Netflix Pulls Plug on Marvel TV Collaboration

Netflix Feb. 18 confirmed it is canceling the Marvel TV series “The Punisher” and “Jessica Jones” — the last two original shows from a collaboration with the Disney-owned superhero IP unit’s TV arm that began in 2013.

The six-series Marvel lineup exclusive to Netflix also included “Luke Cage,” starring Mike Colter; “Daredevil,” starring Charlie Cox; and “Iron Fist,” starring Finn Jones. All three shows were canceled last October and November. The team-up miniseries “The Defenders” featuring a crossover of the various casts, was not renewed either.

The move underscores ongoing strategic shifts between the erstwhile business partners highlighted by the pending fourth-quarter launch of Disney’s competing SVOD service: Disney+.

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Netflix, which ended its license agreement for original Disney movies beginning with the studio’s 2019 theatrical releases, will stream the third season of “Jones,” starring Krysten Ritter (“Breaking Bad”).

Season three production of “Punisher” starring Jon Bernthal (“The Walking Dead”) has been shelved.

In a media statement, Netflix praised showrunners Steve Lightfoot (“Punisher”) and Melissa Rosenberg (“Jones”), the respective production crews and cast, including Bernthal and Ritter.

“We are proud to showcase their work on Netflix for years to come,” said the SVOD pioneer.

The cancelations also appear strategic considering both “Daredevil” and “Punisher” ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, on Parrot Analytics’ weekly chart of Top 10 original TV shows generating the most online chatter. Indeed, “Punisher” finished first on the chart for the week ended Feb. 2.

“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,” said Netflix.

In a statement from Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb, the executive thanked Netflix  viewers for their interest in the brand, hinting Marvel’s super heroes could re-emerge on TV elsewhere.

“Our network partner may have decided they no longer want to continue telling the tales of these great characters … but you know Marvel better than that,” Loeb wrote.

 

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