Marvel Comics to produce four exclusive TV series for Netflix

Michelle Clancy | 08-11-2013

Just as the new Thor movie hits screens in the United States, Disney and Netflix have struck a deal for Marvel to develop four serialised TV programmes, leading to a miniseries programming event called the Defenders.

The shows, all with 13 episodes, will start with Daredevil, followed by Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. The epic will take Netflix members "deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell's Kitchen, New York," the companies said.

Produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Television Studios, the deal is Marvel's most ambitious foray yet into live-action TV storytelling.

"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," said Alan Fine, president of Marvel Entertainment. "Netflix offers an incredible platform for the kind of rich storytelling that is Marvel's specialty."

He added: "This serialised 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."

The original TV deal follows last year's landmark film distribution deal through which, beginning with 2016 theatrically released feature films, Netflix will be the exclusive US subscription television service for first-run, live-action and animated movies from the Walt Disney Studios, including titles from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Disneynature and Lucasfilm. Netflix members have a range of Disney, ABC TV and Disney Channel films and shows across the 41 countries where Netflix operates.

"Marvel's movies, such as Iron Man and Marvel's The Avengers, are huge favourites on our service around the world," said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. "Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels.

He added: "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."