetheBiegelCut will never equal the Snyder Cut campaign in influence, it’s one that Marvel and Disney should definitely respond to by making New Warriors a reality at last.
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- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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MCU Reviving Squirrel Girl & New Warriors Would Prove Marvel’s Key Change