The partnership between Marvel Television and Netflix is clearly coming to an end - but why hasn't the streaming giant already canceled The Punisher and Jessica Jones? The last two months have seen shocking news for fans of the popular Marvel Netflix streaming shows. In October, Netflix canceled Iron Fist just a month after the release of a much-improved second season. Only a week later, they also pulled the plug on Luke Cage. The latest disappointing news is the cancellation of the Marvel Netflix flagship series, Daredevil.
It's clear that the relationship between Marvel and Netflix has deteriorated over the last year or so. Although Netflix is notoriously shy of revealing viewing figures, third-party analytics have suggested that audiences are tuning out of these shows. What's more, it's believed the cancellation of Luke Cage was due to major creative differences between the partners; there were reports of "behind-the-scenes turmoil" that even led Netflix to call for a change in that series's creative regime. The cancellation of Daredevil is symbolic, suggesting that the age of Marvel Netflix is drawing to a close.
There are still two Marvel Netflix shows that haven't been canceled yet, though; Jessica Jones and The Punisher. At this stage, it's safe to say that it's only a matter of time before Netflix shut these last two series down as well, but for now they're holding off. There's a simple enough reason; production has already been completed on The Punisher season 2, and Jessica Jones season 3 is currently being filmed. Netflix has already invested money in both shows, which are expected to drop in 2019. Presumably The Punisher will be released early in the year, with Jessica Jones towards the middle or end. Given Daredevil was known to be one of the stronger-performing brands from the Marvel Netflix slate, it's safe to assume that these will be the final seasons of their respective series.
Looking beyond 2019, what does the future have in store for Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and The Punisher? It's doubtful that these shows would transition easily to the Disney Plus streaming service, given they're hardly PG-13 in tone and style. What's more, when they canceled Daredevil, Netflix took the time to remind everyone that they permanently own the distribution rights to every season so far. "The three existing seasons will remain on the service for years to come," the streaming giant pointed out. That said, there's nothing to stop Marvel trying to sell seasons to another network, and they may even be well-suited to Hulu, which Disney reportedly plan to stream more mature content on going forward.
All this is sad news for Marvel Netflix fans, but at least there are still two more seasons to look forward to next year.