The series is described as”Willy Wonka with superpowers.”
Comic book creator Mark Millar has been working on a new series for Netflix entitled The Ambassadors. The series, which he describes as “Willy Wonka with superpowers,” will center on six characters from six different countries, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Millar sees this new project, The Ambassadors, as an opportunity to tap into the streaming site’s desire to have content tailored for different regions while also hoping that this could be the start of an on-screen franchise.
The Ambassadors takes place in a universe where the superhuman genome has been cracked. The scientist responsible is a Korean billionaire who alerts the world that she will turn six ordinary people into superhumans. They will work out of the world’s first superhuman headquarters in Seoul and be on call 24/7 for superhuman emergencies. Naturally, this sparks a global competition between people who want to join the team.
In 2017, Millar sold his company Millarworld to the streaming service, which then started developing multiple titles for film and television. One of the shows, Jupiter’s Legacy, sadly became one of Netflix’s biggest flops. However, Millar said he was confident they’d return to it later. It was replaced by an anime adaption of Super Crooks, with a live-action adaptation of the same source material also in development. Another show, American Jesus, has already filmed season one.
When Millar joined forces with Netflix, he was introduced to a whole new medium and way of delivering content. After sending several shows to the streaming service, Millar has become quite fond of what Netflix can offer.
“One of the great advantages streamers have over cinema is you can do something this mad and ambitious. The domestic audience is usually the main consideration for an American studio, especially opening weekend, so having an entirely non-American cast of characters and exclusively overseas locations would be a hard sell if this was a traditional theatrical release, but I’m just as excited by Korea, India, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and France as I am about the audience in California or New York. It’s also exciting for Netflix as these are all growth markets.”
Several pieces of Millar’s work turn superhero stories on their head. Such as Wanted (the original comic, not so much the film version) and Old Man Logan, both of which take place in a world where superheroes have become all but extinct due to all the supervillains of the world banding together. In addition, both Kick-Ass and The Ultimates 2 show the issues that might arise with inexperienced superheroes.
“We’ve seen the three act American superhero origin story a lot over the past 22 years and people are just looking for something a little different now. That’s where the rewards lie and the idea of a super-team based out of Korea just feels fresh. It also gives us an amazing chance to use local talent in these countries and build up the profile of the characters across the world, spinning them off into their own projects and making it an even bigger deal when we bring them back together again. You could only do this thing on a streamer so it totally takes advantage of the format in a way we haven’t seen before.”
The Ambassadors will begin its release in 2023, though Millar's work can already be seen on Netflix, with the streamer's adaptations of Super Crooks and Jupiter's Legacy available now.