In the company's first-ever acquisition, Netflix, the worldwide streaming service and film/TV production company, has purchased Mark Millar's Millarworld. Millar's comic book company, publishing creator-owned work with artists like Frank Quitely, Greg Capulo, and John Romita Jr. for over a decade, has already seen success bringing projects to film, and already has several options and in-development works.
Netflix plans to advance multiple Millarworld projects into adaptations, and will also move into publishing, serving as Millar's publisher for future stories.
"Together, Netflix and Millar will bring Millarworld's portfolio of critically and fan-acclaimed character franchises to life through films, series and kids' shows available exclusively to Netflix members globally. Millarworld will also continue to create and publish new stories and character franchises under the Netflix label," a press release reads.
Millarworld's already successful movie business likely had a hand in the acquisition. Through partnerships with Universal, Lionsgate, and 20th Century Fox, films based on Wanted, Kick-Ass, and Kingsman will surpass the $1 billion global box-office cume this year with the release of Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Millar's comic book writing for Marvel Comics has also heavily influenced the look, feel, and storylines of films including Avengers, Captain America: Civil War, and Logan. Not a bad track record.
The comic book company Millarworld has traditionally published under multiple branches. Launched in 2004 by Mark Millar and Lucy Millar, they've published comics under Dark Horse Comics, Avatar Press, Marvel's Icon (creator-owned line), and Image Comics, while always maintaining ownership and creator control.
"Over the years, Millarworld has amassed twenty different franchises working with the world’s greatest artists and now Millarworld has been bought by the hottest, most exciting entertainment company on the planet. To say this is the best thing that ever happened in our professional lives would be an understatement," Millar said in a statement. He thanked his wife, Lucy and all his artistic collaborators individually, and also cleared up one point of the deal, saying that Kingsman and Kick-Ass would keep their "unique Hollywood deals elsewhere and aren't a part of this particular acquisition," which seems to imply that Netflix may have purchased the rights to all the other in-development projects (several at Fox, a couple at Sony and Universal) from each option holder.
"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," Millar said in his unique way.
"Mark has created a next-generation comics universe, full of indelible characters living in situations people around the world can identify easily with," said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. "We look forward to creating new Netflix Originals from several existing franchises as well as new super-hero, anti-hero, fantasy, sci-fi and horror stories Mark and his team will continue to create and publish."