Interview: Steve Loter and Rodney Clouden Tease What to Expect in ‘Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’ Season 2

Julia
16 Min Read
Disney

Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is back with its second season, following 13-year-old genius Lunella Lafayette (aka Moon Girl) as she protects the Lower East Side from villains with her dinosaur Devil. When viewers last saw Lunella, she, Devil, Mimi, and Casey work to stop the Enclave and their leader, Morlak. After re-opening a portal, Morlak was soon pulled through, but the portal became dangerously unstable. So, with Mimi’s help, Lunella went through, too, so that it could be closed properly.

In season 2, Lunella must find her way home. Additionally, having been Moon Girl for some time now, she will continue to face off against New York’s worst. Meanwhile, she will contend with bigger life challenges beyond villains, struggling with her — and now Mimi’s — secret and the toll it takes as the rest of her family remains in the dark.

In conjunction with Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur season 2 premiering, we had the opportunity to talk with executive producer Steve Loter and co-executive producer Rodney Clouden about what to expect this season.

Note: This interview was edited for clarity.

Nerds & Beyond: When we pick up with Lunella, she’s just entered the portal and she’s already gone through a pretty hefty ordeal trying to get home, and that obviously is something that has some lasting impact on her. Will she continue to feel those effects across multiple episodes this season, or is that something you opted not to lean on too heavily?

Steve Loter: It’s definitely something that it feels that it has repercussions throughout the season, and it takes Lunella to a new place of awareness. Season 1 was about Lunella becoming Moon Girl. Season 2 is about her being Moon Girl and because of that, everything has become juiced up, and leveled up, for that matter, because now she’s known, and it feels like a lot of villains may be leveling up against her maybe to make a name for themselves. The conflict she has with trying to keep the secret from her family that she’s Moon Girl is becoming harder and harder to keep. It’s putting strains on the friendship with Casey and Devil. So, Lunella is dealing with a lot this season. But with that being said, we still have plenty of music and comedy and fun to be had, as well. But, yeah, definitely we’re exploring different aspects of Lunella’s life in this season.

Nerds & Beyond: Sort of going off of that, I actually did have a question here about Casey. Lunella’s disappearance is something we’ve already seen very early on that has also affected her. For me, I saw it as something that could potentially very much strengthen their friendship. I was wondering, if you agree, how you think it does so.

Rodney Clouden: Something like that — in terms of their relationship, [it’s] already established that they had a great bond together, and it was great to show female friendship in that capacity in an animated program. Then to have something so traumatic to happen to Lunella, and Casey seeing her friend gone, it does have an effect on her, too. You kind of see it in the episode where they go inside Devil’s body. You see that there’s a little bit of clinginess in terms of not wanting to let her friend go through, [to] see her friend and make sure to protect her friend. So, Casey, as you’ve seen through episodes and season 1, she’s very protective of her friend and also very supportive. So, she wants to make sure that her friend is around. I think that we have that sprinkled in through the season. She becomes also a little bit more involved in terms of Lunella’s superheroing, and you’ll see that also.

Nerds & Beyond: Keeping on the character track, something I really enjoyed, especially at the end of season 1, was that we learn about Mimi’s background, and I thought that whole reveal was so cool. Is that something that we’ll be able to see more of throughout season 2, seeing her work with Lunella in a science-based capacity?

Steve Loter: Oh, yeah. I think that the relationship that Lunella has with Mimi definitely takes a new step in this season, because now Mimi has revealed herself as a great scientist. I think that there’s team ups involved with technology that they can build, or maybe even her suit and tech that could also be upgraded. But they’re also both now harboring this secret, so it’s becoming even a deeper strain for the family now that you have two members of the family that are holding back who they really are.

Rodney Clouden: It’s something also in terms of like just holding back who you are, sometimes that is something that women go through in terms of that. But also, she gets to be a little bit more [now] that this is out, and Lunella knows that she can also be a little bit more forthcoming with her abilities and being involved. So, there’s a little bit of a good release to that. And you see it also in another episode in the season where Mimi meets up with her college friends. You see this other side of Mimi that you didn’t know about, a little bit more about her history and who she is as a person and her abilities.

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Nerds & Beyond: One other character I’ve really been loving is The Beyonder and his general role in the show, and Laurence Fishburne is just so pitch perfect as this character. What can viewers expect from him this season?

Steve Loter: I think everybody goes through an arc this season, even characters that you wouldn’t expect, like The Beyonder, who you feel like from the episodes you’ve seen him in, he has a very certain personality. But I think that Lunella Lafayette becomes his favorite human, and he’s trying to bond with her in a deep friendship kind of way, and I think because he’s an alien, he doesn’t quite know how to do that, and chaos and comedy ensue. Laurence just brings so much to that role that you just want to have as much Beyonder as you can get in a season just because the character’s so much fun to write for, animate for, and voice for.

