Marvel Inks TV Deal with Netflix

Marvel and Netflix have announced a deal for four TV series and a miniseries.

The two companies recently entered into a multi-year deal that will see Marvel Television and ABC Television Studios — which produce Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — producing Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Daredevil. Each series will be thirteen episodes, and the four will be followed by The Defenders, a miniseries that “reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters,” according to the announcement.

Commence speculation on the team’s members. Given that Daredevil and Luke Cage have both been members of the Defenders during the 1970s, it’s possible this plan could follow what Marvel did with the movies, using the solo series to build to the miniseries. And remember, the Hulk was a founding member of the Defenders.

Jessica Jones is a property that was already in development two years ago, with Twilight writer Melissa Rosenberg working on scripts for ABC. Back then it was called AKA Jessica Jones, and there’s no confirmation this is the same project, but it’s likely to be. That show had Jones running as a private investigator after suffering post-traumatic stress and giving up the superhero life.

“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.”

Netflix president Ted Sarandos pointed up his company’s unique approach storytelling and distribution. Coming on the heels of his statements about traditional distribution models, Sarandos says Iron Man and The Avengers are doing very well on Netflix. “Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels.”

Last week, during the Level Eleventy-Seven podcast, we speculated on which characters would turn up in the new shows. Our predictions included Daredevil and Heroes for Hire. And while we missed the mark a bit on the miniseries, we were spot on with our predictions for the individual shows (even though HFH is essentially being broken into three shows…).

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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