Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 15 September 2019

Netflix signs first-look deal with Dark Horse Comics

Dark Horse is the publisher properties such as 'Hellboy' and 'The Mask'

Ron Perlman in Hellboy, an adaptation of a Dark Horse comic. Courtesy Columbia Pictures
Ron Perlman in Hellboy, an adaptation of a Dark Horse comic. Courtesy Columbia Pictures

Netflix has signed a first-look deal with Hellboy and Sin City publisher Dark Horse Entertainment.

The arrangement means Netflix will have first refusal on screen adaptations of Dark Horse’s properties, which also include The Umbrella Academy, 300 and The Mask. Dark Horse also publishes a number of licensed spin-off comics including Star Wars and Alien, though these third-party-owned properties are unlikely to form a part of the Netflix deal.

The move comes in the wake of souring relations between Netflix and Disney, which have seen Disney clawing back the rights to a number of its Marvel properties from the streamer, presumably with a view to airing them on its soon-to-launch Disney + streaming service.

Following the loss of its Marvel rights, Netflix has been proactively seeking new original comic content to fill the gap, and the streamer also recently acquired Mark Millar’s Millarworld, publisher of Kick-Ass and Wanted as part of this process.

Netflix and Dark Horse have previously collaborated on the streamer's recent series The Umbrella Academy, which has been renewed for a second season, and the Mads Mikkelsen-starrer Polar.

Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson commented on the deal: "We are very excited about this new arrangement with the talented people at Netflix. We have strong creative relationships as well as a large content library to work with, and, as we have seen with our recent projects, Netflix is the perfect partner to bring our stories to fans around the world."

Netflix VP Cindy Holland added that we can expect to see more than a conveyer belt of super hero adaptations from the new partnership: "The Netflix teams are already working in deep collaboration with Dark Horse to identify projects beyond the world of traditional superheroes — branching into horror, fantasy and family entertainment — that we think our members will love."

Previous screen adaptations of Dark Horse properties include Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy films, the 2013 Ryan Reynolds/Jeff Bridges starrer RIPD and Jim Carey in both The Mask and Timecop.

Updated: May 10, 2019 10:31 AM