Getty Images / Extreme Studios
Netflix continues to make very big deals with prestigious creators from all avenues of the entertainment world.
While there’s only been one announcement about what Netflix will be doing with Mark Millar’s Millarworld, which it picked up last August, Netflix is already in bed with another comic book creator, Rob Liefled, making a seven-figure deal for his Extreme Universe characters.
Filmmaker and producer Akiva Goldsman has been put in charge of assembling a writers’ room, similar to the ones he has put together for the Transformers and Ology series for Paramount, in order to create an interlinked series of films based on Liefeld’s Extreme characters. Goldsman, Liefeld and Brooklyn Weaver will produce the films with Greg Lessans from Goldsman’s Weed Road as exec. producer.
The deal between Extreme and Goldsman came out of an earlier deal for Liefeld’s character Avengelyne, which Liefeld plans to develop and direct for Paramount. Oddly, the Netflix deal does not include Liefeld’s flagship title Youngblood, but does include Brigade, Bloodstrike, Cybrid, Re-Gex, Bloodwulf and Kaboom.
Liefeld began as a young gun artist hired by Marvel to draw The New Mutants back in 1989. When Liefeld took over creative reins on the title with issue #98, he introduced a character of his own creation named Deadpool who would go onto become one of Marvel’s most popular characters even before the 2016 blockbuster movie. Liefled would leave Marvel to form Image Comics with six other disgruntled Marvel artists who weren’t getting the proper credit and money for the characters they were creating.
Liefeld’s comic book Youngblood kicked off Image Comics in 1992, and it led to a number of other comics there including Brigade, Bloodstrike, Supreme and more with Liefeld taking his Extreme Studios off on its own before returning to Image. Liefeld also returned to Marvel for the Heroes Reborn reboot in 1996, drawing Captain America and the Avengers with future Marvel TV exec. Jeph Loeb writing. (Oddly, Loeb would become an exec. producer/writer on Tim Fring’s show Heroes in 2006, and that would return sans Loeb in 2015 with a new series also called Heroes Reborn.)
Extreme Studios celebrated its 25th Anniversary last year.
Liefeld’s artwork might be an acquired taste — as are Goldsman’s films, for that matter — but there’s no denying what he’s brought to comics with his creations and the creators he’s hired to write and draw them.
Netflix feature film chief Scott Stuber said about the union, “Rob Liefeld’s Extreme Universe features gritty stories and distinctive characters. Akiva’s creative voice has been behind some of the largest movie franchises, making him uniquely capable of halping bring these superheroes from the Extreme Universe to life for Netflix.”
Liefeld added, “Netflix has become a part of every day existence for me and my children. Their programming is the most dynamic and diverse I have seen. I am beyond thrilled and inspired to be bringing my Extreme catalogue to life with the creative wizards at Netflix. What Akiva Goldsman has achieved with his craft and storytelling across all mediums in our industray is of absolute benefit for my Extreme characters. He is an absolute comic book fanatic and working with him on adapting Extreme Universe has been electric. His stellar work on Star Trek Discovery has wowed the fandom and trust me when I say that the Teen Titans show he is producing is going to blow fans away. I cannot wait to show the world what we have in store.”
This news was initially reported by Deadline.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor