The recent cancellation of a slew of Marvel shows from Netflix, including Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, was a blow to their devoted fans. However, there have been signs that they might find a new home with Disney. Although contractual issues between the two sides are thought to have slowed things down, Kevin Mayer, the head of Disney’s direct-to-consumer branch, has said there’s a possibility of the shows being revived.
The Disney company’s powers of resurrection have already generated excitement among those mourning the death of characters such as Tom Hiddleston’s Loki (violently killed off in the third Avengers film), via the announcement of a new TV series bearing his name on the streaming service Disney+. Other series that focus on Marvel characters for Disney+ are reported to follow, including one focused on Elizabeth Olson’s character Scarlet Witch. However, the anticipation around these series and others means Disney already has a large number of projects in the pipeline.
Mayer described Marvel shows such as Daredevil as “high quality” and said that bringing them back was “a possibility.” Yet fans should take note that it’s not a guarantee.
Marvel’s TV offerings such as Daredevil and Jessica Jones have been considerably darker than many of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), with the former show’s main character, Matt Murdock (played by Charlie Cox), attempting to reconcile his devout Catholicism with his antics as the violent, crime-fighting, almost-anti-hero known as the ‘Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.’ The show’s success among fans and critics alike was due in part to the unflinching darkness of its plot, as well as the protagonist’s existential tussles with life and death, loyalty and failure, heaven and hell.
The subject matter of Jessica Jones was similarly intense, with the super-strong P.I. that gave the show its name (played by Kristen Ritter) delving into themes of sexual abuse, PTSD, alcoholism and parental abandonment. However, unlike Daredevil, Ritter’s alter-ego has yet to face the axe.
The cancellation of Daredevil caused confusion, especially as it was reported to be the fourth-biggest series on Netflix. No clear reason has been forthcoming, but rumours abound that Marvel themselves pulled the plug, rather than Netflix, due to what have been termed “creative issues” between the two companies.
The prospect of yet another streaming service, as well as Marvel’s penchant for necromancy, means fans have learned that death doesn’t mean always mean the end of a beloved character. But until further announcements from Disney, bereavement may be an ongoing trend in the world of Marvel for a long time yet.