Dark Horse, Netflix ink first look IP deal

The Umbrella Academy Netflix has closed a first look deal with US publisher Dark Horse Entertainment, who will give the international streaming service a first look at its IP for both film and TV and has started exploring future projects.

Dark Horse Entertainment’s Mike Richardson, Keith Goldberg and Paul Schwake signed on to produce.

Netflix and Dark Horse have previously collaborated on the action-comedy series The Umbrella Academy, which was recently renewed for a second season, as well as Jonas Åkerlund’s feature film Polar.

The Umbrella Academy

The deal follows Netflix critical success delivering other comic heroes to the small screen, particularly Marvel heroes such as Daredevil. With Disney taking its IP back in house, it was inevitable Netflix would seek to ink further IP deals with comics publishers and creators, in addition to their purchase of Mark Millar’s Millarworld back in 2017.

(In addition to to publishing comics from Millarworld, Netflix plans develop films, TV shows and kids’ series based on its portfolio of character and comic book franchises, including Kick-Ass, Kingsman, Wanted, Reborn, Empress and Jupiter’s Legacy. The latest comics project from the partnership is Space Bandits, a female-led SF adventure story, which Variety reported last month will receive a special, limited-edition cover treatment by comics legend Howard Chaykin).

“We are very excited about this new arrangement with the talented people at Netflix,” said Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Entertainment’s President and Founder. “We have strong creative relationships as well as a large content library to work with and, as we have seen with our recent projects, Netflix is the perfect partner to bring our stories to fans around the world.”

The Umbrella Academy

“With The Umbrella Academy and Polar, Netflix has pushed our content out into the world and allowed it to spread in a way that we’ve never experienced before, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring a whole new slate of movies and shows to their world-wide audience,” said Keith Goldberg, Senior Vice President,Dark Horse Entertainment.

“Following the success of The Umbrella Academy, we’re excited to extend our relationship with Dark Horse Comics,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content for Netflix. “The Netflix teams are already working in deep collaboration with Dark Horse to identify projects beyond the world of traditional superheroes — branching into horror, fantasy and family entertainment — that we think our members will love.”

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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