Is the Disney streaming service the cause of Netflix Marvel cancellations?



Back on the history of the historic agreement between Marvel and Netflix.

By Terri Schwartz

Update: Netflix has canceled Daredevil, although The Punisher and Jessica Jones of Marvel are about to start their new season in 2019. The original article of IGN is listed below.

While fans and critics keep on talking about Netflix Season 3 and Marvel's Darvelevil, the future of Marvel's collaboration with the streaming giant looks rather bleak after the surprise cancellations of Iron Fist and Luke Cage more early this month.

As Disney prepares for a much-anticipated streaming service, Disney +, which will have its own series of MCU-centric television series, many speculate that Netflix may have given away the weight of these shows. on the pretext that his collaborator is about to become his competitor. . But this drama is not limited to the eye.

The ups and downs of Netflix's Marvel contract

Five years ago, in November 2013, Disney announced to Netflix to produce four independent series based on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, the culmination of which would be a series of Defenders crossovers that would, hopefully, reflect the success of the Marvel. Cinematic Univers had with the Avengers on the big screen. But while the MCU has flourished with its plan for a decade assembled in this year's box office soap opera, Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel Netflix's shows have never captured the same magic, even when they brought together the four heroes of the street for Miniseries of Defenders.

The start of Daredevil's season 1 in 2015 immediately seduced the audience with its dark and well-grounded interpretation of Marvel's heroes, differentiating Netflix's series from the lighter, more user-friendly tone of MCU movies. But the cracks started to appear after only a few years. Although the first-year seasons of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage have been hailed by critics, the Iron Fist debut has been marked not only by its performance, but also by its low representation of the martial arts abilities of its main character .

Perhaps that's why so few people really came forward to watch the crossover so popular between the four shows. The Defenders made their debut in 2017, five months after Iron Fist, with Danny Rand at the center of history and the four incumbent defenders fighting all the Main, a group of assassins with a note that had already been featured in Daredevil Season 2 and Iron Fist. Season 1.

Not only was The Defenders badly received, but the number of viewers among the five Marvel Netflix series was the lowest ever recorded at that time, according to an external analyst firm. Marvel later revealed that the Defenders would not meet for a season 2.


It has become more obvious in recent years that not all of these programs are created in the same way.

Without the promise of another crossover of the Defenders to link all the characters, these individual series have largely forged their own paths, regardless of any larger narrative. New seasons Netflix greenlit for the four series – even a new series about The Punisher after the first appearance of the character in Daredevil – but the connective tissue between the four heroes is becoming thinner. While Luke Cage's Misty Knight played a key role in Iron Fist Season 2 and Daredevil's Karen Page was a main character in The Punisher, a striking example of this changing era is the fact that Rosario Dawson's Claire Temple – at in many ways, the bridge between shows leading to The Defenders – will no longer be part of these stories.

It has become more obvious in recent years that not all of these programs are created in the same way. Although Daredevil still seems to be Netflix Marvel's favorite and Punisher has been well received, the search traffic analysis of these titles on Google over the years reveals a significant drop in interest. (Note: Netflix does not publish audience numbers.)

Screen capture 2018-11-02 at 11h.14.16

Data compiled by the IGN.

Disney becomes the competition

But the decrease in interest would probably not have been enough to prompt Netflix to unplug. These shows are the domain of Netflix, not Disney, to cancel or continue to work as they see fit. – As long as they remain popular with the global Netflix audience and viewers stay on the service, there is no reason for the streaming network to remove them. Ted Sarandos, of Netflix, said this in July, when reporting on Netflix's results for the second quarter (via Inverse): "These shows allow us to cancel our shows and we are extremely pleased with their performance up to present. "


These shows are the domain of Netflix, not Disney, to cancel or continue to work as they see fit.

So what has changed between yesterday and today? In August, Disney announced that the studio would not only let its streaming contract with Netflix expire in 2019, but that it would also devote the bulk of its energy to creating a platform. competitive form of diffusion.

Beyond Jon Favreau's Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, and Rogue One's new movie, Disney has confirmed that the studio plans to create stand-alone series for MCU characters like Tom Hiddleston's Loki and Sebastian's Winter Soldier. Stan, integrating these series directly to Marvel films. in a sense, no show Marvel Studios previously did not have. As reported by The New York Times, "the streaming project is no more important for Robert A. Iger, Disney's general manager than the streaming service" after the finalization of the Disney / Fox merger, scheduled for the 1st of January 2019.

