Marvel TV and Netflix have officially partnered up with a plan set to bring a staggering amount of exclusive content to the video streaming service in 2015. The terms of the deal include a “minimum” of four 13-episode series,” led by Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, and culminating in a mini-series, The Defenders. All of the stories will center around Hell’s Kitchen, New York, home base for these heroes. Programming will merely begin in 2015, with all of this content rolling out over a period of several years.
“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,” Marvel Entertainment president Alan Fine said in a prepared 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.”
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos also had positive things to say about the partnership in a separate statement. “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,” he said. “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 is a big move for both companies, clearly. It strengthens the partnership that was struck in 2012 when Netflix became the exclusive subscription TV service for first-run live action and animated features from Walt Disney Studios, an umbrella that also covers Marvel Studios, Pixar, and Lucasfilm.
It’s important to temper any optimism over this news with some caution, however; Marvel Studios has had great success with its big screen efforts, but Marvel TV has yet to deliver on the promise of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., its ABC series. Hopefully, the looser content restrictions at Netflix will provide the series creators with the freedom they need to develop something truly special.