×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Netflix Buys Comics Publisher Behind Kingsman, Kick-Ass

Netflix — in the first company acquisition in its history — has bought Millarworld, the comic-book publishing firm founded by Mark Millar, creator of characters and stories including Kick-Ass, Kingsman, and Old Man Logan.

Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed. Netflix said it will develop films, TV shows and kids’ series based on Millarworld’s portfolio of character franchises. Millarworld will also continue to create and publish new stories and character franchises under the Netflix label.

For Netflix, the move reflects its desire to own and develop intellectual property, rather than simply license it. Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, in announcing the deal, said: “As creator and re-inventor of some of the most memorable stories and characters in recent history, ranging from Marvel’s The Avengers to Millarworld’s Kick-Ass, Kingsman, Wanted and Reborn franchises, Mark is as close as you can get to a modern-day Stan Lee.”

Added Millar: “This is only the third time in history a major comic book company has been purchased at this level,” after Warner Bros. bought DC Comics in 1968 and Disney bought Marvel in 2009.

“I’m so in love with what Netflix is doing and excited by their plans,” Millar said. “Netflix is the future, and Millarworld couldn’t have a better home.”

Scotland-native Millar runs Millarworld with his wife, Lucy Millar. Previously he spent eight years at Marvel, where he developed the comic books and story arcs that inspired the first Avengers movie, “Captain America: Civil War,” and “Logan,” which collectively grossed over $3 billion in worldwide box office. His 2002 comic book “The Ultimates” was named best comic book of the decade by Time’s Techland.com and was described by “Avengers” screenwriter Zak Penn as the blueprint for the Marvel cinematic universe. Millar also worked at DC Comics, where he created the graphic novel “Superman: Red Son.”

Since Millarworld was started in 2004, the company and its co-creators have produced 18 character worlds. Three of those — Wanted, Kick-Ass and Kingsman — have been adapted as theatrical films that together have grossed nearly $1 billion at the global box office. Other members of the Millarworld universe include Jupiter’s Legacy, MPH, Chrononauts, Reborn, Huck, Starlight, Superior, Nemesis, War Heroes, Supercrooks and American Jesus.

In a blog post on his company’s website, Mark Millar said he will be flying to Los Angeles to “strategise the next steps” with Netflix — while he takes a hiatus from producing new comics. “‘Jupiter’s Legacy’ and ‘Reborn’ both concluded in the last few weeks and I’m going undercover between now and spring as I stockpile all the new projects we’re putting together, but you’ll hear about them very soon,” he wrote.

New York City-based Hughes Hubbard & Reed advised Millarworld in the transaction.

Pictured above: Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit Girl in 2010’s “Kick-Ass.”

More Film

  • International Film Festival and Awards Macao

    Macao Festival Signs Double Deals With Shanghai

    The International Film Festival & Awards Macao on Sunday signed twin agreements with institutions in Shanghai. The IFFAM, which is building towards its fourth edition in December, struck a collaboration agreement with the Shanghai International Film Festival. Separately, it is solidifying an existing informal arrangement with the Shanghai Film Art Academy concerning an exchange of [...]

  • wanda Movie Metropolis Qingdao

    Why Simon West Is Making Movies in China (EXCLUSIVE)

    British director Simon West (“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” “Con Air,” “The Expendables 2”) is set to dive further into the Middle Kingdom at the helm of his second Chinese action-adventure blockbuster. The Wanda-backed “The Legend Hunters,” hits theaters next summer. West was brought onto the project by veteran producer Eryong, who had approached him about [...]

  • The Eight Hundred

    Chinese Research Group May Have Caused Cancellation of 'The Eight Hundred' Premiere

    Chinese authorities may have abruptly yanked the $80 million patriotic war epic “The Eight Hundred” the day before its opening-night premiere at the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival because it didn’t portray rivals of the ruling Communist Party in a sufficiently negative light, local reports said. Huayi Bros., which produced the film, had on Friday attributed [...]

  • Simon West

    Simon West Directing Chinese Tomb-Raid Movie 'Legend Hunters' (EXCLUSIVE)

    British director Simon West, who made the Angelina Jolie-starring “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” is now co-directing a Chinese tomb-raiding film. “The Legend Hunters” is the next installment in the “Mojin” universe, based on the popular fantasy novel series “Ghost Blows Out the Light.” Backed by Wanda Pictures and Beijing-based Saints Entertainment, the film is set [...]

  • Emu Runner

    Sydney Film Review: 'Emu Runner'

    Writer-director Imogen Thomas’ debut feature “Emu Runner” has and probably will play in designated family-themed strands of film festivals, and given its story of a 9-year-old Aboriginal girl who deals with grief in the wake of her mother’s death by bonding with a lone female representative of Australia’s largest native bird species, this programming strategy [...]

  • Sophia Antipolis

    Locarno in Los Angeles Film Review: 'Sophia Antipolis'

    There are two Sophias in French director Virgil Vernier’s clever, cunning, chilling fifth feature. The first is its setting, the eponymous “Sophia Antipolis,” a technology park in the south of France, a place self-consciously designed as an experiment in social engineering, where an international community of professionals would, it was hoped, create an environment of [...]

  • I Lost My Body

    Netflix Pickup ‘I Lost My Body,’ ‘Buñuel,’ ‘Away’ Top Annecy Festival

    ANNECY, France  — Fulfilling expectations, Jeremy Clapin’s “I Lost My Body, the subject of one of the highest-profile Netflix deals at this year’s Cannes, won this Saturday the Annecy Festival’s top Cristal Award of best feature plus, in a relatively rare Annecy double whammy, the festival’s Audience Award. The first was expected, the second a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content