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With all the comic book television out there right now, one might think there would be less of a call for more in that vein, and one would be wrong. Peak TV knows no limits, and Hulu made the stellar decision in 2016 to order up a live-action version of the youth-oriented superhero series Runaways from Bryan K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona. Not a lot has come out about the series since, but today brought the huge announcement that up-and-coming actors Rhenzy Feliz, Lyrica Okano, Virginia Gardner, Gert Yorkes, Gregg Sulkin and Allegra Acosta have been cast as the six central super-teens the show title refers to, each of whom is the offspring of evil villains.
Rarely is the bulk of a show’s character base announced all at once, so this news definitely isn’t something to run away from. Let’s look at each new cast member, as well as who they’ll be playing, below.
With Runaways, Rhenzy Feliz will be taking on not just his second TV series, but also his second major project in general. And it’s Marvel, which ain’t too shabby. Having first been a part of the dramedy Casual during its second season – also on Hulu – Feliz will play the group’s loud and proud leader, Alex Wilder, who doesn’t actually have any powers beyond an above-average grasp of logic and guile. Someone who is motivated by unity and kinship, Alex is the son of dangerous mob bosses, and his story should be quite interesting early on.
Lyrica Okano, who is perhaps best known for being part of one of the most uncomfortable scenes in Showtime’s The Affair, was cast as the independence-embracing Nico Minoru. The daughter of villainous wizards, Nico shares their magical powers, which comes about thanks to a bit of self-harming, and she carries on the dark magic theme through her Wiccan leanings and her goth aesthetic. She might act like she doesn’t need anybody else, but it might not be so true.
With a pretty steady track record on TV in the past few years, including a recurring stint of The Goldbergs, Project Almanac‘s Virginia Gardner will be playing the gorgeous model Karolina Dean, whose parents are definitely evil and definitely criminals, but there’s another secret they’re also keeping (that may or may not be a part of the TV show). Karolina isn’t as perfect as her appearance lets on, but she starts learning more about herself and her identity as the Runaways come together.
Ariela Barer, who plays the memorable best friend Carmen on Netflix’s One Day at a Time reboot, will take on the role of social activist Gert Yorkes, who won’t be too far from Carmen. With her purple hair and glasses, Gert is a parent’s worst nightmare, in that she’s an agnostic and sarcastic cynic who is intelligent enough to back up her beliefs and claims. Gert has time-traveling parents, which makes for an interesting hiccup in the story.
A former star of Wizards of Waverly Place and Faking It, Gregg Sulkin is joining Runaways as lacrosse player and teen hunk Chase Stein. Though his athletics might peg him as a goofy jock, he actually inherited a brilliant mind from his parents, who are evil mad scientists! As such, Chase fills lots of roles within the super-squad, and his technical know-how is always useful. Chase is also the group’s link to a certain genetically engineered beast, though that detail hasn’t come up in pre-production news.
Finally, for the kids, there’s Allegra Acosta, whose main claim to fame has been a recurring role on the Nickelodeon comedy 100 Things to Do Before High School. Acosta will play Molly Hernandez, which is the one character name change from the comics, where Molly’s surname was Hayes. Molly is a scrappy young woman who aims to be a part of everything, despite her inherent innocence getting in the way. Her parents are telepathic mutants, so expect Molly to get weird with it in the future.
James Marsters, probably best known as Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is on board to play Chase’s father Victor Stein. Stein is an engineer who seems to have answers to some of the world’s biggest problems, but he’s very strict when it comes to his son. Marsters can currently be seen in the web series, Vidiots, and he’s also been in Supernatural, Warehouse 13, Witches of East End and Hawaii Five-0.
Playing Stein’s wife, Janet, will be Code Black actress Ever Carradine. Janet is also a brilliant scientist, but she wants more out of life than what she’s gotten by the time we meet her. Carradine has also appeared in Major Crimes, Shameless, Backstrom, Drop Dead Diva and will be seen in the upcoming Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale.
As mom to group leader Alex, Angel Parker will be playing Catherine Wilder, a calculating and loyal lawyer who also happens to have some pretty close mob ties. Parker is best known for her work on Lab Rats, but she’s also been in The People vs. O.J. Simpson, Trial & Error, The Soul Man and Castle.
The production has tapped Ryan Sands to play Alex’s strategic and domineering father, Geoffrey Wilder. Sands has appeared in The Wire, Murder in the First, NCIS, Scorpion, Castle, Grimm and ER.
Nico’s mom, Tina Minoru, will be played by This Is Us actress Brittany Ishibashi. Minoru is a CEO who’s also a very guarded perfectionist. Ishibashi has also been in Grace and Frankie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Young & Hungry, Bones and Emily Owens M.D.
Playing the focused and sincerely charming Leslie Dean, mother to Karolina, will be Annie Wersching. Wersching is mostly known for her work on 24, but she can also be seen on Bosch, Castle, Timeless, The Catch, The Vampire Diaries and Extant.
As Karolina’s dad, Frank, Kip Pardue will play the insecure actor with some major secrets. Pardue has appeared in Ray Donovan, Mad Men, ER, House and Remember the Titans.
Gert’s bioengineer father, Dale Yorkes, who’s much better with science than with people or conversations, will be played by Kevin Weisman. Weisman was most recently seen on Scorpion, but has also been a part of Goliath, The Blacklist, Perception, Hello Ladies and Fringe, but is probably best known for his role as Marshall Flinkman on Alias.
Stacey Yorkes, a bioengineer with a wandering mind, will be played by Army Wives actress Brigid Brannagh. Brannagh has also appeared in Grey’s Anatomy, Underground, Major Crimes, Supernatural, Longmire, Criminal Minds and Angel.
Marvel’s Runaways, which is being put together by Gossip Girl‘s Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, will announce further casting at a later date. While no release date for Runaways has been set just yet, you can head to our midseason premiere schedule to see everything that does have release dates in the future.
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