In what is being hailed as a “landmark deal” between Disney and Netflix, the two media giants have pacted to produce 4 live-action serialised series and one “miniseries programming event.”
Per the terms of the deal, Marvel will develop four 13 episode series, with each being based on an established Marvel character (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage), and a mini-series event, titled The Defenders, that reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing heroic characters. The 5 series will be produced for Netflix by Marvel Television and ABC Television Studios and will be made available to Netflix subscribers in the United States, Canada, the UK, Ireland and Latin America in 2015.
“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 serialised 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 favourites 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.”
The deal for these live-action Marvel series grew out of the previous agreement between Netflix and Disney which makes Netflix 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. It also comes at a time when Netflix is aggressively expanding the number of original series they offer to their global subscribers. To that end, they have recently picked up Sense8, a new sci-fi series from J. Michael Straczynski and The Wachowskis; and an as-yet untitled drama series from Damages creators Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman.