Netflix, Disney Partner Up To Develop 4 Marvel Superhero Series

Friday, 08 Nov 2013 10:49 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Move over Thor, Iron Man, and the rest of the Avengers because Marvel's lesser-known superheroes will soon be in the spotlight now that Netflix and Disney have partnered up to develop four new series for the online streaming service.

The multiyear deal secures a series apiece for Marvel characters Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, which will culminate with a mini-event called "The Defenders" to air sometime in 2015, Netflix and Disney's Marvel announced Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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The mutually beneficial deal will allow Marvel to expand its empire with new storylines for less popular characters without having to worry about ratings.

"The Marvel story world has a great deal of loyalty, and there has proven to be a lot of excitement around the whole concept of a connected set of stories across Marvel's films and television series for the Marvel universe," Sam Ford, co-author of a book titled "Spreadable Media," told the Times.

"It makes sense to use this property for some experimentation, particularly with some parts of the story that may be more niche," said Ford. "That Marvel would have 'The Avengers' on the big screen and Iron Fist and Luke Cage on Netflix means that Marvel is creating different business models — and metrics for success — for different parts of its stories."

The arrangement will let Netflix, which is fresh off a trio of Emmy wins for its show "House of Cards," to further build its portfolio of original content.

"Marvel’s movies, such as 'Iron Man' and 'Marvel’s The Avengers,' are huge favorites on our service around the world," Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. "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."

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