Mark Millar instantly became the creative fulcrum on which grandiose shared-universe live-action plans hinged after streaming giant Netflix acquired his Millarworld publishing brand last year, brandishing broad multimedia plans for movies, TV shows and even comic books. Now, those plans are much clearer with Netflix’s announcement of the first slate of Millarworld adaptations projects.
While there are myriad projects from which to choose, Netflix’s first official lineup of Millarworld films and television shows appears to be carefully curated to showcase a diversified array of genres and characters. However, conspicuous in its absence is Superior, which was touted in 2016 as a prospective film adaptation (over at 20th Century Fox), and even made waves when Millar stated that he’d like to see WWE megastar and surging actor John Cena play the title role.
Regardless, and without further ado, here’s Netflix’s official description of its inaugural Millarworld slate:
A multi-generational American superhero epic, Jupiter’s Legacy follows the world’s first generation of superheroes who received their powers in the 1930’s. In present day they are the revered elder guard, but their superpowered children struggle to live up to the legendary feats of their parents. Steven S. DeKnight (Marvel’s Daredevil, Spartacus, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), who recently signed an overall deal with Netflix, will serve as showrunner and executive producer, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Dan McDermott also serving as executive producers for the series. DeKnight will also direct the first episode.
Multilingual (Spanish/English) series American Jesus follows a twelve-year-old boy who suddenly discovers he’s returned as Jesus Christ. He can turn water into wine, make the crippled walk, and, perhaps, even raise the dead! How will he deal with the destiny to lead the world in a conflict thousands of years in the making? Everardo Gout (Marvel’s Luke Cage, Sacred Lies, Mars, Banshee, Aqui En La Tierra) and Leopoldo Gout (Molly’s Game, Instinct) will serve as co-showrunners and executive producers on the series. Everardo Gout will also direct.
Queen Emporia is married to (literally) the worst dictator in the galaxy, King Morax. After escaping his palace with her children, Emporia and her family, must hide from Morax and his army at all costs — even if it takes teleporting from planet to planet to avoid them. Writer Lindsey Beer (Kingkiller Chronicle and the upcoming Sierra Burgess is a Loser for Netflix and Wizards of Once for DreamWorks Animation) is adapting the comic book into a feature film, with Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum (The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, Maleficent) set to produce.
In a quiet seaside town, Huck uses his special gifts to do a good deed each day. His neighbors return the favors by keeping his abilities a secret. But when a newcomer alerts the media, a firestorm erupts, sending Huck on an adventure that will change everything. Ted Melfi (Hidden Figures, St. Vincent) is adapting the comic book into a feature film, with Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe set to produce.
Sharkey The Bounty Hunter
Set in a brilliant new sci-fi universe, Sharkey is a blue-collar bounty-hunter tracking criminals across the galaxy in his converted, rocket-powered ice-cream truck. Aided and abetted by his ten-year-old partner, he’s out for the biggest bounty of his career. Sharkey the Bounty Hunter will be adapted and published as a Millarworld/Netflix comic next year and writer Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, 21 Jump Street) is writing the screenplay for the feature film.
Mark Millar – joined by wife Lucy – has been retained by Netflix to develop this ambitious array of projects. Clearly ecstatic about the endeavor, he lauds both the streaming giant and the creative personnel with whom he’s working. As Millar expresses in a statement:
“My wife Lucy and I are eleven months into our jobs at Netflix and it’s everything we hoped for to the power of ten. To see a movie based on your work every couple of years is incredibly exciting, but to see them all happening at once like this and with talent this high-end is just off the scale. These are writers and directors I’ve privately been sending fan-mail to over the last eighteen months so to be working with them all is just enormously exciting. This really is the greatest creative environment I’ve ever worked in. I can’t wait to switch on my computer every morning.”
The slate appears to represent a level of planning that we haven’t seen since 2008 when Marvel made the at-the-time-questionable decision to kick off its newly-launched native film studio with a movie about (an arguably B-level) hero in Iron Man. – 10 years, 20 films and $17 billion dollars later, we all know how that turned out.
Indeed, considering the fact that these projects are going to be supported by Netflix, the largest media distribution platform in the world, the almost low-key level of attention that’s being paid here could be setting up a surprise pop culture surge that few will see coming.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated on Netflix’s Millarworld projects as developments occur!