In our world today, there is a strong need for hope and positivity. In some ways too, the world needs superheroes, ordinary people trying to do the extraordinary, just like Dion in Raising Dion. This time, however, the Netflix show also explores the daily challenges of Dion’s mother, Nicole, who, in some ways, is just as powerful as some Marvel superheroes who have no special powers.
So far, the show has been a modest hit. And as we wait and see what we can expect from Raising Dion season 2, we thought we’d uncover some behind-the-scenes secrets from the show:
10 The Show’s Story Was Conceived As Its Creators Wondered About Parenting
Raising Dion started out as a comic book series created by Dennis Liu and his wife, Marie Iida. The couple told Talkies Network that the story was inspired by their own questions about parenting. Meanwhile, when Netflix picked up their work, Carol Barbee became the showrunner. Over the years, you may have also noticed that Netflix developed a lot of shows and films which are based on comics. There’s I Am Not Okay with This, which Netflix does better in some ways than the comics. And in case you’re curious, there are also 10 ways that the show differs from the comics.
9 The Character Of Nicole Was Partly Inspired By The Film Kramer Vs. Kramer
Raising Dion isn’t your typical show about superheroes. Instead, it also focuses on the character of Nicole, a widowed mother who tries her best to protect her child after learning he possesses supernatural abilities. While developing this character, producers Dennis and Raven Jensen said that the 1979 film had been “a huge inspiration, but with a twist.” They also told Sci Pulse, “Our moms were inspiration!” And when it comes to mom-centered shows, we can also say that there were at least 10 times when Netflix’s Workin’ Moms was all too relatable.
8 Alisha Wainwright Got Cast Right After Shadowhunters Got Canceled
Shadowhunters only ran for three seasons, although there are quotes from the show that we’ll always remember. Fortunately, one of the show’s stars, Wainwright, booked another gig just after learning of the cancellation. “I got the news on a Monday that Shadowhunters was being canceled, and I had my chemistry read for Raising Dion on a Wednesday,” the actress recalled while speaking with Collider. “And then, I found out that the part was mine on a Friday.” In between those days, Wainwright also revealed that she “ate a lot of cake.”
7 The Show Saw ‘Lots Of Kids’ Before Casting Ja’Siah Young
Casting the right kid for the part of the young superhero proved to be quite challenging at first. It also didn’t help that children auditioning for the role of Dion appeared to be too rehearsed. “A lot of kids have been trained to say lines in a certain way, because you need them to make a joke work, or hit their mark,” Barbee told The Credits. “But it can come off a bit canned.” Fortunately, when Young came in, he appeared “natural.” Barbee also noted that he would ‘respond’ to improvs well and that helped him land the role.
6 Sammi Haney Was Written As A Latinx, Although They Were Open To Other Ethnicities
On the show, Dion eventually becomes best friends with a classmate by the name of Esperanza. While speaking with the character, Barbee told The Credits, “I had written her as Latinx, but we were open to all ethnicities.” For the role, Barbee also revealed that the show’s casting director saw several boys and girls of “different races” in wheelchairs.
However, they couldn’t seem to find the right person until Haney showed up. Barbee even remarked that Haney is the “breakout” actress of the show. Haney is expected to appear in the upcoming season of the show.
5 Alisha Wainwright Required Dance Training For The Role
On the show, Wainwright’s character, Nicole, is supposed to be a former ballerina and that put some pressure on the actress when it came to portraying the role as accurately as possible. While speaking with BlackFilm.com, the actress admitted that she didn’t have “any professional dance training.” Hence, when she learned about her new role, she moved to Atlanta a month before production to do some “intense dance training” with the show’s dance coordinator, Jennifer Nathan. Meanwhile, Wainwright also told BriefTake that she’s spent “a lot of time around dancers.” That helped her “pick up a lot of stuff.”
4 The Cast Knew The Show’s Story Arc Prior To Filming
In recent years, Marvel has set the bar high in terms of how far they’re willing to keep the film a secret. In fact, many noted that Marvel’s secrecy around Avengers: Infinity War was unprecedented. That said, the Raising Dion production team was the complete opposite of Marvel. Instead, they were open to the cast from the very beginning. “Once I got the role and started working through the character, they gave me the rest of the episodes,” Wainwright told Collider. “I actually always knew the entire season arc, and then, also, the character arc.”
3 The Cast Worked Around 13 Hours A Day While Filming The Episodes
The show’s first season may have only run for nine episodes, but the cast dealt with long hours while working on all of them. “We were averaging 13 hours a day five days a week and learning lines on the weekends,” Wainwright recalled while speaking with Cine Sports Talk.
During production, the actress also revealed that she “learned so much about self-care.” Meanwhile, her co-star, Jason Ritter, had to learn to work with special effects while shooting the series because it was the first time he ever really had to.
2 However, The Kids Had Limited Hours
The adult cast may have had to work all day long, but not Young and his younger co-stars. As Liu explained to Talkies Network, “Our kids were like ticking time bombs – 4 hours shootable time due to labor laws.” To make sure they didn’t exceed the hours, there was a team that managed the children’s time on the set. Meanwhile, Young told Yay OMG! That he would “have dance parties and play zombies” with Ritter during long breaks. That said, the young actor also made sure that he memorized his lines for the next day before having some fun.
1 There Are Some Stark Differences Between The Show And The Comics
While speaking with IGN, Liu revealed that the comics put more focus on “designer babies and CAS-9 technology (nature vs. nurture).” At the same time, Wainwright’s character was not a former dancer. Instead, Nicole once worked at Biona as an illustrator. However, Liu explained, “I made the decision early to never release more comics so that the canon didn’t get mixed up with the TV version.” Liu may have a point here. After all, fans see a show’s difference from its comics counterpart easily. For instance, fans have spotted five ways Riverdale is different from Archie comics.
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