Just as Netflix is on the verge of releasing the highly-anticipated Marvel series The Defenders, the streaming giant has made one of its most ambitious content acquisitions yet by purchasing a comic book publisher in hopes of creating their own iconic comic book-based cinematic universe. Netflix announced today that the company has purchased Millarworld, the comics published launched by legendary comic book writer Mark Millar.
Millar has worked on some of the biggest titles in comic books, writing the Avengers story arcs that inspired the first Avengers movie, Captain America: Civil War, and Logan. Millarworld also publishes Kick-Ass, The Kingsman, and Wanted, all of which were adapted into films which were commercial successes. That level of success hasn’t stopped Millar from focusing on the future, however. Millar says he is “so in love with what Netflix is doing and excited by their plans” and that he believes “Netflix is the future and Millarworld couldn’t have a better home.”
In a press release issued today, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos says he feels the purchase could make Netflix a cinematic comic book powerhouse on the same scale as Marvel:
As creator and re-inventor of some of the most memorable stories and characters in recent history, ranging from Marvel’s The Avengers to Millarworld’s Kick-Ass, Kingsman, Wanted and Reborn franchises, Mark is as close as you can get to a modern day Stan Lee. We can’t wait to harness the creative power of Millarworld to Netflix and start a new era in global storytelling.
The timing of the purchase is a bit odd, given the upcoming Defenders release and the success Netflix has had with its original Marvel series. Still, Netflix only has those rights from Disney for a short time and at a high cost; purchasing their own comic book publisher is a form of insurance in the now-booming comic book cinema world. Let’s hope they can do Millarworld titles the on-screen justice they deserve.