Netflix Deal ‘Monetizes’ Marvel Characters Who Were ‘Never’ Going To Get Films

Published 1 year ago by , Updated November 12th, 2013 at 3:07 pm,

Marvel TV Shows Luke Cage Daredevil Netflix Deal Monetizes Marvel Characters Who Were Never Going To Get Films

Joss Whedon’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC is to Marvel TV what Iron Man was to Marvel Studios – the first building block in a larger, connected scheme. Beginning in 2015 with Daredevil, Marvel’s TV division will begin to launch one of four officially announced upcoming series on Netflix, leading to a crossover miniseries event dubbed The Defenders.

The other three connected shows, all based in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, follow Marvel superheroes Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Danny Rand (Iron Fist) – finally giving screen time to characters who’ve been talked about for years but never pushed into feature film development. As it turns out, they’re simply characters who were never going to get a shot on the big screen.

Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige will tell you that the film division has a rough outline of their plans going all the way up until 2021, a schedule that defines what projects and characters will make up “Phase 3” and “Phase 4″ of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, who spoke with analysts during a fourth quarter earnings meeting for The Walt Disney Company yesterday, the confirmed characters are described as “not among the most popular” and for Marvel, “were never going to become feature films.”

jessica jones2 Netflix Deal Monetizes Marvel Characters Who Were Never Going To Get Films

Iron Man wasn’t among the most popular characters when it debuted in 2008 and before word of Guardians of the Galaxy getting an adaptation began to spread online, very few people knew their stories, but we do understand what he means. The truth is, there are big movie plans in place for years to come and the characters and feature films placed into development are all building towards bigger goals and adding something “different” to Marvel slate.

Iger continues, explaining that the Netflix deal is a “win win deal” for Disney and the service provider, but there’s an obvious extra “win” for fans who will have the ability to watch an entire 13-episode season without commercials, in one big marathon run on Netflix. He added that bringing these multiple, connected programs to Netflix “is a great opportunity to monetize some great characters.”

While the official announcement yesterday didn’t mention the possibility of the shows and miniseries being connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we expect them to be. If certain characters prove popular, they could then potentially show up on the film side, perhaps one day joining The Avengers. Either way, more diverse characters are getting screen time and Netflix model allows the creators to have more freedom in storytelling and in tone.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Tuesdays @8pm on ABC.

Thor: The Dark World releases November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie & TV news!

Sources: Deadline, Zacks

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
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  1. YES YES YES YES YES I CANNOT WAIT YES YES YES!Rob Keys made me pee my pants!!!!!!!!!!

    • If they really could do great with the characters they should be connected to the films.

  2. Wow, the voting is currently divided equally around 33% each. Time to buy a lotto ticket.

  3. So much for a Daredevil reboot movie. I just hope they can do justice to these characters. I like what they’ve done with Arrow but it’s different shows, directors, producers so who knows.

  4. Honestly, I really think more justice can be done to Daredevil through a 13 episode series than through a reboot movie. Not only that, having these “ground-level” heroes on tv while keeping the over the top action heroes on the big screen feels more natural and allows for numerous projects at once. I really love the way they are going about it and I am excited to see how it turns out.

  5. They should make the series then make a low budget ‘The Defenders’ Movie. That would be awesome!

    • I think they are doing a Defenders mini-series.

  6. why isn’t daredevil popular enough for a good reboot?

    • Look at it like this, here is an opportunity to get a 13 hours of a good Daredevil story, versus the possibility of a good 1.5 to 2 hour Daredevil story.

  7. That means the Punisher will most definitely be coming onto film. The fact that they didn’t announce it as a TV series even though he’s so popular, effectively guarantees it.

    • Testing

  8. I can go either/or regarding interconnecting with the movie universe.

    But I am excited to see all these characters outside of the comics. We might even get to see Punisher, Moon Knight, etc. in cameos.

    Now let’s put a different pole: which actor is fat and strong enough for the Kingpin? 😛

    • DeNiro as Kingpin?

      • A bald Eric Stonestreet?

        • lol! all i would see is bald Cam!

  9. I don’t see a reason NOT to connect these to the overall world, even if its just a few throwaway lines, it keeps more possibilities open.

    This is an amazing move, by the way. I hope they give AoS the breathing room to grow in itself, that way they can apply the lessons learned about making a serialized comic book TV show that is integrated with movie releases to these new shows.

    Marvel and Disney are killing it on the innovation end. And they will take down a ton of profit for their efforts. Grats.

    • It would be wise to leave the connections open. I agree.

  10. Thankfully Black Panther isn’t on the list of TV shows. Which means he’s a part of pase 3 or 4! yay!

    • Or shafted completely…

      • The black hero “shafted”? I see what you did there.

