Why Netflix’s purchase of Millarworld marks a turning point for the industry
Netflix has made its first ever acquisition since the company’s inception in 1997. On Monday morning, the video streaming giants acquired Millarworld, the comic book company owned by Scottish comic book writer Mark Millar. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Millarworld is brainchild behind titles such as Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Logan, and Captain America: Civil War. The company’s creative output is not confined to the usual superhero trope, featuring James-Bond-esque protagonists such as the aforementioned Kingsman.
The move heralds a change of tack for Netflix, which, in a bid to conduct itself more like a Hollywood studio, will be acquiring more intellectual property – à la the Walt Disney Company which made significant headway with its purchase of household names Pixar, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm.
With 104 million members in nearly 200 countries, Netflix is the world’s leading online entertainment platform. It began creating original content back in 2013 with the hit drama House of Cards and has since expanded its original programming with aplomb. Other Netflix Originals include names such as Orange is the New Black (2013), BoJack Horseman (2013) and the wildly controversial 13 Reasons Why (2017). Also under the remit of Netflix Originals are TV shows that the company has bought the rights of continuation to, such as cult classic Arrested Development and Scandi-noir drama The Killing.
Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix (career envy, anyone?), announced that the company would be adapting existing Millarworld material, in addition to commissioning new stories by the team. ‘As creator and re-inventor of some of the most memorable stories and characters in recent history, ranging from Marvel’s The Avengers to Millarworld’s Kick-Ass, Kingsman, Wanted and Reborn franchises, Mark is as close as you can get to a modern day Stan Lee,” said Sarandos.
For his part, Millar is reportedly excited to be creating a new material for the Netflix Original series, and heartily espoused the partnership, saying there couldn’t be a “better home” for Millarworld: “Over the years, Millarworld has amassed 20 different franchises working with the world’s greatest artists and now Millarworld has been bought by the hottest, most exciting entertainment company on the planet. To say this is the best thing that ever happened in our professional lives would be an understatement.”