The first Marvel cab off the Netflix rank will be a 13-part Daredevil series, followed by Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. For Marvel fans, this means years of viewing ahead and a vow by Netflix that readers will be taken “deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York”. So who are these people? Well, allow us to explain a little.
Daredevil is, of course, the superhero blinded in an accident as a child, who was left withe super-sensitive hearing that allows him to be hyper-aware of his surroundings. Crusading lawyer Matt Murdock by day, he roams the rooftops as a vigilante by night and doesn't look anything like Ben Affleck.
Iron Fist, or Daniel Rand, was trained in the mystical city of K'un L'un (stick with us) in the martial arts, and earned the title Iron Fist by killing a dragon and plunging his fists into its molten heart, giving him all sorts of super-strength, agility and more. He returned to New York and began a career as a superhero, because hey! It's clearly the place to be.
Luke Cage was sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit as a young man, and agreed to undergo an experimental procedure in return for parole - leaving him with near-impervious skin and super-strength. He's a sort of hero-for-hire / private investigator, and has sometimes teamed up with Iron Fist in the past.
“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,” said Alan Fine, President of Marvel Entertainment. “Netflix offers an incredible platform for the kind of rich storytelling that is Marvel’s specialty. This serialised 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.”
Added Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos: “Marvel’s movies, such as Iron Man and The Avengers, are huge favourites on our service around the world. Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels. We’re thrilled to be working with Disney and Marvel to take our brand of television to new levels with a creative project of this magnitude.”
Netflix sees the deal as a natural extension to last year’s deal that gave them exclusive US subscription TV rights to all Marvel and Walt Disney properties. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., on ABC, has so far garnered a mixed response, but with Netflix's track record in producing original TV series – Orange Is The New Black and House Of Cards, amongst them – Marvel fanboys should be reassured that The Defenders are in the right hands.