Netflix — in the first company acquisition in its history — has bought Millarworld, the comic-book publishing firm founded by Mark Millar, creator of characters and stories including Kick-Ass, Kingsman, and Old Man Logan.
Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed. Netflix said it will develop films, TV shows and kids’ series based on Millarworld’s portfolio of character franchises to life through films, series and kids’ shows. Millarworld will also continue to create and publish new stories and character franchises under the Netflix label.
For Netflix, the move reflects its desire to own and develop intellectual property, rather than simply license it. Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, in announcing the deal, said: “As creator and re-inventor of some of the most memorable stories and characters in recent history, ranging from Marvel’s The Avengers to Millarworld’s Kick-Ass, Kingsman, Wanted and Reborn franchises, Mark is as close as you can get to a modern-day Stan Lee.”
Added Millar: “This is only the third time in history a major comic book company has been purchased at this level. I’m so in love with what Netflix is doing and excited by their plans. Netflix is the future and Millarworld couldn’t have a better home.”
Millar runs Millarworld with his wife, Lucy Millar. Previously he spent eight years at Marvel, where he developed the comic books and story arcs that inspired the first Avengers movie, Captain America: Civil War, and Logan, which collectively grossed over $3 billion in worldwide box office.
Since Millarworld was started, the company and its co-creators have 18 character worlds, of which three — Wanted, Kick-Ass and Kingsman — have yielded theatrical films that together have grossed nearly $1 billion in global box office.