Comic book fans around the world must have thought all their dreams had come true when Marvel and Netflix announced their collaboration to bring some of the lesser-known superheroes to the sma
Comic book fans around the world must have thought all their dreams had come true when Marvel and Netflix announced their collaboration to bring some of the lesser-known superheroes to the small screen. Not since Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) made his appearance in Iron Man to announce the start of The Avengers has there been news like this from Marvel. The partnership also marks a major investment by Netflix into original programming, following its success with House of Cards.
The film and TV streaming service has grown massively in popularity over the past three years and this year they provided exclusive access to Breaking Bad, a new series of Arrested Development and original drama Orange is the New Black. Netflix have committed to four 13-episode live-action TV series, based around the characters Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, which will be streamed from 2015 onwards. The plan is to bring the four characters together in a fifth mini-series called The Defenders, but if the TV shows hit it off with audiences, I’m sure we’ll be seeing another blockbuster superhero movie instead.
A superhero renaissance…
Since Bryan Singer brought us X-Men back in 2000, comic book adaptations have enjoyed something of a renaissance with creators taking a more ‘realistic’ approach to our favourite caped crusaders. We have recently seen this transgress into television, first with the CW and Sky One’s Arrow portraying DC’s bow wielding vigilante, the Green Arrow, and then with Avengers Assemble spin-off Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D hitting our screens back in September.
Despite rumours of a Batman spin-off based around police commissioner James Gordon, a Wonder Woman revival and Marvel mutterings of a spin-off series based on Hayley Atwell’s character from Captain America, none have beaten the excitement of this partnership.
Marvel Entertainment president, Alan Fine described the deal as “unparalleled” adding: “Netflix offers an incredible platform for the kind of rich storytelling that is Marvel’s speciality”. As more original dramas appear on Netflix, it means viewers will be able to abandon scheduled programming as they’re granted the power to watch what they want, when they want. The streaming service also often makes the entire series available to watch in one sitting. Does this mean that Marvel are preparing for the future of television?
The shows will dig deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains residing in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, eventually uncovering an epic team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters who will face off against one ‘big bad’.
Most familiar to audiences is Daredevil, thanks to the movie adaptation starring Ben Affleck which was panned by critics and left comic book fans feeling incredibly underwhelmed. The prospect of Matt Murdock – the blind lawyer turned red leather bound vigilante – getting another outing has definitely got people salivating.
Marvel’s known for clever casting…
With the shows still way off in the future, now is the time to consider what actors should be in the leading roles. We’ve already seen expert casting with Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man portrayal turning what was considered a second tier superhero into the leading man of the Avengers franchise. And with news that ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ writer Drew Goddard is in charge of bringing the new Daredevil to the small screen, the reboot is definitely in good hands.
‘Twilight’ scribe Melissa Roseberg will reportedly take the responsibility of bringing Jessica Jones to life in the first leading female superhero project since Jennifer Garner’s dismal performance in ‘Elektra’. No names are associated with the Luke Cage and Iron Fist projects yet. But it’s rumoured Luke Cage will focus on a falsely imprisoned man who agrees to be experimented on in return for release whilst Iron Fist will tell the story of wealthy martial arts expert Daniel Rand who, as a boy, watched his mother sacrifice herself to save him.
Without a doubt casting rumours will be flying around for the next two years, personally I think the roles should be filled with actors that haven’t made it onto the public radar yet. Unfamiliarity with audiences will mean there are no predispositions about how the role will be played, its worked well with the casting of Stephen Amell as the hooded vigilante in Arrow – even if people do think he’s just a pretty face – and – look at how surprised people were with the 50 Shades of Grey casting. But I suppose it is still exciting to wish…
Who do you think will be given the roles? Have your say in the comments section below.
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