Marvel Is Taking its TV Business to Netflix with Live-Action Superhero Shows

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Complaining about the dearth of superheroes on Marvel's Agents of  SHIELD? Soon you can head to Netflix. The streaming video service will run four live-action series from Marvel based on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, starting in 2015. 

Netflix's Marvel madness will culminate in a miniseries about The Defenders, whose members have historically included Doctor Strange and the Hulk. Each series will be the standard cable-length 13 episodes and, according to a press release from Marvel, will "unfold over multiple years of original programming." 

This gives Marvel the chance to trot out more members from their superhero dugout, including the blind Daredevil, whose rights recently reverted back to Marvel from Fox.  The series also give major screen time to both female (Jones) and African American (Cage) characters, addressing the widely acknowledged diversity problem with their big-screen features

With the Netflix shows, Marvel will also be able to fix one of the commonly cited problems with their network TV venture Agents of SHIELD—which got a full season order, despite falling ratings. Namely, the lack of any real superheroes. And while it's hard to imagine Disney allowing these shows to be genuinely dark, Netflix distribution also means there will be no network TV restrictions on content.

Deadline's Nellie Andreeva reported back in October that Marvel was working on this package, but it was unclear who would pick up the various series. As big news as this is for Marvel, it's also a rather impressive flexing of muscle from Netflix, after making big moves in the original documentary market earlier this week


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.