Marvel, Netflix to Develop Defenders Miniseries Event

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Not merely content with their ambitious Cinematic Universe, Marvel announced today that they will be teaming up with Netflix to deliver a total of five new miniseries events focusing on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, culminating in a crossover series called The Defenders.

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Daredevil and Luke Cage on a lunch break…

Mainly known for its Blockbuster-killing DVD subscription and streaming video services, Netflix has been making enormous waves within the original entertainment industry. In the past year, the company has released several ambitious and critically acclaimed programs to subscribers, including a reboot of Arrested Development, House of Cards, Hemlock Grove and Orange is the New Black.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe on Netflix is a logical step for the company. Already, it’s crossover work proves to be an innovative franchise by utilizing a shared story line across multiple platforms. According to Alan Fine, President of Marvel Entertainment:

“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. 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 multi-phased motion picture plan is an ambitious one, starting with 2008′s Iron Man, which began a series of Phase 1′s interlinked films that culminated in the cross-over mega hit The Avengers. Now, with the general Marvel universe introduced to audiences, the company is reaching further into their vast stock of superheroes. The next phase of films includes Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which will conclude in 2015. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently airing on ABC, and has garnered a full season pickup of 22 episodes.

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Release dates, casting and production details weren’t announced with this morning’s release, but it is noted that it follows a prior Disney – Netflix deal that will see new and exclusive content coming to the platform in 2016, right in time for Marvel’s Phase 3, which already contains an adaptation of Ant Man. The announcement also signals that Marvel is ready to work with newly reclaimed properties, such as Daredevil, whose rights just reverted back to Marvel from Fox. The original Defenders comic, released in 1971, featured characters such as The Hulk, Namor, The Silver Surfer and Doctor Strange. Doctor Strange has been an rumored addition for Phase 3.

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It will be interesting to see just how this series fits into the universe. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be crossing over with Thor: The Dark World in the coming weeks, and has drawn heavily from the aftermath of The Avengers and Iron Man 3. Hopefully, we’ll learn some more details soon.

Photo Credit: Marvel, Netflix, Disney, ABC

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