If you’re disappointed that Daredevil, Iron Fist and the other heroes announced in yesterday’s deal for Marvel Studios and Netflix to produce five television series that would premier on the streaming services won’t be appearing on the silver screen, there is still hope.
Speaking on a conference call with Disney stockholders (via Bleeding Cool), Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo stated that the heroes’ adventures could not be just confined to the small screen.
Marvel has thousands of characters… and it is not possible to mine them all with filmed entertainment. While these characters are attractive characters they are not among the most popular… it’s not likely we would have made feature films about them… though if they are popular on Netflix, they could become feature films.
Marvel looks to be taking their model for establishing individual franchises that would then crossover in a superhero team story when it was announced that they would produce four 13-episode series featuring Marvel characters Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, all characters with roots in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen area, as well as a five-part mini-series where they would team up as the Defenders.
Rasulo’s statement implies that these new series will also be a part of Marvel Studios’ overall interconnected Cinematic Universe, a point not addressed in the original announcement yesterday. Marvel’s ABC series Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. has a number of connections back to its big screen progenitor.
Daredevil has been a property that fans have been looking forward to seeing back on the big screen, after the 2003 film version from Twentieth Century Fox starring Ben Affleck was met with only lukewarm enthusiasm and reviews. Many were hoping that the return of the characte’s rights to Marvel last spring would have lead to a big screen announcement. (Though at the time I did note that a television series was a possibility for the character.)
Luke Cage and Iron Fist are other properties that have been reported as being in some form of development at the studio as well. Jessica Jones, a former superhero-turned-private eye who prefers not to use her powers, was previously in development as a television series. Over the years, all four characters have interacted to a large degree, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw them meeting up before the five-part Defenders mini-series.