This change will take effect in March with Captain Marvel. From that point on, all Marvel movies will be shown on Disney +, and not on Netflix, as soon as they appear on our site. While this does not affect existing Marvel broadcasts on Netflix, it certainly discourages the streaming service. After rumors that Disney might try to transfer Daredevil, Jessica Jones and the rest of the Marvel Netflix broadcasts to Disney +, a Disney spokeswoman told the Times that "there was no project in courses "to remove them from Netflix – all the more so as the Disney service should only offer programs tailored to families. (The other three Disney Marvel lounges – the SHIELD agents, Marvel's Runaways and Cloak and Dagger – all broadcast on Disney-owned networks and platforms – ABC, Hulu and Freeform respectively – so the things will stay as usual these properties even as Disney travels continuously.)


It's easy to understand why Netflix would start disconnecting some of the titles with which the audience is less involved.

Another important factor preventing Netflix from keeping the Marvel series is their expensive manufacturing, especially since Netflix does not produce them internally as it does with Stranger Things and Mindhunter. Cindy Holland, vice president of Netflix for Original Series, explained how the company was addressing cancellations. While each program is judged on a case-by-case basis, Netflix always wonders if a title "gets enough viewers to justify the cost of the series." Factors such as critical acclaim, rewards and social buzz can often make a difference to the renewal of a particular series.

Netflix paid a good amount of money to win the four stand-alone series Marvel and Defenders. At the time, the contract for the Marvel Netflix broadcasts was described as "unprecedented" and "the most ambitious incursion ever made by Marvel into live TV narration." But with seemingly declining ratings and a broader partnership in support By making this production, it's easy to understand why Netflix would start disconnecting some of the titles to which the audience is less associated.

The future of Marvel on Netflix: what next?

With this set of precedents, the big question is whether there are any further Marvel Netflix cancellations to come. Although the demise of Iron Fist comes shortly after the start of his second season, Luke Cage was relaunched six months earlier in the pre-production season 3, the show being so advanced that some scripts had already been delivered. These seemingly "creative differences" have led to a separation of means, said a source at IGN. The deadline indicated that problems began when executives had problems with some of the season 3 scripts delivered, and the writers' room was suspended in September. When Marvel and Netflix did not know exactly how to change their contract to reduce season 3 from 13 to 10 episodes, the situation took a turn in the 48 hours that preceded the eventual cancellation of Luke Cage, according to Deadline.

Things are a little less bright for The Punisher Season 2 and Jessica Jones Season 3, at least since The Punisher finished filming in August and Jessica Jones is currently shooting her new season. There is no reason to expect that Netflix will not have the seasons already renewed going as planned. The biggest question is the future of Daredevil, which is receiving excellent reviews for its recently published third season, but has not been renewed yet for season 4. Netflix will be looking for he to continue with his first and apparently best series Marvel, even if all his sister shows eventually disappear?


If some of these street heroes do not come back, does the vision of linking these series to each other still hold?

This reflection also leads to other big questions. Could Iron Fist and Luke Cage reappear in a series of Heroes for Hire crossovers on Netflix with a different creative team, or would the network and studio in turn explore a spin-off from Daughters of the Dragon, if their predecessors did not succeed? (Marvel and Netflix both declined to comment when IGN asked if the current agreement between Marvel and Netflix would allow a new series to be lit by characters covered by the existing rights agreement. And if some of these street heroes will not come back, does the vision behind the association of these series still hold? Is it logical to organize a long show on Daredevil if we never hear about Luke Cage and Danny Rand, or see them again?

Starting in 2019 and beyond, it seems unlikely that Netflix will continue to invest in securities that spend money on the intellectual property of its future rival. As Disney's Bob Iger explained, explaining why the company is launching its own streaming service, "the media landscape is increasingly defined by the direct relationships between content creators and consumers." If Disney follows this increased ownership path, it makes sense for Netflix to do it too.

Terri Schwartz is the Editorial Editor at Entertainment at IGN. Talk to him on Twitter at @Terri_Schwartz.


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