Netflix's First Acquisition: 'Kingsman' Comics Publisher

Comics legend Mark Millar teams with the streaming service to make films, TV series and kids' shows.

Netflix has acquired Millarworld, the comic book publisher from Wanted and Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar, marking the streaming giant's first major acquisition.

Terms of the deal between Netflix and the comics world guru weren't announced. But Netflix and Millar will bring Millarworld’s franchises to life through films, series and kids’ shows available exclusively to Netflix members globally. Millarworld will also continue to create and publish new stories and character franchises under the Netflix label.

The acquisition continues Netflix's efforts to work directly with prolific and skilled creators and to acquire IP and ownership of stories featuring popular characters and fictional worlds.

"As creator and re-inventor of some of the most memorable stories and characters in recent history, ranging from Marvel’s The Avengers to Millarworld’s Kick-Ass, Kingsman, Wanted and Reborn franchises, Mark is as close as you can get to a modern day Stan Lee,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said Monday in a statement.

Millar in a statement on the Millarworld website recalled first meeting with Netflix executives in December 2016. "The moment Lucy and I walked into Netflix’s headquarters in California last Christmas we knew this was where we wanted to be. It instantly felt like home and the team around that table felt like people who would help us take Millarworld’s characters and turn them into global powerhouses," he said. 

Millar runs Millarworld with his wife, Lucy Millar, and is bringing Netflix into his superhero universe after working for eight years at Marvel developing comic books and story arcs that inspired the first Avengers movie (with his groundbreaking Ultimates books), Captain America: Civil War (with the 2006 comic book storyline Civil War), and Logan (with the Old Man Logan storyline that debuted in 2008).

Together, those Marvel properties have grossed over $3 billion in worldwide box office. Millarworld has to date spawned 18 published character worlds. Three of them, Wanted — turned into the 2008 Angelina Jolie starrer — Kick-Ass and Kingsman have grossed nearly $1 billion in global box office.

Millar in his statement told his fans to stay tuned as upcoming projects with Netflix will be shortly announced. "These guys are going to take Millarworld to the next level and I feel like Richard Dreyfuss, wide-eyed and walking around the mothership at the end of Close Encounters when I see their global plans and it’s crazy-exciting to be a part of it."

Hughes Hubbard & Reed advised Millar in the transaction, with Matt Syrkin and Ken Lefkowitz leading the legal team.

August 7, 11:45 a.m. Updated with comment by Mark Millar posted on the Millarworld website.