Earlier this month Disney announced their plan to bring more Marvel superheroes to the screen – but these plans aren’t about new films. They announced four original series that will premiere on Netflix, similar to recent Netflix exclusive series such as House of Cards or Series 4 of Arrested Development.
The first Marvel series will be Daredevil: a reboot of the comic book character after the disastrous Fox-produced Ben Affleck film. The following series will focus on Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. After these series – which will have thirteen episodes each – Netflix has also committed to a Defenders mini-series, detailing a team up between the four heroes.
The tactic of four solo characters followed by a team-up is similar to the way the Marvel movies led up to The Avengers. The fact that the series features established comic book characters rather than original creations differentiates it from current series Marvel’s Agent of SHIELD. This may be seen as a good thing by many people; while SHIELD premiered to high ratings it has since faced criticism with ScreenRant calling it “Disney/ABC-brand family-friendly blandness” and Entertainment Weekly describing it as “a lazy network procedural”. Ratings are still good but they’re on a consistent fall so going with shows that are more like the bankable movies and comics seems like a good idea.
The press release promises a look “into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York” which indicates a more down to Earth approach then The Avengers. Even though all of the characters have superpowers, it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing the glamorous towers of Asgard and we shouldn’t expect the Chitauri to appear in the sky.
So far two writers have been reported as involved. The Wrap has claimed that Drew Goddard, writer-director of The Cabin in the Woods, is being sought as a potential show runner for Daredevil. Deadline reported that Jessica Jones has locked a show runner in the form of Melissa Rosenberg, writer of the five Twilight films and multiple episodes of Dexter, who previously tried to develop a Jessica Jones series for ABC. No writers have been reported as of yet for Iron Fist, Luke Cage or The Defenders but that news is undoubtedly coming soon.
The press release seems to indicate the first of these series will start in 2015, the same year The Avengers: Age of Ultron is set to be released. The press release’s claim that “the epic will unfold over multiple years of original programming” seems to suggest the new content won’t all be coming in 2015, and we may be waiting awhile for the full set.
It is also not known if these shows will take place in Marvel’s cinematic universe like Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (although it seems likely), and it was stated at a recent Disney shareholder meeting that “if they are popular on Netflix, they could become feature films”. Look forward to watching these new extraordinary adventures on Netflix when these series premiere and stay vigilant as we expect to hear more announcements about them as time goes by.