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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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November 07 2013

Marvel to develop four original series for Netflix. The shows will be focused on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, in that order, this is a follow-up for this story discussed back in October 15.

Netflix has committed to a minimum of four, thirteen-episode series, which will start streaming in 2015 and will culminate with "The Defenders" miniseries event about a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.

Wow. Ok so now there's a not small part of me that really wants to see what it would be like to have Joss develop a series in the Netflix context.
Netflix makes so much sense. It has the money and good sense to get out of the way when it comes to talented writers and producers.
Well I wish they had intervened a bit more in House of Cards and Arrested Development. Those shows did lack in places where they shouldn't have.
I thought House of Cards lagged in some places, but the series was really good overall. Certainly there were a lot of riskier things that other networks wouldn't have liked.

Arrested Development would have worked much better if they had gotten all of the actors to commit to filming all at once. I don't know if Netflix could have made that a requirement, given that there were so many actors to get together.

[ edited by the ninja report on 2013-11-07 16:14 ]
Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!
Excellent (especially the Daredevil news!)
That's very interesting. Luke Cage and Iron First started out separate in the comics, then their series' merged together. I'm not surprised that something similar is planned here. It's funny that they're calling it Defenders instead of Heroes for Hire, but that might be because it's just a better name. Heroes for Hire always sounded a little odd to me.

It's funny how this kind of mirrors what they did with the Avengers. It's like a street level hero phase 1.
I love Marvel's ambition. The skeptic in me is wondering if this is too much. The optimist is saying that this is going to change how everybody thinks about the quality of superhero stories and their room in television. The dreamer in me is envisioning a rain of Emmy's and lavish praise that puts the Wire into the shadows. The pessimist says it is never going to work, it is a stupid gamble. The realist is saying that it is probably going to work, we just have to wait and see.
Pretty big news.I don't do Netflix though and have no desire to subscribe so hopfully these get released on Blue Ray eventually after they air.House Of Cards I believe has had a Blu Ray release.

Daredevil is the big surprise since Kevin Feige has been saying they were going to sit on Daredevil awhile since they just got the rights back.This really sounds like a cool idea overall.Agaim,as long as they are eventually released on Blu Ray since I don't do things like Netflix
Is that Iron Fist and Luke Cage together or apart?

Also I have to say: Jessica Jones as I Jewel?
Buffyfantic, they'll get released on blu-ray, I'm sure. But one month of a Netflix subscription is cheaper than owning a show on blu-ray, let alone four of them. Why wouldn't you subscribe?

Let's say they debut two shows a year, starting in 2015. We would get a miniseries in late 2016 or early 2017. If it's true that Netflix is targeting an initial run of 60 total episodes, that means the miniseries will be 8 episodes long.

[ edited by the ninja report on 2013-11-07 17:23 ]
I just don't enjoy watching movies or shows in that format.I don't like streaming media at all.If I have to watch my movies or shows via streaming media than I'm just not going to watch it at all.It's like reading comics digitally.If that becomes the only way to read comic books and physical comics went away completely or no more comic book stores,then that is the day I end collecting and reading comics.Digitally may be cheaper but I am perfectly happy to pay more to have the physical media(Blu Ray,DVD or comic book)in my hands.

As long as these shows get a blue ray release after they air their seasons and miniseries then I can wait for that.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2013-11-07 17:44 ]
I think it would be fun if Luke Cage and Iron Fist were separate shows for the first season and together for season 2 and on. I also think it would be fun if it was set in the 70's.
Sounds interesting. The only Netflix original I have watched was Arrested Development, which was good for the most part and the negatives were more down to actor logistic issues rather than Netflix imposed problems. I hear good things about their other shows, which I will get around to at some point, so I don't have any fear that this will be subject to the dreaded form of network notes. Personally, streaming is my preferred method watching television nowadays and it annoys me when something isn't available online, so I can watch as and when I want to. I envision physical media remaining for sometime, as there will always be some who want to own something (look at the continual life of the record,) but I can't see TV hang around for much more then a decade or so.

