The Man Without Fear has fought his last foe. Netflix announced today they’re cancelling Daredevil after three seasons. When the streaming giant revealed they were pulling the plug on Iron Fist and Luke Cage, we wondered aloud if this was a sign they were voluntarily dissolving their partnership with Marvel/Disney altogether. With today’s news, we know for sure.
Daredevil was the most successful of the Marvel/Netflix ventures, and Netflix owned streaming rights 100%. Some are going to assume Disney is yanking these licenses themselves, but due to the wording of the original contract, they can’t actually do that. “These shows are ours to cancel,” said a Netflix rep two months ago, and they’re certainly exercising that right.
What this also, unfortunately, means is that Disney can’t continue Daredevil on Disney+ or any other of the kerbillion media outlets they happen to own. Netflix will hold exclusivity for years. “While the series on Netflix has ended, the three existing seasons will remain on the service for years to come,” says another Netflix rep, as if that’s a soothing statement in any way.
The rep also added that “the Daredevil character will live on in future projects for Marvel,” meaning Matt Murdock can only return in a different series or continuity entirely. Not this one. None of the excellent actors will get to play these roles again.
The only remaining Marvel/Netflix series still in production is Jessica Jones. We fully expect its upcoming third season to be its last.