Because no superhero franchise stone can go unturned in Hollywood, and because nostalgia rules above all, we’re getting another shared cinematic universe. This time it’s based on Rob Liefeld’s Extreme studios creations. Mr. Liefeld (perhaps best known in Hollywood circles these days as the co-creator of Deadpool) will bring the characters to life with the help of Netflix. Akiva Goldsman, Brooklyn Weaver, and Liefeld will produce.
Netflix reportedly paid seven figures for the rights to the Extreme characters, and Goldsman “will set up and oversee a high-end writers’ room” to develop multiple feature films. In other words, Netflix is getting its very own shared superhero universe.
It’s worth noting that Youngblood, the Rob Liefeld superhero team book that helped launch Image Comics and became the hallmark of his post-Marvel style, isn’t considered part of the Extreme Universe, so isn’t part of this deal. Instead, expect to see characters from teams Brigade and Bloodstrike and characters like Cybrid, Lethal, Re-Gex, Bloodwulf, Battlestone, Baboom, and Nitro-Gen on the big screen.
“Rob Liefeld’s Extreme Universe features gritty stories and distinctive characters,” Netflix feature film chief Scott Stuber said in a statement (via Deadline). “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.”
“Rob is a unique and innovative talent who knows how to combine hard-edged comic book action with real emotionality,” added Goldsman. “Netflix has the ambition, reach, and dedication to bring his universe to life.”
“Netflix has become a part of every day existence for me and my children,” said Liefeld. “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.”
True to the “extreme” moniker, expect these movies to have a similar, hyper-violent approach that the Deadpool movie took. Mr. Liefeld is quite active on social media, particularly on Twitter, and while comic book creators often aren’t thrilled with how their characters are portrayed on the big screen, he was a huge booster of the Deadpool movie, even while it was stuck in development hell. Considering the runaway success of that particular R-rated superhero flick, they’ll likely look to push the envelope even more with the Extreme Universe characters.