  11. they are using Daredevil a known name to launch lesser known names into a series which sounds good to me, but introducing them into the movie universe i think could get messy real fast

    i’m hoping Punisher gets introduced into tv or movie

    this is great news for fans

  12. I think Marvel made a great call here, the movies should focus on the Avengers and Supernatural hero’s like Dr. Strange, Hellstorm, Blade / Night Stalkers, Dracula, Ghost Rider / Midnight Sons, Gargoyle, Morbius, Werewolf By Night, Frankencastle, Man-Thing / Marvel Zombies, etc..

    Marvel’s supernatural world has been dormant on film while – Underworld, Resident Evil, Harry Potter, Paranormal Activity and Twilight have made billions for other studios.

    I’m a huge fan of Marvel Knights but the supernatural stuff is where the money is, let the PI’s and street vigilantes of NYC have their own universe on Netflix.

  13. I’ve wanted a Power Man and Iron Fist show more than anything for 30 years!!!

  14. It’s ironic that Marvel sold the film rights to all their top tier properties such as X-Men and Spider-Man. If they hadn’t, no doubt they’d be churning out X-Men and Spider-Man films instead of Avengers and B-grade heroes like Iron Man. Iron Man who, would you have it, is now making more money than X-Men and Spider-Man.

    One can only imagine what a Disney/Marvel produced X-Men film would be like.

    • Sold those film rights when facing bankruptcy and now expanding their brand to include television. Clever bastards.

      • Hahaha +100

    • Re: “no doubt they’d be churning out X-Men and Spider-Man films instead of Avengers and B-grade heroes like Iron Man.”

      That’s what I’ve said before, only I look at it as a positive. They got movies made that weren’t going to be made otherwise, ushered in a new age of SH movies with X-men and Spiderman, and then they developed b-list SH into blockbuster characters. Meanwhile WB has owned all DC properties for over twenty years, and we’ve only seen Batman and Superman (and Green Lantern).

      I agree completely. If all Marvel properties were in one place we’d see endless series and reboots of Spider-man, FF, and X-men. As it’s turned out, we’ve gotten a lot more, with more yet to come.

      I’m in no hurry. We’ll see Marvel get Spider-man and X-men back. It won’t take as long as people think.

      • And Marvel’s success with a connected universe is pushing Sony, Fox, and WB/DC to work harder on making their own connected universes, so it’s really a win-win for everyone, especially the fans.

        • +9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999

      • I hope you’re right about this because I would love to see Marvel films with Spider-Man and the X-Men teaming up with various heroes

      • I hope so!

  15. thomas jane can even come back for punisher on tv

  16. Sounds amazing I can’t wait, it also got me thinking that someone like Aaron Paul as Danny Rand/Iron Fist would be awesome!

    • ray park he has championed himself to play iron fist for years

  17. Michael C Hall as Matt Murdock

    • he’s a little old but he would be great

  18. I wish this superhero era is over and the networks will come up with truly original programming.
    One of the best shows of the last… well, ever, is House Of Cards. And I know, it’s also a sort of remake, BUT all these superhero stories… It all comes down to very similar origin stories and the whole good-versus-evil storylines. Not to mention it’s the exact same concept being recycled over and over: Man Inherits A Superpower And Decides To Fight Crime.

    More Gilligan, more Kapinos, more Weiner, please more writers with a unique series concept and their literairy way of fleshing out their stories.

    • To me the most unoriginal and mind-numbing stuff on T.V. isn’t superheroes…it’s the legion of crime shows: all the different iterations of Law and Order, NCIS, Bones, Numbers, Castle….

      They are so formulaic. I’d rather watch a hundred superhero shows than watch one of those crime shows. At least superheroes are usually fun.

      • That’s the same thing my brother’s always said.

        He’s still annoyed that Law & Order got to 30 seasons or something similar while shows he loves have been cancelled over the years.

      • There are so many crime dramas, it’s ridiculous. I mean 3 different versions of CSI? Whoa! I’d much rather see characters with giant backgrounds than more detectives breaking down investigations that have already been solved countless times in the past.

        • That’s the main problem with all these crime shows. There’s nothing that makes them stand out from one another. No originality.

          That’s why I love Ripper Street though. Haven’t seen the first two episodes of season 2 yet but the first was brilliant.

          • I’m guessing Ripper Street is a UK TV show? I’ve never heard of it over here.

    • Someones obviously disappointed with season one of AoS.

      • Honestly, the only people NOT disappointed with AOS are the deluded ones.

        • Right, because people with opinions different from yours are clearly not right in the head.


        • This is coming from (if I remember crocctly) someone who likes blade 3 and spiderman 3.

