Netflix is building a Mark Millar TV-film universe with the pickup of two series based on the comic book writer’s stories, superhero epic Jupiter’s Legacy and American Jesus, a multi-lingual series that follows a twelve-year-old boy who suddenly discovers he’s returned as Jesus Christ; and three films, Empress, Huck and Sharkey The Bounty Hunter. They will be shepherded by such top creative auspices as Steven S. DeKnight and Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Jupiter’s Legacy), and Ted Melfi and Neal H. Moritz (Huck), Everardo Gout and Leopoldo Gout (American Jesus), Lindsey Beer (Empress) and Michael Bacall (Sharkey the Bounty Hunter).
This marks Netflix’s biggest multiple-project order since the streaming giant inked the original Marvel deal for four series and a limited series. It comes less than a year after Netflix acquired Millarworld, the comic book publisher founded by Millar which has spawned stories such as Wanted, Kick-Ass, Kingsman and Old Man Logan. Since then, Netflix has been developing projects with Mark and his wife, Lucy Millar, including The Magic Order, which was published as Netflix’s first comic book and became the biggest selling new comic-book franchise in nearly 20 years. Sharkey The Bounty Hunter also is being adapted as a comic book to be published by Millarworld/Netflix in 2019.
“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,” said Millar. “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.”
Millarworld properties have spawned three hit movie franchises, Wanted, Kick-Ass and Kingsman. A couple of the Netflix projects announced today had already been in the works before the company’ acquisition of Millarworld — di Bonaventure had started developing Jupiter’s Legacy in 2016; Millar teamed up with Roth and Jeff Kirchenbaum on an Empress movie also in 2016.
Here are details about the newly picked up series and movies followed by a trailer:
Jupiter’s Legacy — 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.
American Jesus — 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.
Empress — 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.
Huck — 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.
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Jupiter's Legacy: An original series about Golden Age superheroes having kids…and those kids becoming angsty millennials. Empress: An original film about a space Empress on the run. Huck: This movie wonders if the greatest super power is just all the friends we made along the way. Sharkey: Adapted from an upcoming comic, a film about a bounty hunter. In space. Named Sharkey. American Jesus: A comic-turned-Spanish-language TV show about a boy who may or may not be the second coming of Jesus.
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