Financial terms were not disclosed. Under the agreement, Marvel will develop four serialized programs leading to a miniseries programming event, unfolding over several years. The four series, set in the underworld of Hell’s Kitchen in New York, are to include “Daredevil,” followed by “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage.”
For Netflix, it’s another foray into original TV built on established entertainment brands. This summer the company inked a deal with DreamWorks Animation, Netflix’s biggest ever for first-run content, under which the studio will produce 300-plus hours of original programming based on DWA characters.
Disney is opting to team up with Netflix after bringing Marvel properties to TV on ABC. This fall, the Alphabet net debuted “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” and ordered full 22-ep season this month after a strong initial showing; however, the show’s ratings have fallen in recent weeks.
Netflix has committed to a minimum of four 13-episodes series plus a culminating miniseries event, “The Defenders,” which “reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters,” the companies said. The shows will be produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Television Studios.
“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,” Alan Fine, president of Marvel Entertainment, said in a statement. “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 “Iron Man” and “The Avengers” are very popular on Netflix today, and the new series will draft off that fan base, according to chief content officer Ted Sarandos.
“Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels,” he said. Sarandos touted Netflix’s approach as enabling “new approaches to storytelling and to global distribution.”
Marvel project follows Netflix’s output deal with Disney announced in December 2012. Under that deal, Mouse House titles will be available exclusively on Netflix in the pay TV window in the U.S. after Disney’s pact with Starz concludes at the end of 2015. Deal covers films from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Disneynature and Lucasfilm.