In a move we all pretty much suspected was coming, Netflix has cancelled The Punisher and Jessica Jones, the last two of their Marvel Studios shows.
The news came in the form of an official statement from Netflix after Deadline posted a story on just The Punisher‘s potential cancellation, citing sources within the streaming service.
Marvel’s The Punisher will not return for a third season on Netflix. Showrunner Steve Lightfoot, the terrific crew, and exceptional cast including star Jon Bernthal, delivered an acclaimed and compelling series for fans, and we are proud to showcase their work on Netflix for years to come.
In addition, in reviewing our Marvel programming, we have decided that the upcoming third season will also be the final season for Marvel’s Jessica Jones. We are grateful to showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, star Krysten Ritter and the entire cast and crew, for three incredible seasons of this groundbreaking series, which was recognized by the Peabody Awards among many others.
We are grateful to Marvel for five years of our fruitful partnership and thank the passionate fans who have followed these series from the beginning.
The second season of The Punisher premiered last month on Netflix. A third season of Jessica Jones has been shot and is awaiting an announcement of its release date.
Although tangentially connected to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, the connective tissue joining the two was mostly just via vague mentions to events that happened in the films. The Netflix series concentrated much more on street-level crime in New York City and not the world-threatening disasters faced by the heroes in such films as The Avengers. The Netflix corner of the Marvel Universe kicked off in April 2015 with the release of the first season of Daredevil. It was followed by the debut seasons of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist before the four heroes teamed up for a one-off The Defenders series. Bernthal’s portrayal of fan favorite anti-hero The Punisher on Daredevil proved popular enough that he was spun off to his own series.
Last fall, Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Man were all cancelled by Netflix.
The rift between Netflix and Disney has been growing for some time. Disney has previously announced plans for their own streaming service, Disney+, and has been not renewing streaming deals for their films with other services, in order to have it exclusive for Disney+. It was recently announced that the upcoming Captain Marvel would be the first of Marvel Studios’ superhero films to not be available on Netflix after its theatrical run, instead going to Disney+. Additionally, Marvel’s television arm recently signed a deal with Netflix rival Hulu for four adult-oriented animated series featuring Marvel Comics characters. (Once the Dismey/Fox merger is complete, Disney will own approximately 60% of Hulu.)
Despite what some fans may hope for, don’t expect Marvel to revive this incarnation of the characters at Marvel section of Disney+ any time soon. Even if the fact that Disney wants to keep their upcoming streaming service family-friendly and the Netflix shows veer heavily into R-rated territory, a contract stipulation in the deal between Netflix and Disney prohibits Disney from taking the shows to any other outlet for two years.