The world's largest video streaming service on Monday, Aug. 7, said it has acquired Millarworld, a producer of graphic novels and comics featuring characters such as the Kingsman, Old Man Logan and Kick-Ass. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Netflix shares on Monday morning were down 0.4% to $179.61.
The end goal, of course, is to transfer Millarworld's characters onto the small and large screen, or as Netflix said in its statement, to "bring Millarworld's portfolio of critically and fan-acclaimed character franchises to life through films, series and kids' shows available exclusively to Netflix members globally."
In his own post, Millar hinted a deal had been in the works for months.
"The moment [Millar's wife] Lucy and I walked into Netflix's headquarters in California last Christmas, we knew this was where we wanted to be," he wrote. "It instantly felt like home, and the team around that table felt like people who would help us take Millarworld's characters and turn them into global powerhouses."
It's an interesting deal given that Netflix has been a voracious acquirer of television and film projects in recent years. It's expected to spend more than $6 billion in 2017 on original programming. Nonetheless, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos clearly deemed it necessary and worthwhile to acquire a basket of intellectual property.
As Millar, a former comic developer at Marvel Entertainment Inc. and Millarworld's founder wrote on Monday, the Netflix acquisition marks only the third time that a comic maker has been acquired by a major media company. The other two instances are famously Warner Bros. buying DC Comics in 1968 and Walt Disney Co. (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report buying Marvel in 2009.
The Scotland-born Millar, who runs Millarworld with his wife, was at Marvel for eight years where he developed the comic books and stories that inspired the first Avengers movie, "Captain America: Civil War" and "Logan," which Netflix said collectively grossed more than $3 billion in worldwide box office. He founded Millarworld nearly 15 years ago.
Millarworld has developed 20 franchised characters, of which three, Wanted, Kick-Ass and Kingsman, have yielded theatrical films that together have grossed nearly $1 billion in global box office.
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