Marvel’s Runaways: How Involved Was Brian K. Vaughan?

We talked to Jeph Loeb, Josh Schwartz, and Stephanie Savage on comics writer Brian K. Vaughan's involvement in the Runaways TV show.

The first three episodes of Marvel’s Runaways are now available to stream on Hulu. We loved the start of the TV adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan’s award-winning comic book series, but is a decidedly different beast than its source material.

Den of Geek was part of a group of reporters who talked to Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb, as well as Marvel’s Runaways showrunners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, about Vaughan’s involvement in the process at NYCC…

“Most of the time, when you are adapting something into another medium, the original person is not there with you, because they are still going on in that medium,” said Loeb. “Brian K. Vaughan happens to be someone who knows the medium of television and the medium of comic books.”

It may surprise you to learn that Vaughan was actively involved during the story-breaking process. Schwartz recounted: “We were like, ‘Come on, Brian. Come meet everybody. Everyone in the room is obviously a fan of Runaways, everyone’s obviously a fan of his. Just come by. It will be fun.”

Ad – content continues below

It wasn’t such an easy sell, as Vaughan “didn’t want to make it weird for people,” said Schwartz, adding:

So we said, ‘Just come for lunch.’ So he came for lunch on the first day and stayed for a month. And we didn’t want him to leave. He had some more award-winning comics to go write.

Schwartz said that Vaughan’s involvement in the process gave him and Savage the “great encouragement and confidence in making some of the changes that we felt like we needed to make to translate the book to television.”

And Vaughan’s involvement didn’t just stop at encouragement. As Savage described, Vaughan was in the writer’s room, pitching ideas along with the rest of the room.

“It wasn’t even like he was just giving notes,” said Savage. “He was on the same side of the table as us, nervous…”

“He was pitching ideas, like, ‘I hope you guys like this pitch…'” continued Schwartz.

Loeb said that it was important to have Vaughan involved not only to preserve the spirit of the comic book in the TV adaptation, but so that Schwartz and Savage truly had the confidence to make the show their own.

Ad – content continues below

“It doesn’t make sense to us to just take a comic and then just shoot the scenes that are in the comic,” said Loeb of Marvel TV’s adaptation process, “because, if you’ve read the comic, then you know what’s going to happen and, if you’ve never read the comic, then you’re being really unfair to the comic because you’re basically just putting it up there.”

The first three episodes of Marvel’s Runaways are now available to watch via Hulu. The final seven episodes of the season will be released weekly moving forward.