Announced back in August, Millar and Netflix have been mostly quiet on what it is that Millar's up to. We know that most of the Millarworld properties, save a couple still in active development, now belong to the streaming giant, and that there's more on the horizon. That's about it, however.
The only real way to find out what's going on is to go to the source, so we did. ComicBook.com exclusively caught up with Millar to ask about the new step in his career, what it means for him and his future, and what's coming down the pipeline next.
Mark, you've been on the forefront of comics your entire career. What about your partnership with Netflix excites you the most for the future of Millarworld?
This is like being asked to dance by the best-looking person at the party. There’s no more amazing place to be than Netflix right now and no better home for the Millarworld characters. It’s always exciting to see your work in print and amazing to see those stories turned into movies, but this is another level entirely. Let me try to put it in perspective. A big movie studio makes around 30 or 40 hours of original material every year. Netflix has over 1,000 hours of original content this year alone and growing.Had we sold Millarworld to a typical studio we’d have seen some of these franchises trickle out over the course of the next decade. When I walked into my first Netflix meeting the guys were buzzing about the first four or five they want to get moving on as soon as possible. There’s just a completely different way of doing business here and it’s tremendously exciting. I compare it to how Hollywood must have felt in the 1920s. It’s fearless and they’re just charging ahead, which as a creator has the kind of energy I love.
What about this partnership excites you the most for the future of the comics industry?
Now that Millarworld is owned by Netflix the possibilities are off the scale. In publishing terms, we're being smart and staying at my exact current output, which is around 20 monthly comics a year or four graphic novel collections. This means we can really focus on promoting each book and use Netflix’s massive international machine. Their presence is just ridiculous. We’re announcing a new book this weekend and it almost feels like we’re announcing a movie. The amount of thought and the number of people behind this is unlike anything I’ve experienced in over 20 years as a comic-book creator. Again, this is next-level stuff and our plan is to have a range of books backed up by this incredible PR machine backed up by this amazing resource, which is the highest quality movies and TV shows we can do. But publishing is just a part of what Millarworld is doing at Netflix, the idea being that I’m just constantly creating new stories and these are being exploited in lots of different mediums, as we’ll explain over the coming months.
You have the opportunity to really shake the market up, what are some of the things you're looking to accomplish in your first year?
Well, this first book we’re launching is coming in Spring and you’ll hear about that at the weekend. This comes out of a brand new project I’ve created in-house and I’ve asked pretty much the best artist in the industry right now if he’d like to draw the comic-book. Now that Millarworld is owned by Netflix it’s a pretty different set-up than before. I’m creating stories directly for Netflix, to be used as movies or TV shows, but some of them are going to be comic-books too following the same stories and design bibles. I’m not going to own them. I’m on-staff and this is all being done in-house, but because I love doing comics we’re taking the ones that will work great in my own traditional medium and just letting me have some fun with them. As you can imagine, all the best artists are very, very keen to work for Netflix too so I’ve really had my pick of the crop here. I’ve finished this series we’re announcing at the weekend and already on a second project. The first is a completely original piece of work, the other a sequel to one of our existing franchises people really liked a couple of years back. Both artists are people I google in my tea-breaks. You’ll smile when you see who we’ve bagged.
You've always had a busy schedule even before the Netflix sale, what does your day-to-day look like now?
It’s still actually quite sensible. It’s a full time staff position at Netflix now and my wife Lucy, who ran Millarworld before, has been made CEO and overseeing everything so things are a little more formal than they were in the past. We fly out for meetings and do calls to LA in the evenings, but for the most part they know the real benefit is just having me create stories they can use and so my nine to five is very similar to before. Part of the deal when we sold is that we’d come on as employees for a number of years and, as crazy as it sounds, it’s my first real job. But I couldn’t love it more. If I’d known working was this much fun I’d have gotten an actual job years ago.
Is Millarworld strictly just Mark Millar, or will you be looking to bring in talent and acting more like a publisher than a writer?
No, it’s just me in terms of stories and, in comic terms, whoever we think would work best as the artists. We’re all work-for-hire going forward, like Marvel or DC, but obviously this has the most incredible potential for everybody involved as Netflix doesn’t really go into anything half-cocked. I’ve been doing this job since I was nineteen and I’ve never been more excited about where this is going to go. The resources I have around me are like nothing I’ve ever experienced and I think something special is brewing here as Millarworld just gets a reach we could never have managed.
What Millarworld properties can we expect to see as Netflix originals?
Honestly, right now there’s just nothing off the table. That’s what so exciting about these guys. There’s no limit and all the various departments are poring through our back-catalogue. It’s really just a matter of what excites us as we sit around the table and the best possible screen-writers and directors available to us. Kingsman and Kick-Ass I left out of the deal as we already had long-term arrangements with Matthew (Vaughn) so Johnny, Dave and I still own them. But we’re also going to be doing a lot of brand new stuff too on top of the franchises you’ve already seen. I’ve made a major commitment here and the first of the brand new franchises is the one announced tomorrow. They bought seventeen franchises when they bought our company and I’d like to create that many again too for Netflix.
So, there you have it! Millarworld continues to soldier on, and the first of Netflix's new Millarworld properties launches in early 2018. The future looks bright for Millar and his creation, and Netflix is ripe to cash in on what's already been working. Who wouldn't want to own the next Kingsman?