Marvel's Defenders Netflix Shows Could Become Movies If Popular Enough

As they do after most major announcements, Disney held a conference call today in which they [...]


As they do after most major announcements, Disney held a conference call today in which they addressed questions from investors about this morning's announcement of five new Marvel TV series from Netflix, including Daredevil, Luke Cage and The Defenders. Asked about the future of the properties, Disney's CFO suggested that none of the characters who got TV series today were likely candidates for a solo feature film, but that the Netflix deal opens the door for that to happen in the future, if the series perform well enough. Which is a bit like what they said about Arrested Development, which has a fifth season and a feature film both currently in the early stages of development. So, there's that. "Marvel has thousands of characters and it is not possible to mine them all with filmed entertainment," said Walt Disney Company Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo. "While these characters are attractive characters they are not among the most popular and so it's not likely we would have made feature films about them--but if they are popular on Netflix, they could become feature films." Gauging popularity on Netflix will be an interesting exercise, since fanboys will almost certainly make all of these event television and the company doesn't make "ratings" widely available to the general public. Internally, they may have to compare the numbers to how the Marvel Studios feature films are performing on the service, and to how other Netflix event series like House of Cards and Arrested Development did--for instance, will Daredevil crash the Netflix server on its first day? And of course, the visibility and brand awareness of Daredevil will make that show a target; that's what they'll be looking to, more likely than not, to transition to the big screen (if not The Defenders itself), and any other solo show that can do as well or better than Daredevil does will likely find itself under consideration.