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Netflix Inks First-Look Deal With 'The Umbrella Academy' Publisher Dark Horse

The two recently worked together on Mads Mikkelsen-starrer 'Polar.'
'The Umbrella Academy'   |   Courtesy of Netflix
The two recently worked together on Mads Mikkelsen-starrer 'Polar.'

Netflix has signed a first-look deal with comic book publisher Dark Horse Entertainment.

The two companies worked together on the streamer's recent series The Umbrella Academy, which was renewed for a second season, and the Mads Mikkelsen-starrer Polar.

"We are very excited about this new arrangement with the talented people at Netflix," said Mike Richardson, Dark Horse 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."

"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 worldwide audience," said Keith Goldberg, senior vp production at Dark Horse.

Adds Netflix's Cindy Holland, "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."

According to Netflix's most recent quarterly earnings report, The Umbrella Academy racked up a huge global audience in its first month; the series has been viewed by more than 45 million member households.

Dark Horse properties have long provided Hollywood fodder, beginning with early entries like Jim Carrey's The Mask and Timecop. The Hellboy franchise, which spawned two Guillermo del Toro films as well as April's David Harbour reboot, also started as a Dark Horse comic. The Jeff Bridges-Ryan Reynolds 2013 feature R.I.P.D. also began as a Dark Horse comic.

Along with the second season of The Umbrella Academy, the company is working on Resident Alien, a television series for Syfy starring Alan Tudyk, based on the comic series by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse.

Dark Horse previously was under an overall deal with UCP, the Comcast-owned studio behind both The Umbrella Academy and Resident Alien. Sources say the company was looking to expand its library and received multiple offers after going out into the open market for a new deal.

Dark Horse arrives after Netflix severed ties with Marvel after the streamer's relationship with the comic book giant's parent company, Disney, went south. That led to the surprising cancellations of all Netflix's Marvel dramas: Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and The Punisher.

With Dark Horse, Netflix gains yet another comic book company with a robust roster of IP to join Mark Millar's Millarworld as the streamer makes a continued push on content ownership.

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