And now Netflix has cancelled Daredevil

Marvel's Daredevil
Marvel's Daredevil /

First came Iron Fist, which Netflix cancelled back in October. About a week later, the streaming giant cancelled Luke Cage, another of its Marvel universe shows. Now, Deadline reports that Netflix has cancelled Daredevil, the oldest of this suite of shows, and one coming off a critically lauded third season.

There was a time when Netflix’s lineup of Marvel superhero shows — which also include Jessica Jones and The Punisher — looked like they were going to take over streaming TV just as Marvel superhero movies have taken over the theater. Now they’re dropping like flies. What is happening?

We can’t know for sure, but Deadline suggests it’s due to increasing tensions between Netflix and Disney. Disney is readying its own streaming service, Disney+, to drop sometime next year, and already has a bunch of Marvel shows lined up, including ones about Loki, the Scarlet Witch, and a buddy miniseries starring Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Back when Disney and Netflix first made their deal, it benefited both parties, but things have changed. Nowadays, Disney probably isn’t keen on having Marvel superhero shows appear on a platform not its own.

Netflix’s position has changed, too. Back when Daredevil first came on the scene, the service didn’t have much in the way of original content. It wanted a hit. Now, it’s got original series coming out of its ears, with more going into development all the time. The Marvel shows are expensive to make, and the two companies have increasingly clashed over creative decisions (for example, Disney wants each season of these shows to be 13 episodes long while Netflix wants that number to go down). Add in regular turnover among showrunners, and Netflix may think it’s easier to just cut its losses.

That’s a shame for people who enjoyed these shows, although they’re not completely out of luck. New seasons of Jessica Jones and The Punisher are still planned, and Disney seems to be leaving open the door for more Daredevil, just not on Netflix.

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