Oh wow, didn’t see this coming. In an early Monday press release, Netflix has announced the purchase of Millarworld, the comic book line started by Mark Millar – which has produced titles like Wanted, Jupiter’s Legacy, Kick-Ass and more.
While no terms have been disclosed,
particularly in how it involves properties like the existing Kingsman or Kick-Ass franchises, Netflix has revealed that they plan to develop films, tv shows, and kids’ programming based on the Millarworld portfolio, while Millarworld itself will continue to publish comics under the Netflix banner. In his own statement, Millar says that Kingsman and Hitman aren’t part of the deal, as they are already at other studios. Also how this affects the publishing of the books has not been addressed.
It’s the very first acquisition of ANYTHING by Netflix. Which is sort of huge. The Beat was idly thinking about Millar the other day – probably after a viewing of the Kingsman: The Golden Circle trailer – and his almost preternatural success in the movie biz. Movies based on Millar comics have almost inevitably been well reviewed – Wanted, Kick Ass, Kingsman, Old Man Logan …even Captain America: Civil War. (The lone flop was Kick Ass 2, which wasn’t THAT bad.)
While terms weren’t revealed in a post on Millarwold, Millar himself revealed that it almost enough to rebuild a small Scottish town.
So what’s next? Well, we’ve been in these talks for many months and a lot of planning has been going on. We’re flying to LA to strategise the next steps and you’ll be hearing about each fascinating turn when I’m allowed to share it. Jupiter’s Legacy and Reborn both concluded in the last few weeks and I’m going undercover between now and Spring as I stockpile all the new projects we’re putting together, but you’ll hear about them very soon.
Keep an eye on our website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages for details as they happen where Millarworld editor Rachael Fulton will be giving you daily updates. Also look for our news at the end of summer with details of the charitable foundation Lucy and I have started which will revitalize parts of my old hometown in Scotland. This is a five-year charity building project I’ve been quietly making plans for with local government behind the scenes and we can’t wait to go public with the idea. I’ve had an enormous amount of luck in my life – none more than today – and I look forward to explaining how I’m planning to use what this deal brings us to help improve an area I grew up in and owe everything to.
Comics have been my passion my entire life. I started working with them as a teenager and I’ve never been more excited about where we’re going next as Millarworld joins the Netflix team. These guys are going to take Millarworld to the next level and I feel like Richard Dreyfuss, wide-eyed and walking around the mothership at the end of Close Encounters when I see their global plans and it’s crazy-exciting to be a part of it.
Here’s Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos on the deal:
“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.”
I’m not terribly familiar with the Millarworld brand, outside of the major titles, but the announcement about shows aimed at kids is especially surprising to me. I’m curious to see what that turns out to be. It also leads one to wonder just how much of a driver of subscriptions the Marvel Television deal has turned out for that streaming platform if they’re directly looking for something within that same vein that they, in turn, have greater control over.
For Netflix to actually get in to the comics business is even more bizarre. Normally you’d expect some kind of first look deal, or development deal (as in the Boom!/Fox deal for instance.) An outright acquisition – with NETFLIX taking over production of Millar’s books from Image, one assumes – is a huge surprise.
But chalk it up to Millar’s golden touch and ability to craft stories that cut to the core of what fascinates us about superheroes. They may be nasty, dark, violent, and highly problematic, but they obviously touch on something. That two of the “New Stan Lee’s” best known stories end up with people being getting it in the ass shows you just how on zeitgeisty Netflix was with this purchase.
–Reporting by Kyle Pinion and Heidi MacDonald