Hulu earned some major bragging rights this past summer with the announcement that they were developing a pilot based on the cult favorite Marvel comic Runaways. Netflix’s partnership with Marvel has obviously been a huge boon for that streaming service, so it’s no surprise that Hulu would love to get a piece of the action. One thing that wasn’t clear, however, was whether Runaways would tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the intertwined onscreen canon that stretches across the Marvel movies, ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, and Netflix’s shows beginning with Daredevil. Now a hint in the newly released Doctor Strange film may have answered that question.
Doctor Strange opened in theaters this weekend, on target for an opening weekend take of nearly $85 million. As reported by ComicBook.com, Doctor Strange includes an appearance by a mage named Tina Minoru. While she isn’t actually named in the film, she can be seen wielding her trademark weapon, the Staff of One. So how does this connect to Runaways? In Marvel comic mythology, Tina is the mother of Runaways member Nico. The Runaways are a group of teens who discover that their parents are supervillains — specifically a nefarious group calling itself “the Pride.” The kids steal weapons from their elders, some learn they have inherited powers, and together they set out to try and defeat their parents.
Of course, Tina Minoru’s appearance in Doctor Strange could be a mere nod to fans, rather than a suggestion that the Hulu series will tie into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. So far, however, Marvel has connected their movies and films across both ABC and Netflix, so it seems likely they’ll do the same with Runaways. It would certainly add to the value of the series for Hulu, because the MCU is big business, and being part of that opens the door to appearances or crossovers with the other shows and films, however slight that possibility.
Hulu’s Runaways pilot is being developed by the Gossip Girl team of Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.