In a move that pretty much changed the TV landscape in one fell swoop, Marvel and Netflix announced plans for a TV/on-demand version of "The Avengers" Thursday (November 7): four live action series based on their superhero properties will play on Netflix, all culminating in a team-up mini-series titled "The Defenders."
From the press release:
Led by a series focused on "Daredevil," followed by "Jessica Jones," "Iron Fist" and "Luke Cage," the epic will unfold over multiple years of original programming, taking Netflix members deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell's Kitchen, New York. Netflix has committed to a minimum of four, thirteen episodes series and a culminating Marvel's "The Defenders" mini-series event that reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.
The biggest, most recognizable series is "Daredevil," which previously was made into a much-maligned movie starring Ben Affleck. After the rights to the property lapsed at FOX, and returned to Marvel Studios, fans have been wondering where the blind lawyer by day, New York vigilante by night would show up next. And now they know the answer.
The other series are probably less well known, at least to fans outside the comic-book arena:
This was previously announced in development by Marvel TV as "AKA Jessica Jones," based on the comic book by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos. The comic series was named "Alias," which was also the name of a TV show starring Jennifer Garner (interestingly, also a star of the "Daredevil" movie), hence the name change to "AKA Jessica Jones." Now it's just simply the character's name. Jones is a former superhero and member of the Avengers who hit on hard times and now works as a detective in New York.
One of the most eagerly requested Marvel properties by fans, Luke Cage is a street-smart hero with unbreakable skin. He tied in heavily in the "Alias" comic-book series, later marrying and having a child with Jessica Jones. He also frequently partnered with...
A mystically powered Kung Fu expert and playboy billionaire named Danny Rand, Iron Fist has had a number of iterations through the years -- though his most popular was working with Luke Cage as "Heroes for Hire," a team that sold their heroic expertise for money.
This is the street equivalent of "The Avengers." Traditionally in the comics, The Defenders have been called the "non-team," with their membership ranging from Ghost Rider, Hulk, and Dr. Strange (all potential movie projects), to some of the characters you see above.
Naturally, there are numerous questions that arise from the announcement, not least of which is whether these shows will tie into the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the movies and ABC's "Agents of S.H.I.E.LD." Plus, given the ever-expanding number of shows, how much give and take will there be -- or could there possibly be -- from the casts?
News, as they say, will continue to break on this.