Freeform Greenlights Marvel Romance Superhero Series ‘Cloak and Dagger’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Freeform is venturing into the Marvel universe.

The younger-skewing Disney-owned network has greenlit “Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger” with a straight-to-series order, Variety has exclusively learned.

Described as a superhero love story, “Cloak and Dagger” is based on the titular comic book duo (also known as Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson) who have appeared in Marvel Comics classics, including “Spiderman” and “X-Men” stories.

The live-action interracial romance follows the duo, two teenagers from very different backgrounds, who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers while falling in love — Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone has the ability to engulf others in darkness. They quickly learn they are better together than apart, but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging.

No writer has been attached to the series, but the search is currently under way. Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios will co-produce.

The characters’ story is targeted toward young adults, making “Cloak and Dagger” a seamless fit for Freeform (previously ABC Family) whose target audience is “Becomers,” the 14-34 demo.

Marking the network’s first-ever Marvel series, Freeform is following in the footsteps of big sister net ABC, which has a slew of Marvel properties on its slate including “Agents of SHIELD” and “Agent Carter,” plus Mockingbird spinoff “Marvel’s Most Wanted” and a top-secret Marvel project from John Ridley in development. Getting Freeform into the Marvel game is a smart move for Disney-ABC, as the cable network is held to lower ratings standards than a big broadcast network. (ABC has struggled with ratings for “Agent Carter,” which remains on the bubble in the wake of critical praise.)

Superhero fare is a new genre for Freeform, which recently pushed into fantasy fare with “Shadowhunters.” That drama was just renewed for a second season, and “Cloak and Dagger” will pair nicely with the saga series, broadening the net’s programming.

Marvel Television is repped by CAA.

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