The short and tumultuous reign of Netflix’s Marvel streaming content era soon comes to a close. The recent cancellation of Daredevil follows the axing of Luke Cage and Iron Fist. The future for The Punisher and Jessica Jones doesn’t look bright. Daredevil was supposedly Netflix’s hottest Marvel property. Rating fell dramatically for the third season. Consider it doubtful Netflix wishes to continue to the Marvel streaming experiment.
Rumors swirled that the Netflix properties would gravitate over to Disney’s soon-to-launch streaming service. The squashing of those rumors already occurred. Disney has no plans to pick up any series canceled by Netflix. Why would Disney renew a Netflix series? Audiences gave up on them. While fan sites may rave about the programs, viewers stopped watching the shows due to a dramatic decline in quality. Iron Fist and The Defenders, in particular, were critical disasters. The second season of Daredevil was a pale shadow of the inaugural episodes. Viewers continue to flock to Netflix as evidenced by Stranger Things’ success. The 1980’s retro sci-fi show will likely run a planned five seasons.
The impending arrival of Disney Plus sealed the fate of Netflix’s Marvel streaming content. Disney owns Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios. The “mouse house” decided on producing Marvel-related content for its streaming platform. Programs featuring The Scarlet Witch, The Falcon, and Loki are all green-lighted.
Another reason exists why the Netflix shows can’t move to Disney. Contractually, Disney Plus cannot produce or air new seasons of Netflix properties. Netflix may continue to retain the rights to the characters for years and years depending on the licensing agreement signed. One reason The Hulk appears in ensemble films is Universal maintains — or did maintain — a deal where the studio had “right of first refusal” on distributing any solo Hulk film. Sony retains all the rights to the Spider-Man canon, although Sony does share Spider-Man with Marvel’s Avengers films.
Netflix dropped the proverbial ball with its Marvel programs. Superhero motion pictures and television shows are red-hot and show no signs of cooling. The recent theatrical release of Venom saw hundreds of millions of dollars earned globally for a film with a weak script. Even with a weak screenplay, Venom held to what makes people love superhero films. Do Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and Iron Fist come off as superheroes? They don’t wear costumes. The Punisher isn’t even really The Punisher — he’s Frank Castle. Things like this turn fans off.