Earlier today I published news that Netflix has cancelled Daredevil – one of the streaming service’s popular Marvel shows. This cancellation is the third official cancellation of a Marvel show in recent months, following announcements that Iron Fist and Luke Cage are also being dropped from the service.
With these shows now ended, this leaves Netflix with just Jessica Jones and The Punisher. Both of these shows have at least one season on the horizon, but beyond that, and in the wake of today’s news, the future of Jessica Jones and The Punisher is not looking good.
There has been no official cancellation of The Defenders – the Marvel team-up show – but it’s looking likely this show is over too. The response to the first season was rather lacklustre and Netflix has gone very quiet on its future.
So, with all these cancellations, the big question remains: Why is Netflix cancelling all its Marvel shows?
At present, there has been no official word from Netflix as to why it is dropping all of its Marvel shows, other than what has been said at the time of each cancellation. For Daredevil, Netflix said: “We feel it best to close this chapter on a high note.”
Hmm… nice try, but that doesn’t sound right, does it? Why would any service provider cancel a product they feel is successful?
So, could the cancellations be to do with viewing figures?
It’s possible – the shows might not be pulling in the audiences in the same way they once did – but again it’s unlikely. Marvel is still a very popular brand, with a very loyal fan base. Netflix is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to revealing viewing figures for its shows, but with Marvel having such a high-profile at present, these shows should be doing quite well.
So, what gives?
The likelihood is that these cancellations are linked to the imminent arrival of the new Disney streaming service, Disney+. The service – set to debut in late 2019 – is being developed at present, with various new shows and movies being added to the line-up for when it launches.
So far, this new content includes Star Wars shows, The Mandalorian, and
Rogue One, a remake of 3 Men and a Baby, a new take on The Sword in the Stone, shows for Monsters Inc. and High School Musical and a new project featuring The Muppets. Disney is also working on a bunch of new Marvel TV shows, including Loki and Scarlet Witch.
Is it possible that Disney wants to redevelop characters such as Daredevil and Luke Cage too? Maybe – Disney might be pulling rank and beginning to cut ties with Netflix – but what if this is actually all to do with Netflix?
OK, so at this point it’s just speculation, but with Disney starting to claw back all of its properties so that it has a stellar catalogue for Disney+, it’s looking increasingly likely that this is the reason why Netflix is concluding all of its Marvel shows. At some point in the not-too-distant-future, Disney will want its Marvel characters back, so from Netflix’s point of view, why keep ploughing money into these shows?
At the beginning of the Marvel/Netflix partnership, shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones helped attract new subscribers to the service. Three years on and with shows such as Stranger Things, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Queer Eye and various other programmes bringing new people to Netflix, the service doesn’t need Marvel so much anymore.
From a commercial point of view, Netflix is better concentrating on developing new shows, rather than investing in Marvel products that it will eventually lose. It may not be the official reason for these cancellations, but it does at least seem likely.
If you’re a fan of Jessica Jones and The Punisher, you might want to make the most of the new seasons. My best guess? These shows will be concluding shortly.
- I crammed the MCU films before Endgame
- Thoughts on Spider-Man: Far From Home
- And the new voice of Chucky is…