Comic Book Publisher Boom! Studios Inks Netflix First-Look TV Deal

The Dark Crystal Age of Resistance Still 3 - Publicity-H 2019

Netflix has signed another comic book publisher to its sprawling roster.

Following a prolonged negotiation, with other companies bidding, the streamer has inked Boom! Studios to a first-look deal.

Under the terms of the pact, Boom! — the company behind Eisner award-winning franchises including Lumberjanes, Something Is Killing the Children, Once & Future and Mouse Guard — will produce live-action and animated series based on its library of titles. This gives Netflix access to what sources describe as one of the largest libraries of controlled comic book IP outside of Marvel and DC. While other comic book publishers have a deeper library than Boom!, which was founded in 2005, many have pre-existing film and TV deals in place for their titles.

The deal expands Boom!'s relationship with Netflix. The company produced a comic book based on last year's Jim Henson series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and David F. Sandberg's forthcoming feature The Unsound.

"Boom! characters are innately special — they’re colorful, diverse and varied, and their stories have the power to ignite something in all of us,” Brian Wright, vp originals at Netflix, said Monday in a statement. “We can’t wait to bring these stories from the page to the screen to fans in every corner of the world.”

Boom! Studios founder and CEO Ross Richie and development president Stephen Christy will oversee all programming developed under the pact.

"We generate 20-plus new original series a year and are thrilled to partner with a company that is as prolific as we are,” said Richie. “Boom!’s unique partnership model of controlling the media rights to our library benefits creators by positioning them to be packaged with high-end directors, screenwriters and producers. We’re thrilled to continue our track record of translating our best-selling, award-winning library with the best TV talent in the business, but now with the undisputed leader of the new streaming era.” 

Boom! Studios becomes the third comic book publisher to sign with Netflix, joining Mark Millar's Millarworld and Dark Horse. All three deals come after the streamer severed ties with Disney-owned Marvel following a multiple-series pact that ended with the surprising cancellations of titles including Jessica Jones and The Punisher. Disney was the first of many companies who did business with Netflix to pull back on its programming for its own platform. Marvel is now one of the cornerstones of Disney+, with multiple feature film TV spinoff series in the works at the subscription-based platform.  

As for Boom!, 2019 was the company's biggest year to date as original titles grew 63 percent, with award-winning launches including Once & Future and Something Is Killing the Children. Boom! also has a first-look feature film deal with the now Disney-owned 20th Century Fox and, in August, is slated to debut the supernatural thriller The Empty Man. Its slate includes Memetic with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg at Lionsgate and TV projects with Amazon, HBO Max, Peacock, CBS All Access and Disney+. The company has nearly 20 movies and TV shows currently in development.

UTA and attorney Matt Save brokered the deal.