        • Wrong. I enjoy AoS because it is the only good Tuesday night show. xD Besides ‘The Voice’ LOL

  19. I like the whole idea of non-network TV mini-series rather than TV shows. They’ll probably loosen up the purse strings more. And I’m hoping the development of a Hulk TV show will work it’s way into this.

    They’re saying these characters would “never” make it into movies, but this could change ideas about that possibly. And since the movie line-up is crowded, and they aren’t sure about how to use Hulk, I would love if he ended up in one of these.

    • I doubt Hulk will become a TV show due to the high dollar CGI required to make a good Hulk. Whedon even commented on the price for Avengers.

      • There was a lot of talk, and presumably a lot of development for a Hulk TV show before and after Avengers. Guillermo Del Toro was the one developing it. I’m sure they would have used a mix of CGI and practical.

        Anyway, I assume that mini-series would “concentrate” the budget and might allow for some Hulk effects. Marvel currently has no concrete plans for Hulk movies, and since they were actively developing an ABC TV show, I’m still wondering if that might affect these shows.

  20. I think this is the perfect opportunity to link the different universes.

  21. How is Daredevil not big enough to have his own movie when he already has had one?

    • Fancy. A self-answering question.

  22. It would be amazing if they could get Aaron Paul as Daredevil.I highly doubt he will do a Netflix series now though.

  23. So again, more superheroes on TV. Lets hope it’s more like Arrow and less like AOS.

    I can see Iron Fist being somewhat adorned with occasional flashbacks to his training (and hopefully including cameos from Shang Chi and Stick to tie into the Daredevil show).

    I’m not all too familiar with Jessica Jones outside of knowing she and Luke are married and have a child because the stories I’ve read, she’s always been a minor character so looking forward to that.

    I just wonder which channel(s) will air the shows (in the UK I mean, since Arrow is on Sky1 and AOS is on Channel 4).

    • These are going to be Netflix exclusives. Not sure how that translates outside the US though.

      • Yeah because something else was Netflix exclusive in the US but it aired on Sky Atlantic over here on TV.

        I’m just wondering if one of the channels I mentioned will get the UK distribution rights or if they’ll be spread across several different channels (Watch may get the Jones show for example, Fox could have the Cage show alongside TWD and I have no clue which could pick up Iron Fist).

    • Actually it should avoid being like AoS or Arrow. It should be more like XFiles.

  24. Come on, everyone knows how this work…
    If the tv shows succeeds, then it´s movie time!

    • So we definitely won’t get a S.H.I.E.L.D. movie then, ever?

    • Not this time,
      Netflix paid 100 mil for 12+ episodes of House of Cards.
      If Marvels deal is comparable to the House of Cards deal, Netflix is paying Marvel around 400 mil.

      So doing the math, 60 episodes at 4 mill each = 240 mil which is a ($160 profit) with no risk of loss funds. Plus, Netflix is also paying for a mini-series.

      A bird in the hand is worth more than one in the bush.

      • Disney was most likely paid in Netflix stock, which will surely rise once these original programs start airing, and the taxes on stock are 15% not 50%. This deal is a far better deal than producing feature films.

  25. Ant Man gets a movie, while Daredevil sits in limbo. Thank you very much Ben Affleck and Mark Steven Johnson. We lose a great character and gain a movie that will only be good if Ant Man goes Ike Turner on the Wasp.

    • Why are you blaming Affleck? Because he appeared in it as the lead?

      Shouldn’t you be blaming Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Garner too? Or did I watch a rare version of the movie where Affleck wrote, directed, produced and starred in it as the only person in the movie playing every role?

      • Because Affleck played a superhero and could not throw a kick higher than his waist. He was a horrible choice and gave a half ass performance

    • Getting a 13-hour premium TV show is limbo? Sounds like a sweet deal to me, for a C-lister. Don’t get me wrong: I love DareDevil, a lot, but he is not well known; and frankly seems more like awesome TV show material than movie material.

  26. Jessica Jones….I wonder if that whole purple Man incident will be a major part of her story…. Since it does kind of make up her character in the comics…. So disturbing

    • That would be pretty cool to see actually.

      If they go through with it, expect a Punisher and Ghost Rider show to be more likely too.

    • I expect that might play a part; but not quite to the level as the comics. I think Marvel will keep it PG-13, not necessarily “kiddie” stuff, but broadly marketable and acceptable for at least older children.

  27. Again, this sounds great to me. Mini-series usually have bigger budgets, it’s not constricted by network TV, and comics have a lot more in common with episodic storytelling like TV than they do with movies.

  28. Please not Netflix.

  29. This is a win-win for Marvel and the fans. It gives fans an expanded universe while giving Marvel a relatively low-cost option to introduce new characters. Film rights and money can be saved for later if a character or characters become popular. As long as it’s done well, no one loses.