My only troubling thought is where this places AoS. I could see these running concurrently with AoS, but that seems like a lot of projects going on at once, even for the behemoth that is Marvel. Could they be seeing AoS as a 2 season show, with these replacing it as they go into Phase 3 after Avengers 2?
This is my fear as well, Vandelay. A sort of bridge to Avengers 2, with the new shows taking off after. Even if ABC and Netflix are completely different platforms.
I don't think Marvel is stretching itself too thin. You get different people for different projects. It's possible that since AoS was meant to be more family-friendly, going to Netflix was a way of providing more variety in tone. More HBO than ABC Family, let's say.
So will this be in teh same universe as the Marvel cinematic universe? Or is it somethig separate?
Being in the same universe doesn't mean it has to reference SHEILD or the Alien invasion of New York, but it does mean they can't be ignorant of the idea of super powers.
Being in the smae universe also leaves open the posibilty of crossovers - though diffenrent netowrks could be problamatic.
I think everything Marvel does in-house is in the same continuity
Buffyfanatic: I find that sort of odd reasoning as you can watch Netflix on your TV as well, so the difference you're making is a little artificial.
Was just going to say, we stream Netflix through our Blu-Ray player, which wasn't an expensive purchase in and of itself, you can watch Netflix on anything. Super excited about a high end production of Daredevil, he was definitely my entry point into the Marvel universe back in the 80s (yes, I'm old). I would expect that they would consider them all in the same universe for cross marketing purposes, why wouldn't they?
I guess the big difference is that you would have a physical item instead of a digital one. If the fact that you can hold it in your hand is the issue, I can see how that could be similar to preferring paper books or CDs instead of mp3s. It's just awfully cost-prohibitive when it comes to Netflix. I watched House of Cards when it was first released - I would never buy it, but I can fire up Netflix whenever I want and watch it. And I can watch it using different devices and I am not constrained by media type (blu-ray, actual disc), which means I can use a tablet or a phone and don't need to spend $500 on another television or wait for someone to finish watching TV.

[ edited by the ninja report on 2013-11-07 20:37 ]
Ninja report.That is part of it.When I own something like a movie,I want to be able to hold it in my hands and pull it off my shelf.

With music,I only buy CD's.No mp3's.Same deal

Same with books and comics.I want to be able to pull it off my shelf, hold it in my hands and flip the pages.When I've tried to read a comic or book using a friend's tablet,it drives me crazy reading something in that format.Even some of the free digital Buffy short stories that Dark Horse put out in season 8 online,I couldn't stand reading them on my computer screen and fumbling around to scroll back and forth,get to the panel I wanted to read or enlarge the image to be able to read the words.Just a very frustrating way to read a comic for me.The only reason I did it was because it was free.If had to pay to read a comic like you can do now with day and date digital releases,forget it.I rather pay the same or a little more and have a enjoyable reading experience.

With movies/shows,again it's just not the way I want to buy my media.If I like it enough to own it,then I want to actually own it,in my hands,on the shelf and not have to rely on tech to that degree to watch what I want.

Maybe the Netflix thing will change for me when we get closer to these shows and miniseries launching and I'll subscribe to watch them when they go up and still buy the Blu Rays when they come out(sort of like going to a movie then a few months later buying the Blu Ray release).Right now there is no original programming Netflix has that I'm interested in anyway and any movies I want,like I said,if I like it,I just go out and buy the Blu Ray/DVD since I want to actually own it in a physical sense.

On topic though.I am excited about this news.

Maybe next they can do something with horror characters such as Blade,Ghost Rider and Werewolf by Night.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2013-11-07 21:14 ]
So the question that I'm sure is on everyone's minds is if Joss Whedon is involved. These series will air go online in 2015 so they will most likely write and/or film next year which is during the duration of JW's contract with MVL.
I think he could do great things, but I'd also like for some outside people to be involved. The Killing has been cancelled (presumably once and for all) so Veena Sud could bring a similar gritty style to Jessica Jones.
@eddy - my guess is Joss will have limited / no involvement with their production as 2014 will be All-Avengers-All-The-Time on his calendar. He may have provided 'Joss Thoughts' this year in terms of "if I were gonna do it it'd be like ....." but I can't see time for active supervision

That said - I DO hope he gets some type of extension so he can wrap up the Thanos saga in Avengers 3. In a perfect world he negotiates time built in for another couple CiTW/Much Ado/Horrible type releases as well, throw in a couple SHIELD scripts for sweeps n such.

