The second season of The Punisher is coming to Netflix in January 2019. It’s a bittersweet announcement after three Marvel Netflix shows— Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Daredevil—were canceled earlier this year. Jessica Jones season 3 is also coming sometime next year. It’s a safe bet we shouldn’t expect another season from either show after 2019 though.
Honestly, it hard for fans to know what to expect now. The Marvel Netflix shows seemed to be doing well, at least critically. However, conversations between Marvel/Disney and Netflix broke down for some reason this fall. Most assume it had something to do with Disney’s upcoming streaming service, Disney+. The streaming service gained traction when Disney acquired Fox’s assets, notably their percentage of Hulu.
With Disney entering the streaming race, they would become a direct competitor. It was only a matter of time before Marvel’s Netflix shows would become collateral. After all, if Disney has their own streaming service, they would no longer need to license their shows to Netflix. That would lead most savvy fans and insiders to believe Disney was behind canceling the shows. However, reports suggest it was Netflix that canceled them.
The service provider doesn’t release streaming data to the public, but a analytics company, Jumpshot, reported the shows’ viewership took a massive hit every season. This could’ve played a part in Netflix’s decision. Wednesday, Variety reported Marvel’s initial licensing deal included a clause that prevents the characters from appearing in any non-Netflix series or film for at least two years after cancellation. That would further suggest it was Netflix who canceled the shows, leaving Disney without the use of the characters until 2020.
The Punisher was not a part of the original deal for four shows, as it is a spin-off of Daredevil. Which is likely one of the reasons the show wasn’t canceled too. Also, The show had already begun production like Jessica Jones. 13-episode seasons of both were ordered back in April, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they’re eventually canceled.
It’s worth noting Netflix acquires Mark Millar’s comics publishing house, Millarwold, last year. They started developing tv shows for Jupiter’s Legacy and American Jesus this July. They are also working on three films: Empress, Huck, and Sharkey the Bounty Hunter.
So, it appears Netflix has been planning to become independent of their inevitable competitor for some time. Disney made the first move when they announced Disney and Marvel Studios movies would be leaving Netflix last August. Captain Marvel will be the first movie going directly to Disney+, and not their competitor.
The next few years will be interesting. Sure, there will be more comic related content available than ever before, but fans will have to pay for more and more services to get access to it all. Marvel’s Netflix shows are just casualties in the streaming war coming after the slow demise of network television. Maybe they will return in two years, but for now we’ll just have to wait and see.
Phil is a comics, wrestling, movies and music enthusiast. He knows more random factoids than he probably should and is more than often in his feelings. He can often be found dying on a hill to prove a point most people don’t care about.