I feel pretty bummed out today waking up to the news of Netflix announcing the cancellation of Daredevil. It was only last weekend that Kyle Malone and I were filming an episode of LRM Ranks It about all the Netflix Marvel shows (coming soon). I won’t spoil exactly how the rankings fell out, but I don’t think it would require too much guesswork to imagine Daredevil‘s shows came in quite high on the lists for both of us.
Am I surprised by this announcement? Not at all, unfortunately. For me, the writing was on the wall when Iron Fist and then Luke Cage were canceled. As Emmanuel says in his story on the cancellation below, there are still two more Netflix MCU shows to be released, Jessica Jones Season 3 and The Punisher Season 2. Both are too far-gone to be canceled and therefore might as well be finished off at this point. But once they hit the streaming giant, it seems like that will be the end for the Netflix Marvel branch of the MCU.
RELATED: Netflix Cancels Daredevil
So what happens to these heroes now?
Unfortunately, I think if I had to guess, I would wager that most of these heroes will never appear on TV or film again, at least not for a long time. We know that Disney is pushing ahead with their new Disney + service and they already have big plans for the MCU on Disney +. We know that Loki, Scarlet Witch and Vision, Falcon and Winter Soldier and maybe even Rocket and Groot (rumor only) will be getting high budget eight-episode limited series on the streaming platform. So could they just decide to push on with the Netflix characters also?
Alas, this seems highly unlikely. The Netflix side of this universe is very much designed for adults and not children, and that doesn’t appear to be a model Disney + will even consider. These characters are simply too violent and gritty to be converted into something that suits the whole family. Although I’d say it’s possible to have a more family oriented version of Heroes for Hire with Luke Cage and Iron Fist, there’s really no way to use the hard-drinking resting bitch face that is Jessica Jones. Daredevil has been done in a more family appropriate way before and didn’t work, so could he really start to show up in a less violent setting?
The one slim chance for a revival here is that, soon enough, Disney is going to own the vast majority of Hulu. It is possible, however unlikely, they could revive some of these shows on Hulu to maintain the family branding of their Disney + service. But again, I don’t see this as the likely scenario. In fact, I’d wager that either we never see any of these characters again, or they get rebooted in some way much farther down the line with a new cast. The current stars are going to go out and find other jobs. If there’s no commitment from anyone, they simply have to.
Why this is the wrong choice
The Netflix shows have not been perfect by a long shot. In fact, some series of certain shows have been downright coma inducing in their slow plodding stories. But Daredevil, if nothing else, showed that with the right care and attention, Marvel can dip into a less child-friendly version of the MCU and nail it. Sure, we will always have these shows there to be watched whenever you like and perhaps one could argue that many of these characters storylines are left in a more completed state. I’d argue though, that they all still have a ton of room to grow and evolve also, and it feels like a crime that we won’t ever truly get to see Daredevil and Bullseye escalate their rivalry to comic book levels.
The thing is, Marvel and Netflix probably could have sorted this out had really wanted to, and that leads me to believe that Disney is not unhappy with having these shows canceled. Perhaps they feel that weakening Netflix will encourage consumers to pick up Disney +. I guess many people have a limited income and have to make hard choices on which streaming services to sign up for. Especially in the US, you guys have so many competing services compared to the rest of the world. In the UK we have a choice of two, Amazon Prime and Netflix. None of the rest have ever been released outside of North America.
Disney could have helped Netflix with these shows. They could have been shortened to eight to 10 episodes and given the same budget allowing for more action and tighter stories (though I guess they did try that with Iron Fist Season 2). If certain writing teams were not working, they could have hired new people, with new visions for these characters. It just feels like such a waste to flush some of these shows down the toilet, and that’s a crying shame. But, money talks in this world and never more so than in this entertainment business.
Will we ever see Daredevil show up in the MCU again, or Punisher or Jessica or Luke? I can’t tell you that. I have no crystal ball. But whatever future we can predict at this point doesn’t seem to include The Defenders on TV screens.
Are you sad to see this branch of the MCU die off, or do you have no interest in anything outside of the movies? Share your thoughts and predictions with us in the usual place below.