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The Cloak and Dagger Team Talks Representation for Young Black Men and Putting the Person Before the Powers

At the recent Freeform Summit, the Cloak and Dagger team sat down with moderator Alicia Lutes to discuss their vision for the show. We’ve already seen a sneak peek that shows us how Tandy and Tyrone met. The panel included cast members Aubrey Joseph, who will play Tyrone Johnson/Cloak, and Olivia Holt, who will play Tandy Bowen/Dagger; showrunner Joe Pokaski, who previously ran Daredevil; Gina Prince-Blythewood, who directed the show’s pilot; and Jeph Loeb, the head of Marvel Television.

Showrunner Pokaski emphasized that the show is grounded in the personalities and struggles of the two main characters. “The most important thing,” he said, “was to tell the story of a young woman who gets these powers, who does the wrong thing sometimes, and slowly finds herself a hero; and the story of a young black man who has a harder climb than Peter Parker, that has a harder climb than Tony Stark, and yet has to overcome and protect everybody else.”

“A Marvel hero always begins with the person, not the power,” agreed Jeph Loeb. “… It’s more important that you care about Tyrone, and that you care about Tandy, and then the rest follows.”

The character of Tyrone was especially important for Aubrey Joseph, who described the the potential that this role opened up for him as an actor. “It was one of the first roles that, to me, fully showcased what it is to be a young black male in America right now,” he said. “We’re getting better, with Atlanta being a show and things like that, but before this, most of the roles that I was going in for were, ‘young black kid on Law & Order who gets shot.’ We finally got a chance to tell the story that a young black male goes through the same things that anyone else does, and has the same hopes and dreams.”

“It was very important for us: we gotta get it right, we gotta be authentic with it,” said Gina Prince-Bythewood. “It shocks you, the responsibility that we have as artists, because we’re putting something out in the world that kids, teens, are gonna watch.”

Cloak and Dagger premieres on Freeform on June 7, 2018.

(Featured image: screengrab)

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