Netflix has begun to rebrand their Defenders Facebook account, a strong hint that there won't be a second season of Marvel's superhero team-up show. Although the relaunch has kicked up something of a storm on Facebook, a smart social media strategy appears to be calming things down.
The first season of The Defenders was intending to be the crowning glory of the Marvel Netflix shows, the culmination of everything Marvel had been building up to since they launched Daredevil back in 2015. Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly a massive success, with reports that it had the lowest viewing figures for Marvel Netflix to date. Even the stars have felt it's unlikely there'll be a second season.
The odds of renewal have just dropped massively, with Netflix announcing the launch of their "NX" brand, which seems designed to embrace the streaming service's geek-friendly content. Significantly, they decided to repurpose the old Defenders Facebook page. Its name was changed to NX, and the "About" page was given a major update. The page is now "the @netflix space to live everything super, sci-fi, the fantastic, and beyond."
The Marvel Netflix shows are well-known for their innovative approach to social media marketing, with the Twitter accounts actually attempting to stay in-character as much as possible. Given that's the case, this change is pretty important; it strongly suggests Netflix is no longer interested in producing original content for The Defenders. Understandably reluctant to lose the 500,000 Facebook page followers, though, Netflix has chosen simply to repurpose the page in order to support their new brand. It gives NX 500,000 Facebook followers on launch, a strong initial reach that's been done without spending any money on ads or promotion.
Needless to say, this hasn't gone down well among fans of The Defenders. They chose to subscribe to a page dedicated to a specific series, not to one that celebrated the whole range of Marvel Netflix superhero and fantasy content. The page has been inundated with complaints, but whichever social media guru is running it is proving pretty smart. They've already shared a gif from Daredevil that reads, "I know I haven't earned it, not yet anyway, but I'm asking you to trust me, Foggy." That kind of amusing self-awareness, meeting fans on their own terms, will go a long way to changing the mood.
While this is sad news for The Defenders, it hardly comes as a surprise; there's no evidence Netflix ever really considered renewal in the first place, so this kind of news was only really a matter of time. What's more, this doesn't mean the streaming service will vote against other possible team-ups, such as a Heroes for Hire series or even a Daughters of the Dragon spinoff.