Millions of fans of Marvel were left heartbroken on Monday, February 18 after streaming-giant Netflix announced that it was cancelling The Punisher and Jessica Jones.
Netflix had previously announced, in 2018, that it was terminating the development of three other Marvel shows Daredevil, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. Daredevil had already completed a three season run and the other two programmes had completed two seasons each.
Netflix has now cancelled all Marvel shows that were streaming on their platform thus crushing the dreams of millions of fans worldwide though chances are that this is not the end of Marvel TV.
However, Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb kept the audience on their toes when he released a public statement shortly after Netflix’s decision to cancel the shows. He thanked Netflix and the different shows’ cast and crew and signed off by cryptically saying, “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.”
Netflix had also given the green light to a Defenders series which saw the light of day and had a one season run. As Defenders featured cast and crew from all the aforementioned series, minus The Punisher, chances of the series being renewed for a second season seem pretty bleak.
Though most of these shows, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and The Punisher in particular, have been critically acclaimed and have been well received by the audience, Netflix’s decision to cancel the shows does not come across as much of a surprise.
Ever since Disney boss Bob Iger announced the launch of its own streaming-service, Disney+ in 2018, Netflix has been cancelling Marvel shows which are already present on their platform. Netflix has said that the episodes currently on their platform will continue to be there.
There is another reason for these slew of cancellations. Even though Netflix pays for the development of these shows, they do not hold the intellectual property rights of any of these shows. Marvel hold the IP for them, as can be seen in the opening credit scene in each of the episodes.
With a slew of original Marvel shows slated to be launched on Disney+, it will more sense for the latter to hold all the cards and not share them with another video streaming platform.
Jessica Jones is currently going to be filming and launching its third season on Netflix but as of this announcement, the show will end after its current run. Jessica Jones star Krysten Ritter took to Instagram to say, “The final season of #JessicaJones is coming later this year and I am proud of how we complete JJ’s journey,” she wrote. “I can’t wait for you all to see it.”
But there is not much cause to rejoice because the chances of these characters making a quick comeback to Disney+ is quite difficult. Variety reported in 2018 that Netflix’s deal with Marvel was structured in a manner that no non-Netflix property can host these characters for upto two years of their cancellation by the streaming-giant.
If you paid attention, Netflix also decided to host one original DC programme ‘Titans’ in 2018 which received immense critical acclaim, contrary to its predecessors. Even though DC had launched other shows on its video streaming mobile application, they have chosen to keep their options open at the moment.
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