May need to push the "free time" idea to 2019 or so
TallMichaelJ, that's exactly what I want. Our perfect worlds are alike.
OMG! Please please please don't let Veena Sud anywhere near this! Most horrifying thought I've read in months. It'll be set in Portland with an infernal fake rain machine that looks absolutely nothing like real rain in the PNW and nothing will ever actually happen. No thanks!
I wasn't that crazy about House of Cards, which surprised me because I liked the British original & I love Kevin Spacey, but I LOVED Orange is the New Black, which I didn't expect to like at all.

So... who knows? Netflix is certain capable of putting out great TV.
I sure hope they do a proper version of The Defenders and get Ruffalo.
I read _Defenders_ as being a re-boot of the old Marvel title of the same name, a semi-constantly changing informal group of heroes who get together to put down offbeat menaces. (It was one of my top titles at first, Doctor Strange recruiting two or three heroes to give him a raw power back-up, but over the years it got just plain ridculous.)

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2013-11-07 22:45 ]
Uh, I got chills reading that headline. This is awesome news!
Daredevil was Drew Goddard's favorite Marvel superhero growing up. Wouldn't it be something if Joss and Marvel got him aboard as showrunner? What about Jane Espenson as the showrunner of Jessica Jones?

[ edited by Barry Woodward on 2013-11-07 23:39 ]
What's cool about this to me is that all of these characters are pretty connected in the comics. Luke and Iron Fist are besties, Jessica worked for Matt Murdock, Luke and Jessica are married, and Iron Fist has a pretty great connection to Daredevil as well.
If Agents of SHIELD doesn't work out for ABC in the ratings department, perhaps Netflix could pick it up for future seasons and maybe even lure Sam Jackson into joining the cast full time. Having less episodes per season, a bigger budget per episode and no running time or content restrictions could be just what it needs to realize its full potential. Plus, greater crossover potential with Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and The Defenders.

[ edited by Barry Woodward on 2013-11-08 01:34 ]
What are the chances that most of these characters could be first introduced in SHIELD?
I'm really looking forward to the Daredevil series. He's always been one of my favorite superheroes, and I think the character is much more suited to "television" than to film.
Daredevil and Iron Fist are two of my three of my favorite comic book characters (Spider-man being the other), so I'm incredibly psyched for this. When it was first announced that Joss was going to be doing a series set in the Marvel Universe (before we learned it was AGENTS OF SHIELD), I was hoping for an Iron Fist or Heroes for Hire series, and now were basically getting both (even if the latter is called THE DEFENDERS).

Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker's run on THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST actually reminded me a little bit of BUFFY. You had the chosen one aspect, the flashbacks to former Iron Fists, plenty of supernatural elements, and even a giant tome that told the history of the Iron Fist. So I'm really interested to see in what direction they go with that show. I'm hoping it's more than just kung-fu guy in New York. I hope they include loads of the mythology that surrounds the comic book character.
Huh, I didn't know Jessica was ever an employee of Matt... That is incredibly tight knit. That said, it is weird if they all have solo series since that kind of suggests they might not crossover all that much until the big miniseries?
Regarding the Netflix news, Bleeding Cool points out "It was made totally clear that ABC are currently developing another show with Marvel to go alongside Agents of SHIELD".
I don't do Netflix either. I don't think my TV will even accept a blu ray, which I don't have, and I don't have unlimited internet either. I hate watching TV on my computer too.
Can we have a campaign to get Eliza Duskhu as Jessica Jones? I always thought she'd be perfect for the role.

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