Rodney Clouden: It’s funny, because he’s an all-knowing omniscient being, but he’s very emotionally immature and ignorant.

Nerds & Beyond: Speaking more broadly now, season 1, in my opinion, really came out the gate swinging and remained at a consistently high quality. How do you hope season 2 matches, or even exceeds, what the team was able to do in season 1?

Rodney Clouden: In season 2, the theme is juiced up, so things are juiced up. The storylines are juiced up, what Lunella goes through, and her emotional arc is very juiced up. Everybody is going through an arc of some kind. Also, visually we are stepping up in terms of the mixtapes. The mixtapes are the moments where the artists get to shine and get to just really throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. It’s a very free and open expression of ideas when it comes to [those] particular moments in the show. So, you’ll see very different and diverse styles and diverse music. I think in that aspect we are stepping up the stories, we’re stepping up the visuals, and it’s gonna be a very great emotional rollercoaster of up and downs, along with fun and games of the series that you know and love.

Nerds & Beyond: In season 1, we got a lot of really great Easter eggs and character cameos from other Marvel properties. Can viewers expect more of that in season 2? If so, are there any that you can hint at?

Steve Loter: Marvel has been incredible partners on this show, and I like to think we’re MCU complementary, because we love the movies. So, we do pull in references here and there. There are some surprises coming up, and there are some team ups coming up. One character we have is Turbo, a lesser-known Marvel character but a really great character. We were able to kind of infuse that character with the Moon Girl storytelling that we do, and that character has become a favorite character among the crew. So, yeah, there’s definitely a bunch of Marvel Easter eggs and surprises coming up for sure.

Nerds & Beyond: What are you most excited for viewers to see in season 2?

Rodney Clouden: Oh, wow. I guess in terms of the growth — and that’s the growth of everyone — the growth of all our characters, the growth of Lunella and what she goes through. Her emotional arc, and being a superhero, and then having a personal life and trying to make that work, and how things overlap and collide, and how she’s going to deal with things. Emotionally, we’re dealing with anxiety and dealing with the toxic expectations that are placed on yourself or somebody else places on you, and how do you deal with that, to have that as an example of Lunella. She’s a superhero. She’s a 13-year-old girl. She’s going through the same things that I go through, and it’s relatable. It’s not all fun and games, so that’s another aspect of it. The fun and games were Season 1, but now it’s starting to get into serious things. The superhero business is very serious.

What’s also fun is seeing Devil’s arc, too. You’re going to see a little bit more of Devil and who he is and get to know him. He’s a very cultured dinosaur. Also, he’s going through a period [where] him and Lunella have bit of a conflict and that Devil is only in basically half of her life. He knows the family. He sees them on the screen. He knows everyone, but he’s not involved in there. So, there’s a little bit of conflict in that. [There’s] an episode where he joins a superhero sidekick group support group, and it doesn’t go exactly how it is expected, but he’s searching also. So, everybody’s searching and trying to find a way to cope with things, and you’ll see that arc, and it’s very fun.

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Nerds & Beyond: By the time this interview publishes, season 2 will have only just begun, but I think this show deserves a long lifespan. So, looking ahead, do you have ideas in mind for where you would take the series if it gets renewed for a third season or beyond? Is there anything you’re especially itching to try?

Steve Loter: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. We couldn’t have endless seasons of this show, but we certainly have a direction that we would love to go in. There’s definitely a lot of really great adventures to be had, so please tune into Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur on February 2 on Disney Channel, and on February 3 on Disney+, because we would love to make more.

Nerds & Beyond: My final question for you today — as we already mentioned, music is an integral part of the series, especially when Moon Girl is fighting bad guys. If you could choose one song to be your villain-fighting background music, what would you choose?

Rodney Clouden: Hm. Wow, that’s a good one. The first one that comes to mind is “Is You Ready” by Migos. [Laughs] But I do love the season 2 song that they fight to with Molecule Man. That’s a great one.

Steve Loter: Yeah, I mean, though lyrically it doesn’t quite apply, I gotta admit one of Raphael Saadiq’s songs, a song called “Radio” off the Stone Rollin’ album, to me, it just moves. That track just inspires movement. So, again, lyrically not quite what you want in a battle, but musically, yeah that does it for me. And from the show, one of the songs, one of my favorite songs, is “Deep Within,” which is used in the first episode and may make an appearance later in the series, as well. That to me is a really, really great fight song.

Thank you to Steve Loter and Rodney Clouden for speaking with us! Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur premieres today, February 2, on Disney Channel. It will be available to stream February 3 on Disney+. Watch the trailer below:

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By Julia
Julia is a writer/editor/content assistant for Nerds who joined the team in 2019.
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