Netflix officially cancels last Marvel series

2 min read

RIP Jessica Jones and The Punisher...

Netflix have dealt the final blow to their partnership with Marvel Entertainment – the Punisher and Jessica Jones series have both been cancelled.

Since 2015, Marvel fans have been able to fill the giant hole between movies with the likes of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Punisher – maybe even giving those seeking more “adult superhero” content something they couldn’t get from Marvel at the movies – but that will soon come to an end, with Jessica Jones’s as-yet-undated 13-episode third season to be the final release from Marvel/Netflix.

We might not be happy about it, but the cancelations were inevitable.

Back in October, Netflix axed Iron Fist a little over a month after the release of its second season. A week later, Luke Cage was also canned. Both series received mixed reviews and - while Netflix do not release their viewership numbers – data also indicated declining ratings.

But it wasn’t until late-November when Daredevil was cancelled that things started smelling fishy. Season 3 had premiered two weeks earlier to extremely positive reviews, but seemingly not enough to save it from the chop.

So, why are Netflix cancelling good shows that people are watching? Is there something else going on?

At the end of the year, Disney – home of the Marvel characters – will debut its very own streaming service, Disney Plus. Sure, you’ll be able to rewatch The Lion King for the 100th time, but Disney has purchased 20th Century Fox’s film and television department (yes, Disney bought an entire studio!) to boost their library and Disney+ will also produce its own content – much the same way Netflix does with its Netflix Original movies and TV series.

Disney is already working on in-universe, live-action series around Loki, Scarlett Witch & Vision and Falcon & The Winter Soldier (with all actors to reprise their roles #OMG) – did the MouseHouse force the cancellations to ‘bring the characters home’?

According to Marvel, no. Not only are they putting the blame squarely on Netflix, the Disney hierarchy have hinted that (at least initially) Disney+ will be more family friendly than that of The Punisher. The series could find a home on Hulu or Freeform (also Disney properties) like fellow in-universe Marvel TV series Runaways and Cloak & Dagger, but legally speaking Disney cannot use any of the Marvel/Netflix characters for two years after these cancellations. In the meantime, all cancelled shows will remain streaming on Netflix.

Still, it could happen, as Marvel Head Of Television Jeph Loeb kinda teased in his letter to fans this morning: 

"Our Network partner may have decided they no longer want to continue telling the tales of these great characters... but you know Marvel better than that."

As Matthew Murdock's Dad once said, "The measure of a man is not how he gets knocked to the mat, it's how he gets back up."

Stay tuned, Marvel fans!

Written By Mitch Lewis