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Netflix, Dark Horse extend creative partnership after Umbrella Academy success

The Umbrella Academy is based on the series of comic books by Gerard Way

Netflix has extended its creative partnership with the entertainment arm of Dark Horse Comics that gives it a first look at the producer’s film and TV slate.

Under the multi-year deal, Dark Horse Entertainment will continue to give Netflix a first look at its IP for both film and TV.

The two recently collaborated on the third season of The Umbrella Academy, which in its first four weeks reached the Netflix global top 10 in TV in 91 countries, according to the streamer.

New projects in active development at Netflix under the Dark Horse Entertainment banner include Bang!, a feature film starring Idris Elba and directed by David Leitch (Bullet Train) based on the comic series of the same name by Matt Kindt and Wilfredo Torres.

The spy thriller will be written by Kindt and Zak Olkewicz (Bullet Train), with Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg producing for Dark Horse, and David Leitch and Kelly McCormick producing for 87 North alongside Elba.

The film is set when a terrorist cult sets out to start the apocalypse with a series of novels meant to brainwash their readers. The world’s most celebrated spy is sent to track down and kill the author responsible.

Meanwhile, Mind MGMT is a series based on the comic book series of the same name by Kindt that has Curtis Gwinn (Stranger Things) on board to executive produce alongside Richardson and Goldberg for Dark Horse.

It follows a young woman who stumbles onto the top-secret Mind Management programme. Her ensuing journey involves weaponised psychics, hypnotic advertising, talking dolphins and seemingly immortal pursuers.

Additional Dark Horse projects in development with Netflix include: Revenge Inc, a drama series focused on a secret, underground company that specialises in revenge, with Matthew Arnold as showrunner/executive producer; and Lady Killer, an action thriller film based on the comic series by Joelle Jones and Jamie S Rich about a 1950s housewife leading a secret life as a trained killer for hire – Blake Lively is starring and producing.

Previous Dark Horse Entertainment releases include: Netflix film Polar, starring Mads Mikkelsen; Netflix animated series Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles; and animated film Chickenhare & the Hamster of Darkness.

Dark Horse Comics was founded in 1986 by Richardson, who spun off an entertainment arm in 1989 and went on to produce films such as The Mask and Timecop, both based on Richardson’s creations.

The extension of the deal with Dark Horse comes as Netflix cancelled teen vampire drama First Kill after one season.

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