Five years after Netflix teamed with Marvel Television for a run of the series, Netflix has announced the cancellation of The Punisher and the series conclusion of Jessica Jones. The news, which follows last year’s cancellation of Luke Cage, Daredevil and The Iron Fist, ends the Disney-owned Marvel’s partnership with the streaming giant.
The demise of the two shows was confirmed in a statement by Netflix. Marvel’s The Punisher will not return for a third season on Netflix,” it read, acknowledging the work of showrunner Steve Lightfoot, star Jon Bernthal and the cast and crew.
The statement went on to say that “in reviewing our Marvel programming, we have decided that the upcoming third season will also be the final season for Marvel’s Jessica Jones.” Thanking the cast, crew, showrunner Melissa Rosenberg and star Krysten Ritter, the statement added, “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.”
The end of the series was alluded to in a vague open letter posted Monday from Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb. Published on Marvel’s website as “a letter to Marvel Television fans,” Loeb acknowledged the news without once mentioning Netflix by name.
“We loved each and every minute of it,” Loeb wrote. “And we did it all for you — the fans — who cheered for us around the world and made all the hard work worth it.”
He then promised that Marvel TV productions would continue, writing: “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.”
Indeed, Marvel TV already has its queue lined up. In early February, it confirmed a deal with Hulu for four animated series. As reported in The Times, “The four series, which will target adults and be comedic in tone, are: M.O.D.O.K, featuring an egotistical super villain; Tigra & Dazzler Show, about the struggles of two best friends; Howard the Duck; and Hit-Monkey, about a Japanese snow monkey.”
Marvel’s brand will also be a major driver for Disney’s own upcoming streaming service. Called Disney+, the Netflix competitor is slated to launch by the end of the year.