In a first for Netflix, the streaming company has announced the acquisition of comic book creator Mark Millar’s publishing company, Millarworld. Millar has created such iconic characters and stories as Wanted, Kingsman, Kick-Ass and Old-Man Logan. He also developed the stories and characters which led to the massively popular films the Avengers, Captain America: Civil War and this year’s smash hit Logan.
Millar, who runs Millarworld alongside his wife Lucy, is considered royalty in the graphic novel and comic book universe and his 8 years working with Marvel led to huge success for himself and the company. His 2002 book called The Ultimates was named the comic book of the decade by Time Magazine and many believe laid the groundwork for the formation of the Mavel Cinematic Universe.
Mark Millar himself announced the news on his own website. You can read the full article HERE
Millarworld projects, since it’s inception in 2004, have created almost two dozen character worlds resulting in feature films that have generated nearly $1 billion in box office receipts. This includes the soon to be released sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle which is based on characters from Millar’s own creation The Secret Service.
The plan is to tap into Millar and Millarworld’s cache of characters that aren’t already in development by other companies and develop films, series and kids shows exclusive to Netflix. Part of the deal includes Millar and his co-creators continuing to create new characters and stories for future considerations within the Netflix brand.
Regarding the deal, Millar himself has said…
“This is only the third time in history a major comic book company has been purchased at this level. I’m so in love with what Netflix is doing and excited by their plans. Netflix is the future and Millarworld couldn’t have a better home.”
In a sense, Netflix has become the Image Comics of the streaming world. The company has for some time been looking to work directly with creators of new and exciting properties, the difference being they will maintain intellectual property of any stories or worlds created under the Netlfix banner. Where so many interesting and compelling characters and fictional worlds would never have seen the light of day in Hollywood, Netflix and chief content manager Ted Sarandos believe their platform is the future.
“We can’t wait to harness the creative power of Millarworld to Netflix and start a new era in global storytelling. We look forward to creating new Netflix Originals from several existing franchises as well as new super-hero, anti-hero, fantasy, sci-fi and horror stories Mark and his team will continue to create and publish.”
So, other than the aforementioned titles such as Kingsman, Wanted and Kick-Ass, who or what should be Netflix’s first project from Millarworld? With so many great comic book and graphic novel characters and concepts to choose from it seems like an enjoyable but formidable task.
First would be sorting through which projects are already in development somewhere else. Currently there are 14 titles from Millar that are currently in development all at different stages ranging from script to optioned to pre-production. As you can imagine the more popular titles such as Starlight and Chrononauts were scooped up years ago so it’s entirely possible the Netflix arrangement will mostly focus on new characters developed under this arrangement.
One of the few properties left that doesn’t appear to be optioned, which may be part of the deal, is the superb Millar/Greg Capullo sci-fi/fantasy book REBORN. The synopsis for the book is, “Where do you go when you die? Not heaven or hell; somewhere else. Somewhere you have to fight to survive. Somewhere the people from the past are waiting for you—the good and the bad.”
The series has been wildly successful and if it hasn’t been optioned yet, there’s a reason for it. That reason may be this Netflix partnership has been in the works for some time so it would make sense for Millar to hold off on announcing any potential deal for REBORN.
Many people consider Mark Millar to be a modern age Stan Lee and any deal that would help bring his concepts to a wider audience is inherently a good thing. Millar has been the owner of his “ideas” for some time now and has optioned, successfully, many characters and worlds to major studios in the past. So the notion that Netflix would be taking over any of these properties intellectually would be misinformed and premature.
With what Netflix has done with Marvel characters such as Daredevil and The Punisher, the future seems bright that the company is seeking out creators like Millar. It points to an understanding and intellect behind the decisions being made by Ted Sarandos and his team.
Till next time…