Throwback Thursday: THE DEFENDERS and Marvel’s Netflix Series
Let’s be honest here, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a beast. It is so huge and inspiring, it has caused tons of other big companies to mimic their studio practices after them. Let us look into the history, to understand where they’re going. That is a huge compliment for the company that has only been releasing films since 2008, a mild 6 years ago. Starting with Iron Man, they introduced a B-list character with a damaged goods actor and created gold. Solid gold. When their next film, the Incredible Hulk struck a few months later and had a crossover between characters, their universe had been created.
This Marvel Universe has been cohesive and intertwined between films, often taking characters and situations from one film and referencing them in others. This culminated in The Avengers film in 2012, the third biggest film in the world. From here, it spawned a television show called Agents of SHIELD, which focuses on the government organization in that world as well. It only seems logical that Marvel would look to another form of media to further expand this universe and introduce more characters to their world.
Fast forward to November 2013, Marvel and Disney struck a deal with Netflix that not only is groundbreaking in terms of scope, but also in how Marvel looks to further introduce characters into the Marvel Universe. Beginning in 2015, Netflix will air four serialized programs, each focused on a separate Marvel Superhero that culminates in a team-up mini-series. Starting with Daredevil in 2015 and written/directed by Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods), we’ll see 13 episodes of the character before the next serials are released. Followed by Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, we’ll be introduced to this small group of Marvel Knights who will join together to form The Defenders in their own mini-series, after the serials have completed airing. This will expand on the Hell’s Kitchen and gritty underworld of the Marvel universe we’ve yet to see take form on film.
Taking place over several years, this Video-On-Demand story that Marvel is creating with Netflix is unprecedented for any type of studio, let alone the super hero genre. Daredevil will focus on the titular blind lawyer who patrols the streets at night with his own brand of justice. Jessica Jones will pick up with the superhero turned private detective. Luke Cage will follow the wrongfully accused inmate as he gains indestructible skin and super strength. Let us not forget Iron Fist, with the powers from K’un Lun who is a master of martial arts and imbued with the power of the iron fist.
Each series should have a distinctive tone and scope that may feel similar to the original Avengers setup. We’ll get one character and then each subsequent one builds up to the finale, the Defenders mini-series. Personally, I find this fantastic as a way to get more Marvel characters into the larger universe without expending energy and resources on a full length film. Keeping them real, grounded and small will help these characters grow without making the larger universe feel crowded.
What do you think about these Marvel characters getting their own VOD series on Netflix? Is there anyone Marvel missed you’d rather see on these shows instead?
Disney’s Marvel and Netflix Join Forces to Develop Historic Four Series Epic plus a Mini-Series Event Based on Renowned Marvel Characters
Landmark Deal Brings Marvel’s Flawed Heroes of Hell’s Kitchen, led by “Daredevil,” to the World’s Leading Internet TV Network in 2015
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 mini-series 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.
Watch our very own Lorraine Cink, host of “The Watcher,” share the news below:
About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $42.3 billion in its Fiscal Year 2012.
Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 40 million members in more than 40 countries enjoying more than one billion hours of TV shows and movies per month, including original series. For one low monthly price, Netflix members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.
Marvel.com brought you the first news of the historic team-up between Marvel Television and Netflix, and now we’re proud to officially announce that award-winning writer/director Drew Goddard (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Lost,” “Cloverfield,” “Cabin in the Woods,” “World War Z”) will join Marvel’s “Daredevil”! Goddard will write and direct the “Daredevil” first episode, setting the tone and look for the show, while also serving as series Showrunner and Executive Producer for the 13-episode series premiering on Netflix in 2015.
For more information on “Daredevil” and Marvel Television, please keep checking Marvel.com.