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Marvel and Netflix team up for multiple new live-action series

By Jeff Peterson

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Nov. 7 2013 5:57 p.m. MST

From left, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in "Marvel's The Avengers."

Disney

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The unstoppable box-office juggernaut that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe will attempt to capture the small screen, too.

On Thursday, the Walt Disney Co. and Netflix Inc. announced “an unprecedented deal” to bring four brand-new, live-action series based on Marvel properties to Netflix’s online streaming service.

Each of the 13-episode series will focus on a different Marvel character — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist — “taking Netflix members deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen,” according to a press release issued by the two companies and posted on deadline.com/hollywood.

But that’s not all. The four series will culminate in an eight-part miniseries called “The Defenders,” uniting the heroes as an Avengers-style “dream team.”

Alan Fine, president of Marvel Entertainment, said in the press release, “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.”

Like Netflix’s previous forays into original content, all 13 episodes of a series are expected to debut simultaneously, giving fans “the flexibility to immerse themselves how and when they want in what’s sure to be a thrilling and engaging adventure,” according to Fine.

“Daredevil,” which is scheduled to lead the pack, will hit Netflix Instant sometime in 2015, with the others following over the course of “multiple years.”

This new collaboration between the two companies builds on a previous deal that gave Netflix exclusive rights for all first-run, live-action and animated movies from Walt Disney Studios beginning in 2016, including all of the upcoming films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The new series will be produced by Marvel TV and ABC Studios, whose first live-action TV show, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” has become a huge hit since debuting in September.

A native of Utah Valley and a devoted cinephile, Jeff Peterson is currently studying humanities and history at Brigham Young University.

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