In retrospect, the relationship created when Marvel Studios teamed up with Netflix to bring original series programming to the internet streaming service appears to be a brilliant move. Thanks to the overwhelmingly positive response from critics and viewers alike of the Daredevil miniseries, it looks as if this new method of delivering Marvel properties is a viable option for the powerhouse studio. Netflix has already confirmed the features it has in store: A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders. But just as Marvel has established “Phases” for its big screen features, what is in store for its small screen counterpart?
Given that The Defenders series won’t grace televisions until 2017, “Phase 2” from Marvel/Netflix has some time to take shape. So far we know that Daredevil is returning for a second season. The once-rumored Elektra series looks to be legitimate. Netflix has also toyed around with the idea of building original programming around Ghost Rider, The Punisher, and Blade. Given the darker tone of these characters could pose a problem for the streaming service. The violence involved with the Punisher and Blade characters can impact viewership numbers resulting in lower ratings. Likewise, given the nature of Ghost Rider’s flaming skull, a series featuring Johnny Blaze would likely be too dependent on CGI, which translates to a higher budget needed. Marvel intends on projects for Cloak & Dagger, Ms. Marvel, and a Hulk prequel, though these have not been bestowed upon Netflix (yet).
The dichotomy created by these two companies benefits both greatly. Though they haven’t produced numbers yet, Netflix has stated that Daredevil was their most watched series. The draw of Marvel comics and film fans to the streaming service can only increase as more projects are announced. Netflix also gives Marvel Studios the opportunity to put out films/series that perhaps are not considered big screen-worthy (Hawkeye, Black Widow, She-Hulk, etc.). It also allows the opportunity to crossover film characters with the television stories (as Marvel is working on for Benedict Cumberbatch‘s Dr. Strange). All one can say is that this pairing of Marvel and Netflix will satisfy the cravings of comic fans and help grow the Marvel Universe beyond comics and film.