One of Netflix's executives confirms that only they have the authority to cancel any of their Marvel TV shows, not Disney. Shortly after launching their initial slate of original programs, Netflix opted to go big and attract new subscribers by partnering with Marvel Entertainment's then-newly formed division, Marvel Television, to adapt multiple TV shows based on characters from Marvel Comics. And it all began with Daredevil in 2016, which is on the verge of debuting its highly-anticipated third season later this week.
While Netflix's Marvel TV shows have been performing wonderfully for them overall, it's understandable that fans became somewhat concerned when Disney announced plans to launch their own streaming service in late 2019, which has been reportedly titled Disney Play. Since the Mouse House plans on developing their own original Marvel properties, and since it was revealed all Marvel movies on Netflix would be removed when the service releases, it was believed that Netflix's Defenders-based series would also move from Netflix to Disney Play, if not canceled entirely. But that's not what's happening.
In response to a question about Disney's streaming service and its impact on their Marvel TV shows, Netflix's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told investors during an earnings call that only they have the power to cancel their live-action Marvel TV properties. According to Inverse, Sarandos said, "Those shows are for us to cancel, and we’re super happy with their performance so far." Sarandos' blunt answer is great news for fans who were perhaps worried about the future of Netflix's TV shows.
While this response should put all concerns of Marvel TV's future at Netflix to rest, it's really just a more direct reply to similar questions that Marvel Entertainment itself has answered before. Earlier this year, the company's president Dan Buckley said that they wanted to continue their partnership with Netflix and have their Defenders-based properties run for as long as possible on the streaming service. However, it was also reported around the same time that all future Marvel shows could go straight to Disney's platform. While that may or may not be true, it's certainly plausible that the Mouse House would want to keep all their stuff in-house, including everything from production to distribution.
But, regardless of what Disney plans to do in the future, they can't use their power to control what happens with Netflix's Marvel TV shows. Unlike what happened with the animated Deadpool series at FX Networks, Disney nor Disney-owned Marvel TV has the authority to cancel Netflix's Marvel properties; only Netflix can do that. Sadly, they exercised that authority for the first time this past weekend when they canceled Iron Fist after two seasons, something that has fans in an uproar, for numerous reasons.
Source: Ted Sarandos (via Inverse)