The first project from Mark Millar and Netflix has been announced: a new comic book called The Magic Order. Netflix has spent years filling their streaming service with original TV shows and movies, many of which adapt popular source material. The streaming giant has also made sure to lock in prodigious talent in an effort to stay ahead of major studios. These concepts collided this past August when word broke that Netflix had acquired Millarworld, the collection of comic books created by veteran writer Mark Millar.
Aside from his work on projects like Civil War and The Ultimates for Marvel, Millar has created a vast number of hits comics for other publishers. Titles like The Secret Service, Kick-Ass, and Wanted have all made it to the big screen, and numerous other adaptations have been in development for years. With Netflix's acquisition, they'll now be able to spin out exclusive superhero and genre content into films and TV shows. But the deal will be more than that, it turns out, as the company will be helping Millar bring new comic book series to life as well.
EW broke the news that Netflix will be releasing a new comic book from Millar called The Magic Order, which will feature art from Olivier Coipel. While we still don't know what adaptations of Millar's works will be coming to Netflix, this news indicates the streaming service is interested in generating content from the ground up. The series itself will follow five magical families in a mob-like story with a fantasy backdrop. Along with the news, EW spoke with Millar about the project and debuted the cover for the book.
"Fantasy I think can be off-putting for people because it’s often missing a human angle, a realistic hook that makes it open to anyone. So my idea with The Magic Order was to take something that’s essentially about a secret order of good wizards who got rid of all the bad things hundreds of years ago, but live quietly among us now with blue-collar jobs and ordinary domestic lives. They have this secret life, but to the outside world it’s all very normal and it makes the idea look more like The Sopranos than Lord of the Rings."
The grounding of the magical world in reality is hardly new, with the book-turned-series The Magicians getting a lot of mileage out of the concept. Shows like Grimm and Supernatural have also done the same, but Millar's work will add some mafia flavor to the world. There's no word on if Netflix will use another publisher to distribute The Magic Order or will be getting into physical or digital publishing themselves, but the implications are interesting. If successful, we could see future books and comics put out by Netflix before being turned into shows. Likewise, their series could be spun out into all sorts of additional media.
For Millar, the immediate prospect of making The Magic Order is to bring something a bit edgier to the fantasy genre, while still maintaining its wonder.
"It’s all about accessibility, and the big idea here is that these are the guys who keep the world as rational and normal as it feels to us now. These guys are out there cracking heads in the shadows so we can all sleep safely in our beds at night. That’s the deal and the ancient promise they made to mankind: five families across the world who take care of things whenever they’re needed. It’s R-rated adult fantasy. Something for the kids who grew up 10 or 20 years ago loving all-ages fantasy in cinema, but now wanting something a little tastier."
With Millarworld and Netflix combined, new comics, shows, and films will continue to pop up over the coming months. There's no word yet on when The Magic Order will release, but expect it to make its way into a series or movie soon enough.