Netflix has signed a deal with Deadpool’s Rob Liefeld for the rights to the Extreme Universe graphic novels.
Liefeld found success with his subversive superhero Deadpool, a character he co-created with Fabian Nicieza. Following the recent Ryan Reynolds movie, that cynical, post-modern style has never been more in fashion, and so it’s no surprise that Netflix should come knocking at his door.
The streaming giant, which is looking to ramp up its feature film arm, is on the hunt for franchise possibilities, as well as awards hitters – its big budget blockbuster, Bright, has already been given the green light for a sequel. Now, it’s nabbed the rights to Liefeld’s Extreme Universe, a series of graphic novel characters that range from Brigade and Bloodstrike to Cybrid, Re-Gex, Bloodwulf and Kaboom.
It’s a big gamble for the streaming giant, but a smart play to snap up a large volume of new IP in a market where properties have mostly already been acquired. Indeed, a deal was previously inked with producer Graham King and Fundamental Films for the graphic novels, but that didn’t work out and Netflix has now stepped into the breach.
“Rob Liefeld’s Extreme Universe features gritty stories and distinctive characters,” said Netflix feature film chief Scott Stuber. “Akiva’s creative voice has been behind some of the largest movie franchises, making him uniquely capable of helping bring these superheroes from the Extreme Universe to life for Netflix.”
The deal is reportedly into seven figures, according to Deadline, and will see Hollywood heavyweight Akiva Goldsman set up a writers’ room to develop a run of feature films that link together. Goldsman, Liefeld and Brooklyn Weaver will produce, with Weed Road’s Greg Lessans on board as exec producer.
“Rob is a unique and innovative talent who knows how to combine hard-edged comic book action with real emotionality,” says Goldsman. “Netflix has the ambition, reach, and dedication to bring his universe to life.”
Liefeld adds: “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.”