Netflix has made its first full company acquisition, Mark Millar‘s Millarworld.
In a move announced early Monday morning, the streaming giant acquired the independent comic book imprint and its associated intellectual property.
Millar said in a statement that talks between himself and Netflix had been in the works since Christmas, culminating in today’s announcement. The purchase entitles Netflix to pursue development of nearly all of the Millarworld properties which have not yet made their way to some form of screen. The Kick-Ass and Kingsman franchises have been tremendously successful for Millar, and projects like Huck, Starlight, and Jupiter’s Circle have been in development for some time. Which of those projects will be first on Netflix’s docket will be a subject for much speculation in the weeks and months to come.
Dreams were how we got started. pic.twitter.com/5w2DOVykji
— Netflix US (@netflix) August 7, 2017
Netflix has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success in presenting on-screen adaptations of mainstream superheroes. Luke Cage remains one of the platform’s most successful series. Buzz for the upcoming release of The Defenders (which teams Cage with solo stars Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist) has begun to reach a fever pitch. The success of these efforts is almost certainly a major contributor to the acquisition. Continuing to rely on Disney-owned Marvel presents a certain set of challenges. Developing content wholly owned by themselves is a smart move for Netflix.
The acquisition is also a major move for the streaming service. It marks only the third time that a comic book publisher has been completely acquired by a media company. The first was DC’s acquisition by Warner Brothers in 1968, followed by Marvel’s acquisition by Disney in 2009.
While Millar’s library of IP might not have the same mainstream recognition as Batman or Captain America, its breadth gives Netflix a tremendous number of options to work with. Millarworld provides opportunies for not only limited series the likes of the Marvel shows. It also makes possible standalone films or a series of such focused around characters the likes of Superior or Huck. The Millarworld library transcends genre, giving Netflix nearly limitless possibilities.
Millar said in the same statement that he will be “going undercover between now and spring” to work on the upcoming slate as well as new projects. Expect announcements regarding adaptations to begin trickling out after the new year. In the meantime, speculation is almost certain to run rampant. Millar’s work is among some of the most celebrated in the industry. Books like Starlight and Huck received rave reviews. Jupiter’s Circle is considered by many to be the closest thing to Watchmen for the new millennium.
If Millarworld can do for Netflix originals what the books did for comics, then we may be seeing the dawn of a new golden age.
Millar’s complete statement can be read here.