Marvel to Produce Several TV Series for Netflix

Nov 7, 2013

Marvel to Produce Several TV Series for Netflix

BEN FRITZ

In a huge commitment for both companies, NetflixInc. has agreed to order four 13 episode live-action superhero series and a miniseries from Walt Disney Co.’s Marvel Entertainment. The deal significantly expands Marvel’s television presence and gives Netflix one of its highest profile original series order since the company got into the business earlier this year.The new series will feature the Marvel character Daredevil, who was previously played by Ben Affleck in an unsuccessful 2003 movie, as well as Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. All four operate in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City.

Just as Marvel’s “Iron Man,” “Captain America,” “Hulk” and “Thor” movies led into team-up film “The Avengers,” Marvel’s four Netflix series will culminate in a team-up mini-series titled “The Defenders.”

The programs will roll out over “multiple years,” Disney and Netflix said in a joint announcement.

The two companies are already closely tied. Last year, Disney became the first major Hollywood studio to agree to make Netflix its pay television provider, exclusively showing recently released windows during the same time period when they have typically aired on Time Warner Inc.’s HBO, CBS Corp.’s Showtime, and Starz. The agreement will take effect starting in 2016.

Disney recently launched its first live-action Marvel series, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” on its ABC Network.

Other studios including Sony Corp.’s Sony Pictures Entertainment and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. have previously sold original series to Netflix. In earlier comments, Disney chief executive Bob Iger said “There are all kinds of exciting possibilities,” about Netflix and its competitors, including Amazon.com Inc. “These new platforms are voracious in terms of their appetite for good content and we can make it.”

Disney to Create Four Series With Marvel Heroes for Netflix

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) agreed to create four television series for Netflix Inc. (NFLX) using Marvel characters such as Daredevil, adding to the online-streaming service’s growing lineup of original content.

Disney’s Marvel TV will start bringing the shows to Netflix in 2015, according to a statement today. They will focus on heroes battling villains in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. Netflix committed to a minimum of four 13-episode series, culminating in the miniseries “The Defenders.”

The multiyear deal extends Marvel’s push into live-action TV, following the September debut of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on Disney’s ABC network. Netflix gains more Disney content following an agreement last year for rights to show movies including Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm titles.

“What’s exciting for a company like Disney and us is the willingness to try something new,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said Nov. 4 at the Business of Entertainment event in Los Angeles, sponsored by Bloomberg and the Tribeca Film Festival.

Disney is mining deeper in Marvel’s library following box-office success since purchasing the comic-book company in 2009. “Marvel’s The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3” were the top-grossing films of 2012 and 2013 respectively. “Guardians of the Galaxy,” about a team of superheroes in space, is planned for next year, and an Ant-Man movie is scheduled for 2015.

The Defenders alliance has featured a shifting cast of Marvel characters since its comic-book debut in 1971. Hulk, Silver Surfer and Hellcat have all made appearances.

Hell’s Kitchen

The first of the new Hell’s Kitchen series, based on Daredevil, will be followed by shows with characters Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage.

Netflix is expanding its content investment as it battles with Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), the largest online retailer, and Hulu LLC for online viewers. In the third quarter, Los Gatos, California-based Netflix passed Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s premium-cable outlet HBO in paid U.S. subscribers, and reached a domestic total of 31.1 million.

Shares of Los Gatos, California-based Netflix fell 1.8 percent to $329.64 at 1:44 p.m. in New York, while Burbank, California-based Disney fell 1.9 percent to $67.68.

To contact the reporters on this story: Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at cpalmeri1@bloomberg.net; Nick Turner in New York at nturner7@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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