Marvel has a bit of a surprise for you. Not satisfied with storming onto ABC and bringing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (and the upcoming Agent Carter) into households each week, the studio is now teaming up with Netflix for an unprecedented new deal to move to the small screen. Beginning in 2015, Marvel will develop four original shows focusing on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage. After those wrap, the four series will lead to a cumulative miniseries event bringing together a re-imagined version of The Defenders.
Though this may not directly be part of Marvel’s under-wraps plans for cranking out movies until 2021, it’s certainly a way to lay the foundation for their goal: to prove that they’re “more than the five characters and five franchises” featured in The Avengers. Here are four more notable Marvel characters, ready for duty on Netflix. Once that miniseries has concluded, how soon until the new movies begin filming?
The decision to take things to Netflix is a very strategic move for Marvel, and for Disney, their parent company. Beginning in 2016, Netflix will be the exclusive subscription television distributor of all Walt Disney Studios films; when you want to see that inevitable Daredevil film on the small screen, you’re going to have to get a subscription to view it on Netflix…where all their original programming exists. Hey! You might also like Jessica Jones.
The Netflix format will also benefit their storytelling when it comes to the original programs and the miniseries. Netflix has proven with House of Cards and Orange is the New Black that when you have a compelling program and smart writing, people will eagerly binge-watch and write tomes on its greatness. Imagine being able to sit down and parse through 13 episodes of a Luke Cage-themed show at your own pace (all at once, let’s be honest). There’s no word yet on which show will be developed first, or when a specific premiere date will land. The programming will take place over the course of a few years, so don’t expect to have two shows running at the same time in different tabs looking for easter eggs or something.
Though Netflix still has the pesky problem of not releasing show ratings, it doesn’t seem like it will matter for Marvel, where the characters are already well-known commodities, and the shows simply need some of that word-of-mouth hype.
It’s a lot to take in at once, but for Marvel, going big has never been an issue. Would any of us imagine it any other way? Now, to speculate on casting and inevitable crossovers.