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Netflix acquires Millarworld

Netflix has bought the comic book publishing house behind properties such as Kick-Ass and Kingsman, marking the streaming giant’s first move into mergers and acquisitions.

Ted Sarandos

Millarworld was founded by Mark Millar, who will now work with Netflix to bring the publisher’s franchises to screen as exclusive films, series and kids’ shows.

Netflix described its first acquisition as “a natural progression in the company’s effort to work directly with prolific and skilled creators and to acquire intellectual property and ownership of stories featuring compelling characters and timeless, interwoven fictional worlds.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“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,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, comparing Millar to the creator of iconic characters such as Spider-Man and the Hulk.

Millar, who runs Millarworld with his wife Lucy Millar, 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.

Following the deal, Millarworld will continue to create and publish new stories and character franchises under the Netflix label. So far the firm has spawned 18 published character worlds, of which three, Wanted, Kick-Ass and Kingsman, have been turned into feature films.

“Mark has created a next-generation comics universe, full of indelible characters living in situations people around the world can identify easily with,” added Sarandos.

“We look forward to creating new Netflix originals from several existing franchises as well as new super-hero, anti-hero, fantasy, sci-fi and horror stories Mark and his team will continue to create and publish.”

The acquisition means Netflix joins Disney in owning a major comic book publisher, after the Mouse House bought Marvel for US$4bn in 200, while Batman owner DC Comics is part of Warner Bros.

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