Netflix cancels The Punisher and Jessica Jones
James R | On 18, Feb 2019
Netflix has officially cancelled The Punisher and Jessica Jones.
The writing was on the wall for the streaming giant’s final two Marvel series, as Netflix has gradually pulled the plug on each of its superhero projects. First announced back in 2013, the partnership between Netflix and Marvel was a hugely exciting proposition for comic books, with four of Hell’s Kitchen’s heroes lined up for their own solo outings, followed by a crossover event series in the form of The Defenders.
While Daredevil and Jessica Jones kicked off the quartet in style, though, with Luke Cage close behind, Iron Fist marked the beginning of less positive reactions to the shows. Daredevil’s second season, meanwhile, sparked the spin-off series The Punisher, which was also met with mixed response, particularly due to the timing of its first season’s release. Jon Bernthal’s Punisher, nonetheless, was one of the last ones standing in Netflix’s Marvel corner, along with Jessica Jones: Daredevil was cancelled earlier this year, while Luke Cage and Iron Fist were both scrapped last year.
The cancellations have arrived as Marvel lines up its own TV series, featuring MCU characters such as Loki, for Disney’s upcoming streaming platform, Disney+. Despite much speculation about cooling relations between the two media titans, though, Netflix gave no official word on the future for Bernthal’s vigilante or Krysten Ritter’s private eye until today, one month after The Punisher’s second season dropped. (Jessica Jones still has a third season to release later this yeary.)
“Marvel’s The Punisher will not return for a third season on Netflix,” Netflix confirmed to Deadline. “Showrunner Steve Lightfoot, the terrific crew, and exceptional cast including star Jon Bernthal, delivered an acclaimed and compelling series for fans, and we are proud to showcase their work on Netflix for years to come.
“In addition, in reviewing our Marvel programming, we have decided that the upcoming third season will also be the final season for Marvel’s Jessica Jones. We are grateful to showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, star Krysten Ritter and the entire cast and crew, for three incredible seasons of this groundbreaking series, which was recognized by the Peabody Awards among many others.”
“We are grateful to Marvel for five years of our fruitful partnership and thank the passionate fans who have followed these series from the beginning,” Netflix added.
Marvel TV, meanwhile, also issued a statement, with a cryptic nod to the future.
“It had never been done before. Four separate television series, each with different super-talented showrunners, writers, directors, cast and crew, coming out months apart and then …they would meet in a single event series all set in the heart of New York City. We called them The Defenders. And together we were thrilled by stories of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and even the Punisher joined in! They said it couldn’t be done.But Marvel assembled amazing teams to write, produce, direct, edit, and score 13 seasons and 161 one-hour episodes. Take a moment and go online and look at the dazzling list of actors, writers, directors, and musicians who graced us with the very best of their craft.
“We loved each and every minute of it. And we did it all for you — the fans — who cheered for us around the world and made all the hard work worth it.”
“On behalf of everyone at Marvel Television, we couldn’t be more proud or more grateful to our audience,” concluded the statement. “Our Network partner may have decided they no longer want to continue telling the tales of these great characters… but you know Marvel better than that.
“As Matthew Murdock’s Dad once said, ‘The measure of a man is not how he gets knocked to the mat, it’s how he gets back up. To be continued…!”
How it will be continued, and, indeed, whether these characters will ever be portrayed by the same talent again, is yet to be seen – it could well be referring to a printed comic book run – but Marvel’s small screen efforts show no signs of winding down: as well as its own Disney+ shows, Marvel TV has also inked a new deal with the majority-Disney-owned Hulu, which will comprise four new animated series and a crossover special. Find out more about the deja-vu-inducing agreement here.