Marvel will now dominate all media. Having conquered the multiplex, currently holding down TV with "Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." (even as the show finds its footing), the next move for Marvel is streaming into the homes of fans everywhere with the simple click of a button.
Disney and Netflix have officially announced a plan to bring four original, live-action series to the streaming company, with the first of them to kick off in 2015. So who are we going to see? The company's new acquired "Daredevil" is going to kick things off with "Jessica Jones," "Iron Fist" and "Luke Cage" to follow. And that's not all, as the studio will also be dropping a miniseries for "The Defenders." Damn. It was just a few weeks ago that rumors first cropped up that Marvel was shopping four new TV shows and a miniseries around town, and not only has it turned out to be true, it's for characters that have been part of rumor mill for a long time.
One has to hand it to Kevin Feige for being one of the savviest honchos around at this point, and who also knows how to keep a secret. After all, it was only about five months ago when he addressed inquires about the fate of "Daredevil" by saying: “There comes a time in contracts where, if a studio is done making the movies, [the characters] come home. That doesn’t mean we’re going to make another movie. But it means they’re back in the fold, which is where we want them to be.”
Moreover, this is a pretty canny move all around. Not only does Marvel get another premium outlet for their programming, this will (hopefully) allow them to take a few more chances that they might otherwise be cagier about doing when hundreds of millions of dollars are involved, or the ratings of a major network cable channel. Right now, Netflix has committed to 13-episode seasons for each show, though how long "The Defenders" mini will run hasn't been determined.
Thoughts? Is this a good home for these characters to find their footing? The only bummer is that for those of you waiting for a "Luke Cage" standalone movie, it looks like that may be distant dream. Read the official press release below.
The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) today announced an unprecedented deal for Marvel TV to bring multiple original series of live-action adventures of four of Marvel’s most popular characters exclusively to the world’s leading Internet TV Network beginning in 2015. This pioneering agreement calls for Marvel to develop four serialized programs leading to aminiseries programming event.
Led by a series focused on “Daredevil,” followed by “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage,” the epic will unfold over multiple years of original programming, taking Netflix members deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Netflix has committed to a minimum of four, thirteen episodes series and a culminating Marvel’s “The Defenders” mini-series event that reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.
Produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Television Studios, this groundbreaking deal is Marvel’s most ambitious foray yet into live-action TV storytelling.
“This deal is unparalleled in its scope and size, and reinforces our commitment to deliver Marvel's brand, content and characters across all platforms of storytelling. Netflix offers an incredible platform for the kind of rich storytelling that is Marvel’s specialty,” said Alan Fine, President of Marvel Entertainment. “This serialized epic expands the narrative possibilities of on-demand television and gives fans the flexibility to immerse themselves how and when they want in what’s sure to be a thrilling and engaging adventure.”
“Marvel’s movies, such as ‘Iron Man’and Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’, are huge favorites on our service around the world. Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “With ‘House of Cards’ and our other original series, we have pioneered new approaches to storytelling and to global distribution and we’re thrilled to be working with Disney and Marvel to take our brand of television to new levels with a creative project of this magnitude.”
This new original TV deal follows last year’s landmark movie distribution deal through which, beginning with 2016 theatrically released feature films, Netflix will be the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run, live-action and animated movies from the Walt Disney Studios, including titles from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Disneynature and Lucasfilm. Netflix members can currently enjoy a wide range of Disney, ABC TV and Disney Channel films and shows across the 41 countries where Netflix operates.