Netflix is getting some new superheroes.
The streaming service has struck a multi-year agreement with Walt Disney Co. for several new live action series based on Marvel characters.
“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 story telling,” said Alan Fine, president of Marvel Entertainment.
The partnership deepens the relationship between Netflix and Disney. Last year, Disney reached a deal to sell its theatrical movies to Netflix starting in 2016 that is valued at several hundred million dollars.
The Marvel shows will start to debut on Netflix in 2015. The characters getting their own shows are “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage.” Each will have their own 13-episode story arc, followed by a mini-series based on Marvel’s “The Defenders” franchise.
The competition for the Marvel project was intense among cable channels and streaming services when Disney initially started shopping it this fall. For Netflix, which has found success with adult fare such as “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black,” getting in business with Disney and Marvel will give it more original content to appeal to kids and families.
“Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, who noted “Iron Man” and “Marvel’s The Avengers” are two of the streaming service’s strongest performers around the globe.
For Marvel, the push is its biggest expansion yet into television production, which was one of the goals of Disney when it bought the company for $4 billion in 2009. ABC Studios will co-produce the programs with Marvel.
While Disney has many platforms that also could have housed the content, there is no shortage of Marvel shows on Disney-owned outlets. Disney XD, its cable channel aimed at boys, has three Marvel animated series. Also, ABC’s biggest new show this season is “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
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