Netflix and comic book publisher Dark Horse Entertainment have extended their partnership with a multiyear agreement will continue to give Netflix a first look at its IP for both film and TV. They’ve also announced several new projects, including “Bang!,” a feature starring Idris Elba and directed by David Leitch, based on the comic series by Matt Kindt and Wilfredo Torres.
The new arrangement comes as the third season of Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy,” based on the popular Dark Horse comic book series, reached the Netflix Global Top 10 in TV in 91 countries with 283.55 million hours viewed in its first four weeks (as of July 17).
Among the projects in active development are “Bang!,” which is described as a “stylish spy thriller” and is being written by Kindt and Zak Olkewicz (Leitch’s “Bullet Train,” Netflix’s “Fear Street Part 2: 1978”). The official logline reads: “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.”
Netflix also announced a project based on Kindt’s “Mind MGMT.” This project is an original series, to be executive produced by Curtis Gwinn (“Stranger Things”). It’s described in the official logline: “A young woman stumbles onto the top-secret Mind Management program. Her ensuing journey involves weaponized psychics, hypnotic advertising, talking dolphins and seemingly immortal pursuers, as she attempts to find the man who was MIND MGMT’s greatest success – and its most devastating failure. But in a world where people can rewrite reality itself, can she trust anything she sees?”
Other projects from Netflix and Dark Horse include “Revenge Inc.,” described as “a drama series focused on a secret, underground company that specializes in revenge,” with Matthew Arnold serving as showrunner and executive producer. There’s also “Lady Killer,” a series that will star and be produced by Blake Lively, who will play a “a 1950s housewife leading a secret life as a highly-trained killer for hire.” It is based on the comic series by Joelle Jones and Jamie S. Rich. An animated adaptation of “The Goon” was also recently announced for Netflix by producer Tim Miller at San Diego Comic Con.
What’s interesting about this deal is that Netflix already owns a comic book publisher, Millarworld, which is run by comic book writer Mark Millar. And while Millar has created several properties that have been successfully adapted by other studios (“Wanted,” “Kick-Ass,” “Kingsman”), nothing has really clicked with Netflix.
Previous Dark Horse adaptations include “Dr. Giggles,” “Timecop,” “300,” “The Mask,” “Hellboy” and “Sin City.”