Huge, interconnected Marvel TV shows announced for Netflix. Charlie Andrews explores the proposed plans and presents the announced characters
Marvel is about to go big on the TV front. Really big. Avengers Phase One is complete and with, the release of Thor: The Dark World, Phase Two is well on its way to completion and with it Marvel’s success on the big screen is unprecedented. However, Marvel currently has but one series airing on the small screen, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, but this is about to change. The company has just signed a deal with Netflix to produce four separate new live-action series – Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones. These four shows will lead into a team-up miniseries, The Defenders.
Daredevil will be the first show to air in 2015 followed by Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. Netflix notes “the epic will unfold over multiple years of original programming,” and that it will “take Netflix members into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York,” emphasising the fact these shows are going to be heavily interconnected (Hell’s Kitchen is the traditional home of Daredevil in the comics). Each series has been given a minimum commitment of 13 episodes each, as with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D which has now been picked up for a full season of 22 episodes. The Defenders is described as “a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters”.
Alan Fine, President of Marvel Entertainment said: “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 Marvelís specialty”. He continued to state, “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”.
“Marvel’s movies, such as Iron Man and Marvel’s The Avengers, are huge favourites on our service around the world. Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “With House of Cards and our other original series, we have pioneered new approaches to storytelling and to global distribution and 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”.
Talk about Marvel seeking such a deal is not new, in fact the first details surfaced a couple of month back.
Among the characters being used, Daredevil is notable as having two previous live-action interpretations of the character, with the 2003 movie starring Ben Affleck being the most recent. Marvel acquired the film and TV rights back to the character in 2012, after 20th Century Fox was unable to begin production on a new movie in time to stop the rights from lapsing. Marvel had also previously developed a never-filmed Jessica Jones project for ABC, written by Melissa Rosenberg (Dexter, Twilight). No writers or producers have been announced as yet for the new Marvel TV shows.
Living in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, Matt Murdock is blinded by a radioactive substance that falls from an oncoming vehicle. Whilst he can no longer see, the radioactive exposure heightens his remaining senses beyond normal human ability. His father, a boxer named Jack Murdock, supports him as he grows up. However, Jack is later tragically killed by a group of gangsters after he refuses to throw a fight. Matt then dons the dark red costume and seeks out revenge against his father’s killers as the superhero Daredevil. During his crime-fighting career he is assigned the nickname “the Man Without Fear”.
Born and raised in Harlem, Carl Lucas spent his youth in a gang called the Bloods. In and out of juvenile homes throughout his tens, Lucas dreamed of becoming a major New York racketeer until he finally realised how his actions were hurting his family; he sought to better himself as an adult, finding legitimate employment. However, Lucas’ childhood friend Stryker, who was a fellow member of the Bloods, frames Lucas with possession of heroin and as a result is sent to prison.
In prison research scientist Dr. Noah Burstein recruited Lucas as a volunteer for experimental cell regeneration based on a variant of the Super-Soldier Serum. During the experimentation, one of the prison guards misuses the experiment’s controls hoping to maim or kill Lucas. As a result Lucas’ treatment was accelerated beyond its intent, inducing body-wide enhancement that gave him superhuman strength and durability. He used his new power to escape prison and return to New York, where a chance encounter with criminals inspired him to use his new powers for profit thus launching a career as a “Hero for Hire”.
Daniel Rand is the son of Wendell Rand, who had, as a youth, visited the mystic city of K’un-Lun, which materialized in the Himalayas once a decade. When Daniel Rand was nine, at roughly the time K’un-Lun was scheduled to materialize, his father decided to bring him and his mother Heather to K’un-Lun. Accompanied by Rand’s business partner Harold Meachum, they traveled to the Himalayas, but Wendell fell from a mountain ledge; clutching the edge, he called to Meachum for help, but Meachum, hoping to control Rand’s business shares, caused Wendell to plunge to his death. Shortly afterward, Heather sacrificed her life to protect Daniel from a wolf pack, and her spirit ascended to Feng-Tu.
The denizens of K’un-Lun found Daniel and took him in. Vowing to avenge his parents, Daniel Rand studied martial arts under Lei Kung while growing up in K’un-Lun. At nineteen, Rand requested and earned an opportunity to win the power of the Iron Fist by confronting Shou-Lao the Undying, whose power resided within a flaming brazier. Rand slew Shou-Lao, a feat no other warrior had ever accomplished, and plunged his hands into the brazier, imbuing himself with the mystic energy of the Iron Fist.
Jessica Campbell was riding in a car with her family when they collided with a military convoy carrying radioactive chemicals. Her family was killed and, after spending several months in a coma, she was placed in foster care and adopted by the Jones family. Months later she awoke and later discovered that her radiation exposure granted her super strength, limited invulnerability, and flight. The Joneses re-enrolled Jessica at Midtown High where she witnessed a fight between Spider-Man and the villain Sandman in her own class. This inspired her, in a way she cannot put into words, to use her abilities in a positive light.
What do you think to the announced series? Is there a particular character you are looking forward to seeing in live-action? Let us know in the comments below