Netflix and Marvel teaming up for original programing


BURBANK, Calif., Nov. 7, 2013 – 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 a miniseries 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.

If they have the same quality as other Netflix shows, this will be a winner.


Well I certainly won’t not watch these, but they’re still ABC productions, just being distributed by Netflix, right? Worried they’ll feel more like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. than House of Cards from the House of Ideas.


It’s hard to feel any hype for these given how bad Agents of SHIELD is. So far the only Netflix original I’ve loved is Orange is the New Black.


Yeah, that’s my only worry. Agents of SHIELD has been really awful so far. I hope they go a little more gritty (Hell’s Kitchen territory, street-level heroes, etc) and less ABC TV primetime lowest common denominator BS.

The good news is that I have renewed hope for small-screen comic heroes. SHIELD may continue to suck and I don’t feel as bad for not watching.


Oh shit, Defenders!

That was my absolute favorite comic book when I was a kid. I had every issue. Finally getting some of the media love. I’m in!


I’m kind of in the opposite camp - as a child of the 80s, I really had no interest at all in 60s and 70s-era heroes like the Defenders, the Avengers, or the Fantastic Four.

The recent movies have of course reversed my total antipathy towards the Avengers, so I’ll give something like this a whirl. But if you had asked me to compile a list of Marvel characters I’d like to see a show developed for, Luke Cage and Iron Fist would have been pretty far down the list (to be fair, there are a slew of 90s-era characters that would be even lower). And honestly, I had to Google Jessica Jones.


I don’t really know anything about the Defenders, I could have told you that I think maybe they have Dr. Strange and the Hulk. So I have no idea if this is a reimagining of that team, or if the lineup has rotated over the years, or really anything else about the Defenders.

But the other four were all tied up together in Bendis’ great run on Daredevil in the early 00’s (and Alias, his not-related-to-the-TV-show book about Jessica Jones that preceded his Daredevil work). Based on Bendis’ work with the characters (and Fraction’s amazing Iron Fist that) I really like the idea of seeing these characters in action “together”, I just don’t know if I believe they can pull it off.


I kinda wanna have a nerdgasm at the thought of this. I do hope they can make it work.

So far as netflix originals go, I thought Lilyhammer and House of cards (esp HoC) were both great. I didn’t like the Twilight-ie one with Famke Jansen, though. I’ve only seen one episode of Orange so far. I get the impression that netflix is willing to toss ideas around and go a little for broke on stuff. If that’s the case maybe we can get some good superhero stuff out of this?


This does seem likely to kill any chance of these relatively down-to-earth heroes appearing on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I know some people were holding out hope for a little more super-powered action to try to goose that show a little, but that seems even less likely now.


I guess I think of those (except FF, which still feels very Silver Age and goofy to me) as 80s books. The Avengers was pretty big when I was really into comics as a 10-12 year old kid (early 80’s), and they had the big-name heroes. The Defenders were always the also-rans, except maybe for the Hulk. But they had my two favorites, Dr. Strange and Silver Surfer, and they were always hanging out at Dr. Strange’s mansion which I thought was pretty cool.

I’m gonna have to see if there’s a reprint collection of those and see if they hold up (doubtful).

I have to say I’m way more interested in these Netflix shows than I am in the movies. Getting more “gritty” street-level stories is way more exciting to me than yet another cosmos-spanning mega-crisis.


I love this news. I didn’t know Netflix had any shows other than House of Cards, but I’d much rather see these developed off of network TV after the utter disaster of Agent of SHIELD. Tons of great stories over the past 15 years involving these characters together too.


Great news, although I wonder if the SHIELD debacle (is it too early to call it that?) has done a fair bit of damage to the Marvel brand.


It’s hard to imagine S.H.I.E.L.D. doing damage. It’s just so bland. The people complaining are the fans sticking with it who will watch it anyway.


It’s off-topic but Orange is the New Black is really good.


Eh? Debacle? I’m not as plugged in to TV as some, but the reviews are pretty good and it seems like it’s doing pretty well ratings-wise, even if it is slowly dropping. It’s maybe not the blockbuster it looked to be at first, but “debacle” is pretty strong language.


Shield a debacle? No. Disappointment? Yes. It has not translated the fun of the Marvel movies to the small screen. Which doesn’t mean that everything else Marvel does for TV won’t work - it’s not like there haven’t been duds in the movies, too.


My question is how are these presented as. Netflix’s current original offerings would all be considered adult shows. SHIELD is very much more family/younger geared. Does Disney let them for lack of a better descriptor do R rated series or does it have to be more PG.


I find it odd that they’re putting the Defenders name on a team of street-level heroes. I don’t think I’ve ever read the comic, but given that the classic lineup is Dr. Strange, Namor, Hulk, and Silver Surfer, all near the top of the power curve in the Marvel Universe, I always thought of it as a counterpart to the Justice League, in power level if not popularity.

That said, I’m interested to see where they go with Luke Cage, though I’m disappointed they gave him and Iron Fist separate series instead of doing Heroes for Hire. It’s sad that FF is still tied up at Fox, because I’d love to see a modern update of the story where Doctor Doom stiffs him for a job, so he goes to Latveria to intimidate Doom into coughing up his $200.


Drew Goddard, co-writer of Cabin in the Woods, is in negotiations to write the Daredevil series.


This is pretty cool news. First off, Netflix is good for competition, at least here in Denmark where we have a few select cable tv companies that are charging insane prices and offer poor content. The more Netflix also produces, the more of a direct threat they become. Secondly, it also gives me hope for a Starwars show, since Marvel is owned by Disnet as is StarWars. Would be pretty awesome to have on Netflix, no?