Ever since Marvel announced New Warriors, all anyone has cared about is who would be playing Squirrel Girl. Names like Anna Kendrick, Mae Whitman and Shannon Purser (Stranger Things’ Barb) were thrown out there as potential casting choices for Doreen Green, but ultimately the Freeform sitcom seems to have sidestepped stunt casting the role with Milana Vayntrub bagging the coveted part.
Vayntrub may still be best known to mainstream audiences in the States for playing saleswoman Lily Adams in a series of ads for AT&T, but she recently got more exposure with a recurring role on the first season of the Emmy-nominated This Is Us. Her breakout role really should have been on the Paul Feig sci-fi sitcom Other Space, but the show was buried on the short-lived Yahoo! Screen platform, and never really lived up to its potential as the American answer to Red Dwarf.
While we’d perhaps been expecting a younger Squirrel Girl in New Warriors – in line with the college age hero of Ryan North and Erica Henderson’s excellent Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comic – Vayntrub seems to otherwise fit the bill perfectly. She’s a trained comic actress whose previous roles tended to have a slightly nerdy edge to them, and she certainly looks the part. After catching up with some of her work (you can find lots of fun short sketches on YouTube) we’re looking forward to see what she can do with one of Marvel’s finest.
But that’s not all, let’s not forget that there are other characters in New Warriors too! Mister Immortal will be played by Derek Theler, an actor who previously starred on Freeform’s Baby Daddy, which looks an awful lot like the spoof sitcom ‘The Manny’ on This Is US. Also starring are Jeremy Tardy (Netflix’s Dear White People) as Night Thrasher, Calum Worthy (Austin & Ally) as Speedball, Matthew Moy (2 Broke Girls) as Microbe and Comer (The Comeback) as Debrii.
While we’re not familiar with much of the work of the supporting cast, we’re certainly encouraged by the diverse casting of the show, and the character descriptions sound promising. Squirrel Girl will be a fangirl defined by her optimism, Mister Immortal will be lazy and overly complacent due to his belief he can’t die, Night Thrasher incredibly self-serious, Speedball an impulsive people pleaser, Microbe a shy hypochondriac, and Debrii funny and quick-witted, as well as being confidently out as a lesbian.
We’re looking forward to seeing what showrunner Kevin Biegel (Enlisted) can cook up here, and everything we’ve heard so far is encouraging. It sounds like the show will be taking its cues from North and Henderson’s Unbeatable Squirrel Girl when dealing with its main character, while the rest of the New Warriors seem inspired by Skottie Young’s comedic take on the characters in a six-issue miniseries that preceded the events of Civil War. If the show can combine those two excellent comics series successfully, then we’re in for a treat.