While Amazon is still looking to get its legs under itself in the online original television space, Netflix is hoping that a super-powered punch will put its streaming platform ahead of the competition.
The company announced today that it’s partnering with Marvel Studios, the same company that’s behind the wildly successful “Avengers” franchise, to create four original live-action shows surrounding a quartet of Marvel heroes. Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones will all be getting the streaming treatment, each with their own 13-episode season, with the opportunity for Netflix to pick up one or more of their shows for more episodes. In addition, the shows will be leading up to a “miniseries programming event,” entitled “The Defenders.”
“This deal is unparalleled in its scope and size, and reinforces our commitment to deliver Marvel’s brand, content and characters across all platforms of storytelling. Netflix offers an incredible platform for the kind of rich storytelling that is Marvel’s specialty,” Marvel Entertainment President Alan Fine said in a press release. “This serialized epic expands the narrative possibilities of on-demand television and gives fans the flexibility to immerse themselves how and when they want in what’s sure to be a thrilling and engaging adventure.”
It’s the biggest original content deal Netflix or any streaming service has landed yet, and has significant potential to tap into both the fan-base of the Marvel films as well as comic nerds interested to see whether it’s possible to get Daredevil right on film after his last disastrous outing on the silver screen.
It will be interesting to see how Netflix handles the release schedule for each show–whether the company plans to launch all four seasons at once, or if each character’s story will come sequentially. Without giving anything away, all four characters have close ties to one another, and the name of the miniseries points to the quartet forming a super-team, similar to The Avengers, if filled with less notable characters.
If you’re planning to stock up for a major superhero binge, though, you still have a while to wait. Netflix says that the shows won’t start airing until 2015.