The Walt Disney Company, Marvel Studios, and Netflix announced a partnership deal today that will see four new original television series coming to the streaming video service in the near future.
With ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. having lukewarm success (we could talk about that in a separate article) in a primetime slot on Tuesday nights, Disney is looking to catch lightning in a bottle. The company has approved series about four Marvel superheroes; Dare Devil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones.
Each hero will get their own 13 episode series hoping to establish a larger universe in the Marvel Initiative. That new initiative is “The Defenders”, which will be a mini-series that brings the four heroes together on-screen and that “reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.”
Marvel is using the same blueprint with this small-screen initiative that they used with their original cinematic blueprint with the characters of Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America, and Thor which ultimately set up The Avengers.
The Walt Disney Company originally shopped the series around to different cable networks including WGN America and also other online streaming services, such as Amazon Prime. Disney already has an exclusive deal with Netflix that brings all DVD/Blu-ray releases to the service first before going to retailers starting in 2016.
As far as the characters go, they will each be getting their own original stories. You may remember that Daredevil was one of the first superheroes to get the big movie treatment back in the early 2000’s with Ben Affleck starring. After FOX relinquished the movie rights to the character Marvel opted to swoop in with their own plans for the character. Luke Cage and Iron Fist are two of Marvel’s older and more well known characters who haven’t seen the level of interest in other characters. Jessica Jones is a recently new addition to the Marvel squad, first appearing in the ABC TV series Alias and then appearing in cross-over comic book stories with Spider-Man and the New Avengers.
These new series will start in 2015.
Netflix has grown its reputation on the back of their other original series including House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Hemlock Grove.