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INTERVIEW: Millar Promises Shakespeare, Shagging & Sorcery In Netflix's The Magic Order

Obviously, this book stands apart just as the first Millarworld production with Netflix. Has the fact that you're doing this as part of their team changed your approach at all? Do you either view The Magic Order as the first in a new phase of comic storytelling, or are there even ways in which you can change what you do knowing there's a massive TV production pipeline chomping at the bit for the material?

Well, this is honestly the complete opposite of what I used to do. I left Marvel to start Millarworld, and we created comics with new characters, and the hope was we optioned and sold these projects to studios and gave the characters the steroid boost of a hundred million dollar movie ad. Kick-Ass was the perfect example. We sold one million book worldwide with Kick-Ass, which is insane, and the movie was an enormous factor in that.

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With Netflix, I create these franchises in-house. After we sold the company and all the artists got very rich and are now sunning themselves on the Costa Del Sol, I signed up to become an executive at the company and create new projects which we’ll do as movies and TV shows. We look at all of these and work out if they’re best as movies or TV shows and what talent we want to attach to them. But I’m a comic-guy to my bone-marrow so I made sure I still get to do comics too, carving out a deal where I can translate my ideas into comics so I can still have something great for my shelves. Netflix were cool with this as long as I agreed to only work with the cream of the cream – the very best – so the brand stayed strong and this obviously appealed to me.

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So I’ll still be doing three or four comics a year and poaching the greatest talent for these books. We signed up to the new deal in August when my wife and I went on staff, and I’ve created six franchises that time so far, three of which we’re doing as comics, too. The rest work better as TV shows or movies.

I know it's early in the game, but what can you say about the status of Millarworld Netflix projects for streaming? Are you guys looking to take one particular series out the gate first, or is it a much wider approach from the very jump?

I always liken Netflix to Hollywood in the '20s. There’s just so much energy and enthusiasm, and nobody’s scared yet. We’ve got over one thousand hours of original material to do this year, and even more next year. Compare that to the 25 hours on average a studio does. It’s mind-blowing. So we’re actually developing six different franchises right now, four from the sale and two new ones, and they’ll come out depending on schedules. There’s writers on screenplay at the moment for two, and directors we’re interviewing, but it really all depends when the people we want are available to shoot. It’s all about getting the right talent on things, but it’s moving so fast. This first year is the lull before the storm, like the sea going back before a tidal wave hits. It's incredibly exciting. My first real job.

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To wrap it with the comics first and foremost, I saw the enterprising fan on Twitter who has been connecting the dots on the way all your creator-owned titles have fit together over the years. Surely, a lot of these characters don't fit together just in terms of the tone of each project, and I know some things are spread out a bit more since the Netflix deal. But overall, do you ever think about bigger story possibilities for Millarworld as a universe? Could there ever be a Millarworld event series?

They really do all fit together and it would really be fun to get them all together at some point too. But it’s basically very simple. They all take place here in the real world, and that’s that. They’re all here in a world like we inhabit, with the exception of Jupiter’s Legacy and Supercrooks, which are just entertainment. But the Chrononaut, Kick-Ass, Huck, etc. are all here and so are the Magic Order. I don’t think it’s wise to have them all meet anytime soon, though. Instead, I’d like to introduce them and maybe have them meet in pairs so everybody gets great screen time.

Empress is set on Earth 65 million years ago so that seems a great Chrononauts adventure. Nemesis fighting Hit-Girl would be great. There’s loads of fun stuff we can do. The plans are immense, and The Magic Order is where our Phase Two begins. Jump in on the ground level. This is the next ten years of what you’re going to be obsessed with.

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