According to Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb, a third season of Iron Fist still isn't guaranteed - he's waiting to hear from Netflix. That's in spite of the fact that the end of season 2 clearly set up a potential future for Finn Jones' hero.
When the partnership between Marvel and Netflix began, Netflix settled for releasing just two shows a year. That increased to three in 2017, then - most startling of all - this year sees four Marvel Netflix series released. What's more, the second seasons of both Luke Cage and Iron Fist clearly set up exciting future arcs.
But no announcement has yet been made for either of those series' futures. In an interview with EW, Marvel Television's Jeph Loeb was asked specifically about Iron Fist, and he gave an interesting response:
"Speak to our friends at Netflix. Unlike the movie studio, which can announce a Captain Marvel movie will be out in 2019, the television studio will always be beholden to our networks, and so if our networks want another season of Iron Fist, we’re ready to go. We’re just waiting for the answer."
It's an interesting comment, reminding viewers that Marvel Television's influence only goes so far. Any Marvel TV show is ultimately dependent on the goodwill of the network, and their decisions will always be based on how a series performs. In contrast with normal networks, where viewing figures become public domain, Netflix guards their data. Netflix is probably the most data-driven company in the entertainment sector; it runs algorithms that divide audiences into roughly 2,000 "taste communities," and decisions are made to order and renew in part because the streaming service want to have content for all these taste communities. So it isn't just a matter of whether or not Iron Fist season 2 had good viewing figures; it's also a question of how it fits into Netflix's overall strategy.
The odds look good for Iron Fist, though. The first season was poorly received by viewers and critics alike, but is still believed to have been a hit in terms of viewing figures. Season 2 has only been out for a few weeks, but it received a much more positive response, with new showrunner Raven Metzner proving he really does have a good vision for the Immortal Iron Fist. Hopefully the better reviews and positive buzz will translate into a successful season, one that Netflix chooses to pick up a follow-up to in short order. Even if Iron Fist is renewed, though, that doesn't mean it'll be a priority for Netflix. It's worth remembering that Daredevil season 3 was first teased at SDCC 2016; the show is finally releasing in October 2018, over two years later.