Marvel Comics characters will appear in four separate Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) exclusive programs before coming together for a “Defenders” miniseries the streaming service announced this week. Netflix said it would acquire 60 episodes from Disney’s (NYSE: DIS) ABC Television division to air beginning in 2015.
Disney released some details on Thursday, suggesting that the Daredevil program would be the first to air, possibly as a police procedural, and will take place in Hell’s Kitchen. The Manhattan neighborhood will also house the rest of the characters in the Netflix/Marvel Comics deal before they form a team to take on a much larger threat as “The Defenders”.
African-American superhero Luke Cage, also known as Power Man, first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1972 as a super-strong, bulletproof “Hero For Hire”. He will be the first black superhero appearing as a title character since 2004’s “Blade: Trinity”.
Jessica Jones is the most recent character developed in the pages of Marvel Comics, created by writer Brian Michael Bendis for the series “Alias”. Jones is a former superhero hired by a detective agency in the series.
Iron Fist was a mystically-powered ninja paired with Luke Cage in a comic series that lasted from eight years, from 1978 until 1986. Actor Ray Park, known for portraying Darth Maul in 1999’s “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” was hired the next year by Marvel Comics’ film division to star in an Iron Fist adaptation that never completed the development stage.
Marvel Studios executives have said that a certain level of success and interest could have “The Defenders” leap from Netflix streaming to the big screen. Disney will produce the series through ABC Television, which currently airs "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D".
Daredevil previously appeared on screen in the 2003 film starring Ben Affleck. Warner Brothers (NYSE:TWX) has faced backlash in social media for casting the actor in the upcoming “Man of Steel” sequel, which it has referred to unofficially as “Superman Vs. Batman”.