A blockbuster deal will bring four new original series to Netflix, each one featuring a different Marvel superhero. Starting in 2015, the premium online platform will house at least four original series starring the Marvel superheroes who will eventually join forces as ‘outsider’ dream team The Defenders.
Each series in the Marvel/Netflix partnership will center around a different character. Up first will be Daredevil, followed by Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. Once all four of these series have been introduced, Netflix will distribute a miniseries adapting The Defenders, a graphic novel super team first introduced by Marvel in 1971. Logically, there is room for all five of these series to expand, and more superheroes could still join the team down the line.
The deal will run parallel to the Avengers film universe Marvel created with the release of Iron-Man in 2008. Like with those movies, we can expect the first series in the Defenders cycle to weave in and out of one another. If Marvel is feeling particularly jazzy, it could link The Avengers with The Defenders, creating a huge universe spanning multiple platforms. Since the studio is planning an Ant-Man film for 2015, and Ant-Man has previously been a member of The Defenders, I’d guess they are planning to do exactly that.
Obviously, the deal is a huge coup for Netflix. The platform adds five fan-friendly series that are likely to draw in droves of Marvel fans. “Marvel’s movies, such as Iron Man and Marvel’s The Avengers, are huge favorites on our service around the world,” said Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos. “Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels. 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.”
We still have two years to speculate about the Defenders universe, but if the quality of Marvel’s current TV production is any indication, the Netflix series will be well worth a watch. At the very least, there’s no way the Daredevil offering isn’t better than the last time we saw Matt Murdock on screen.