The Punisher and Jessica Jones are cancelled by Netflix, though the latter's third season will still air sometime this year. Over the last few months, Netflix has been culling its Marvel TV slate, first cancelling Iron Fist, then axing Luke Cage and most recently cancelling Daredevil despite the third season's generally positive reception. In addition to these three shows, Netflix quietly pulled the plug of The Defenders, which was a crossover team-up of the four main heroes. There was never any guarantee The Defenders would get a second season, but considering all main shows are being cancelled, it doesn't look likely to return anytime soon.
Most of this news arrived before The Punisher season 2 and Jessica Jones season 3 premiered, so those two shows remained safe. However, The Punisher season 2 premiered last month and fans have been awaiting news of whether it will continue on or join the other Marvel TV shows. Now, even before Jessica Jones season 3 premieres, Netflix has made a decision about the future of both remaining Marvel shows.
Deadline is reporting that Netflix has cancelled The Punisher and Jessica Jones. Jessica Jones season 3 is still expected to air at some point in 2019. The Punisher star Jon Bernthal responded to the news on Instagram, while Daredevil actor Vincent D'Onofrio responded on Twitter; see both posts below.
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To all who have served. All who know loss. All who love and understand Frank and his pain. It has been an honor to walk in his boots. I’m endlessly grateful to the comic fans and the men and women of the Armed Services and law enforcement community who Frank means so much to. Thank you to the USMC and all the wonderful soldiers who trained me. Go Hard. Be safe.
Well. There they go.. again I feel for all the jobs lost. https://t.co/t3y7995iTy— Vincent D'Onofrio (@vincentdonofrio) February 18, 2019
Netflix issued an official statement on the cancellations of The Punisher and Jessica Jones, thanking Marvel as well as everyone involved in bringing these series to life, and assuring fans that the seasons will remain available on the streaming platform. Read Netflix's full statement below.
Marvel’s The Punisher will not return for a third season on Netflix. Showrunner Steve Lightfoot, the terrific crew, and exceptional cast including star Jon Bernthal, delivered an acclaimed and compelling series for fans, and we are proud to showcase their work on Netflix for years to come. In addition, in reviewing our Marvel programming, we have decided that the upcoming third season will also be the final season for Marvel’s Jessica Jones. We are grateful to showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, star Krysten Ritter and the entire cast and crew, for three incredible seasons of this groundbreaking series, which was recognized by the Peabody Awards among many others. We are grateful to Marvel for five years of our fruitful partnership and thank the passionate fans who have followed these series from the beginning.
The cancellations of The Punisher and Jessica Jones don't come as much of a surprise given that Netflix axed their other Marvel projects. For the most part, fans were expecting The Punisher season 2 and Jessica Jones season 3 to be their last outings. Unfortunately, that means fans won't get to find out what would've been next for Bernthal's Punisher following the events of season 2, which may be especially hard to swallow for comic fans that were unhappy with the character's portrayal. Further, although Jessica Jones' showrunner Melissa Rosenberg was planning to move on after season 3 anyway, it remains to be seen if the show has a resolute end or finishes with a cliffhanger like many of the other Marvel Netflix shows.
Now that these shows are cancelled, fans may be wondering what's next for the characters. Unfortunately, due to the original deal between Marvel TV and Netflix, Marvel can't use the characters for two years after the shows' cancellations, so they can't return in the MCU until late 2020/early 2021. At that point, Marvel may choose to reboot the characters somehow or let them fall by the wayside entirely. After all, with the Disney and Fox deal looking to close this year, Marvel Studios will soon have access to the X-Men and Fantastic Four. What that means for Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Punisher remains to be seen for now.