For a while, it seemed that fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be able to easily get their superhero fix on the largest streaming platform, Netflix. Shows like Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and The Punisher released to huge audiences, and rave reviews. But now, only a few years later, that’s all over.
Netflix canceled every one of it’s Marvel shows, and fans are still mourning the decision.
The reign of the Marvel Netflix shows
The first Marvel series to join Netflix was Daredevil in early 2015, followed quickly by Jessica Jones that same year. They were the first mature-audience Marvel TV shows with expert-level cinematography. And all available to easily stream from the comfort of your home. It was a revelation for superhero fans.
More Marvel shows joined the Netflix lineup, with Luke Cage in 2016, then Iron Fist and The Punisher in 2017. Next up was The Defenders, a show which brought together all of Netflix’s street-level Marvel heroes.
The genre thrived and was thought to attract a huge audience, although Netflix won’t release the exact numbers. But even with all that success, just a few years later, every Marvel show on Netflix has been canceled.
Why did Netflix cancel it’s Marvel shows?
Netflix’s Marvel shows all had big audiences, but none of them lasted longer than three seasons, and it’s all because of licensing. The swift death of these series comes down to the fact that Netflix doesn’t own the character license to any of these superheroes.
Marvel is owned by Disney. So, Netflix had to pay a large fee to Disney for every season they produce with Marvel characters. In addition, Disney now has their own streaming service, which directly competes with Netflix.
Disney is producing their own shows with Marvel characters, and when Netflix promotes the same characters, they risk losing viewers who would follow the heroes over to Disney shows. It’s a lot of investment for Netflix, without a big enough return.
Unfortunately, the quick end to Netflix and Marvel’s partnership meant that most of the shows ended with big cliffhangers, and viewers aren’t likely to ever get a resolution.
A writer with Vulture described the situation perfectly: “The loose ends will probably forever dangle in the wind, reminding diehards to never love anything too much.”
Backstage photo reminds fans that they miss the Marvel Netflix shows
A backstage photo of Charlie Cox, who played Daredevil, and Krysten Ritter, who played Jessica Jones, was recently shared on Reddit. It featured the two actors, sitting together, knitting, and presumably waiting for their next scene.
The first reaction from the community was to joke about Daredevil knitting while blind. “I sometimes forget he’s not really blind and end up kinda confused when I see images like this…” One fan wrote.
But the discussion quickly turned to mourning the Marvel Netflix shows.
“RIP the Netflix universe…” One person commented.
Another simply wrote, “I want more.”
The ending of Marvel Netflix left many unexplored themes, and some users took the opportunity to discuss those in the thread. “One of my biggest wishes if the Netflix shows were still running would be to see the dynamic between Matt and Jessica explored more,” one person wrote. “They were a great pair in the Defenders, they deserved more scenes together. They had quite a lot in common, but were still very different…”
For now, fans can still watch old episodes of the Marvel TV shows on Netflix. But these series may not be available on that platform forever. Marvel owns the character rights, and may have plans to begin shows of their own in a few years.
So, anyone wanting to explore the Marvel Netflix Universe needs to do so asap.
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