Thursday 21 September 2017

Netflix snaps up comic book publisher

Taron Egerton and Colin Firth in ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ – a Millarworld adaptation
Taron Egerton and Colin Firth in ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ – a Millarworld adaptation

Narottam Medhora

US video-streaming company Netflix has bought comic book publisher Millarworld, home to titles such as 'Kick-Ass' and 'Kingsman', in its first ever acquisition.

Millarworld, run by Scottish writer Mark Millar with his wife Lucy, will give Netflix a host of character franchises with which to develop films, TV series and children's shows.

Millarworld has developed three of its franchises - 'Wanted', 'Kick-Ass' and 'Kingsman' - into films that have garnered nearly $1bn at the global box office.

The deal comes as Netflix spends billions on content to win new subscribers in a quest to become the world's top movie and TV streaming service. The company did not disclose the terms of the acquisition.

Millar previously spent eight years at Marvel, where he developed comic books and story lines that resulted in movies such as 'Logan', 'Captain America: Civil War' and Disney's first 'Avengers' film.

"Mark is as close as you can get to a modern-day Stan Lee," Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said. Mr Lee created comic book franchises and box-office behemoths such as 'Spider-man', 'Avengers' and 'X-Men.'

Millarworld will continue to create and publish new stories and franchises under the Netflix label.

A growing number of cable operators are forming alliances with Netflix, a shift that is helping the streaming pioneer add customers.

In Ireland Virgin Media has made the service available via its set top boxes. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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