Marvel Will Debut Four New TV Series on Netflix, Leading to The Defenders

Sweet Christmas!

Marvel TV announced today that they have struck a deal with Netflix to provide four original TV series for the internet TV network. The four series: Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Daredevil, will each be 13 episodes long and will roll out over the next few years beginning in 2015.

And that’s not all.

The four TV series will share the same fictional Marvel universe and will eventually lead into a mini-series event on Netflix titled The Defenders, creating essentially a street-level version of the same build-up we saw for The Avengers.

Here’s the full press release:

BURBANK, Calif., Nov. 7, 2013  – The Walt Disney Co. (Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels,” sNYSE: DIS) and Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) today announced an unprecedented deal for Marvel TV to bring multiple original series of live-action adventures of four of Marvel’s most popular characters exclusively to the world’s leading Internet TV Network beginning in 2015. This pioneering agreement calls for Marvel to develop four serialized programs leading to a miniseries programming event.

Led by a series focused on “Daredevil,” followed by “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage,” the epic will unfold over multiple years of original programming, taking Netflix members deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Netflix has committed to a minimum of four, thirteen episodes series and a culminating Marvel’s “The Defenders” mini-series event that reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.

Produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Television Studios, this groundbreaking deal is Marvel’s most ambitious foray yet into live-action TV storytelling.

“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,” said Alan Fine, President of Marvel Entertainment. “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.”

“Marvel’s movies, such as ‘Iron Man’ and Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’, are huge favorites on our service around the world. Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “With ‘House of Cards’ and our other original series, we have pioneered new approaches to storytelling and to global distribution and we’re thrilled to be working with Disney and Marvel to take our brand of television to new levels with a creative project of this magnitude.”

This new original TV deal follows last year’s landmark movie distribution deal through which, beginning with 2016 theatrically released feature films, Netflix will be the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run, live-action and animated movies from the Walt Disney Studios, including titles from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Disneynature and Lucasfilm. Netflix members can currently enjoy a wide range of Disney, ABC TV and Disney Channel films and shows across the 41 countries where Netflix operates.

A Jessica Jones TV series has been in development since 2009 and Marvel Studios recently regained the rights to the Daredevil character from Fox, leading to speculation as to where the hero might next appear. Looks like we’ve got our answer.

For those unfamiliar with the comics, Marvel TV has chosen a very interesting mixture of crime-fighting characters to build a Defenders universe with. Both Daredevil and Alias (the maxi-series Jessica Jones made her debut in) share a gritty, noir-ish take on the Marvel universe, and both characters share a relationship with Avengers character Luke Cage, who in turn spent the beginning of his crime-fighting career partnered with Iron Fist. All four characters call the streets of New York City home.

This announcement heralds a mini-Marvel superhero universe filled with hilarious, diverse, flawed characters. Who can’t wait to see Jessica Jones gumshoe her way around the Marvel universe? Who can’t wait to see her and Luke Cage’s messy and sweet relationship unfold onscreen? Who can’t wait to see Daredevil sink into despair and find his way back out again? Who can’t wait to see criminals continually underestimate Danny Rand? Purple Man, Bullseye, Kingpin…they don’t stand a chance. (Except actually they do, which is why it’s all so exciting!)

If they link up the Defenders universe with the Marvel Avengers movie universe my head will probably explode.


Chris Lough is the resident Tor.com Avengers nut and thinks all the Netflix original series should exist in the same universe so that Red from Orange Is The New Black can actually gain that chicken’s power and join the Defenders.

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