Marvel and Netflix dropped the ax on Daredevil on Thursday night, leaving only two original Marvel series on the streaming service.
Marvel’s Daredevil was the first original Marvel series to air on Netflix, and now it’s the latest show to be canceled, following in the footsteps of Luke Cage, Iron Fist and the Defenders. The Hollywood Reporter announced that despite its critically acclaimed third season, Daredevil will not return for a season 4.
The move makes a lot of sense for a couple big reasons: Marvel (read: Disney) wants to keep its properties in house and Netflix wants more original content moving forward.
There weren’t many details released about the reasoning behind the cancellation, but Netflix issued the following statement:
Marvel’s Daredevil will not return for a fourth season on Netflix. We are tremendously proud of the show’s last and final season and although it’s painful for the fans, we feel it best to close this chapter on a high note. We’re thankful to our partners at Marvel, showrunner Erik Oleson, the show’s writers, stellar crew and incredible cast including Charlie Cox as Daredevil himself, and we’re grateful to the fans who have supported the show over the years. While the series on Netflix has ended, the three existing seasons will remain on the service for years to come, while the Daredevil character will live on in future projects for Marvel.
Canceling Daredevil shouldn’t be viewed as a big surprise so much a massive disappointment, as Daredevil has always been one of the stronger members of Marvel’s Netflix family. The key to Daredevil’s future, however, might lie in the final sentence of the statement as the character “will live on in future projects for Marvel.”
The news arrives as Disney prepares to launch its own streaming service, Disney+, in the next year. The media giant is already planning original content from its Star Wars and Marvel properties, and so there’s a chance that Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist might have another shot at life with Disney+. Marvel is currently developing an original limited series featuring Loki, with Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as the beloved trickster god. There’s certainly plenty of room in the new streaming service for Daredevil and the rest of the Defenders.
It’s also possible that the Netflix characters might find a home with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. now that it has been renewed for season 7. That would be another win-win for Disney since ABC falls under the Disney umbrella, and the arrival of the Netflix characters could boost ratings.
Netflix started out with a majority stake in the streaming on demand market share. Now that studios and networks have seen the value in building their own on-demand services, it’s getting harder for Netflix to bring in fresh content that they don’t own themselves. As it is, Netflix is paying big money to Disney for the Marvel properties it streams at the moment, so building its own library of original content makes so much more sense.
After today’s news, only Jessica Jones and The Punisher remain on Netflix and both shows don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. By the time their contracts are up, Disney+ will be up and running and it will mark the end of the Marvel content on Netflix era.
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