Another one of Netflix’s Marvel series officially bites the dust, and this one will come as a shock to many. Exactly one week after news broke that Iron Fist had been cancelled after two seasons, Marvel and Netflix announced that Luke Cage too has been cancelled. The series ran for two seasons on the streaming service and will not return for a third. Not-so-sweet Christmas!
Even after the streaming service announced the cancellation of Iron Fist, Luke Cage seemed safe from also getting the axe. Although the Mike Colter-led superhero series never generated as much buzz as Daredevil and Jessica Jones, it was well-received by a large number of viewers, and the showrunner actually used the negative reviews for Season 1 to try and improve Season 2. Iron Fist was largely panned by critics and viewers. Nevertheless, Luke Cage joins Iron Fist on the list of cancelled Marvel TV shows.
Netflix and Marvel released a joint statement confirming the cancellation, saying this (via Deadline):
The bad news about Luke Cage comes on the very same day that many Marvel fans were ready to celebrate, as the long-awaited third season of Daredevil finally released on Netflix. Will the new Daredevil episodes soften the blow of the Luke Cage cancellation, or will the cancellation be a downer for viewers as they watch Daredevil? Neither Marvel nor Netflix has released details about what led to the cancellation, which happened in spite of the writers room already at work and delivering scripts for a third season.
That said, a source reports that the cancellation happened because of creative differences and parties being unable to reach a deal to keep the show going. Netflix was reportedly not thrilled by the scripts for Season 3 that had been delivered, leading to a pause on the writers room, and disagreements about potential changes to personnel on top of creative differences could not be resolved. Thus, Luke Cage is no more.
The cancellation of Luke Cage — on the premiere date of Daredevil Season 3, no less — will undoubtedly prompt worries about the remaining Marvel shows on Netflix. The Defenders was never guaranteed a future beyond the first season, although there are evidently ways a second season could happen with some big changes.
The Punisher Season 2 is undoubtedly going to hit the web on Netflix, as production began a while ago. Jessica Jones was renewed for a third season back in April, and star Krysten Ritter has been open about her hopes for Season 3, so the odds are pretty good that at least one more season of Jessica Jones will happen. As for Daredevil… well, Marvel has enough ideas to keep going through Season 4 and beyond.
Are the cancellations of Iron Fist and Luke Cage the beginning of a trend, or did both just happen to warrant cancellation within a week of each other? It’s worth noting that the possibility of Iron Fist returning on the Disney streaming service was floated when it was cancelled last week. The same has not yet happened for Luke Cage, but that’s not to say that it’s out of the question. There are big plans in place for Marvel shows on the streaming service.