Gina Prince-Blythewood is the award-winning director that was chosen to helm the premiere episode of Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger which airs on Freeform on Thursday, June 7.
Olivia Holt (Kickin’ It) and Aubrey Joseph (The Night Of) star in the Marvel Comics adaptation developed and executive produced by Joe Pokaski (Underground, Marvel’s Daredevil).
Recently, Marvel and Freeform hosted a Cloak & Dagger press event at a New Orleans-themed bar in downtown Los Angeles to discuss this series about the heroes of the darkness and the light. Here at KSiteTV we will be updating daily with Cloak & Dagger posts leading to the June 7 premiere; for updates on when they go up, follow our @CloakDaggerNews Twitter feed!
Today, the spotlight turns on Ms. Prince-Blythewood who talks about what it was that makes the concept and this series special.
“We talked early on, as soon as we jumped in together, that this needed to feel real,” Prince-Blythewood recalled.
“They needed to feel like real teenagers. And that’s the hardest thing, I think, with casting, to find actors that are teenagers that have the chops. These characters had depth, and we really wanted to go there. It was very, very hard. We saw hundreds of people, and it literally got down to that we were all supposed to start on Monday and we didn’t have Tandy and Tyrone on a Friday night. Joe had been talking about Olivia [Holt] throughout the whole process but for some reason we weren’t able to get her in. She came in on Friday night, and Aubrey [Joseph] was somebody that was recommended,” she continued. “It was so exciting to see their auditions separately, because they both had chops and there’s something special about them, and then we put them together, and that was insane, to be able to be in that room and feel their natural chemistry; they played off each other. We saw them do the scenes, and then it was one more test, and we had them do an improv based on a scene that Joe had written that they had never seen before. We threw that at them, and after it, we were all just kind of silent, and then Jeph said it. ‘We want to watch these two forever.’ It was an exciting moment to know that we found them.”
Prince-Blythewood read Pokaski’s script before she read the comics, and once she read that, she became intrigued and read the source material. “I was very touched by the way Joe updated it,” she said. “It had to be updated; especially the racial aspects of it. But it stayed true to the core of who the characters are, and I think at the end of the day, that’s most important.”
What got such an acclaimed and award-winning director (whose projects include Love and Basketball) interested in doing a project for them?
“Foremost, I have seen every single Marvel film except for one. I don’t want to call it out,” she laughed. “But I love the world. I love the inherent hero-villain [struggle]. And what drew me to this, though, was not only the Marvel stamp across the script, but it was the relationship between Tandy and Tyrone. These two teenagers; these two damaged souls that find each other and need each other to survive. That’s my wheelhouse. I love unique love stories and I love to tell authentic stories, and I was just so drawn to these two. Also, I have two teen boys who love these shows as well, but they very rarely see themselves reflected in the characters on TV and films, before Black Panther. That was what drew me as well. And to be able to put a young woman as a hero as well, given the time that we’re in, it was exciting to be able to do that.”
Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger premieres Thursday, June 7 on Freeform. For more from Prince-Blythewood, check out our interview from Wondercon below: