Netflix has cancelled the remaining two of its Marvel shows — Jessica Jones and The Punisher — it announced Monday, which brings an end to the partnership with Marvel Television that began back in 2015 with Daredevil. That means the upcoming third season of Jessica Jones, slated to release later in 2019, will be the final slice of Netflix-Marvel content fans will get to see. Iron Fist was the first to go, back in October last year, followed by Luke Cage a week later, and then Daredevil at the end of November. Jessica Jones and The Punisher were the two remaining ones and now their fate is settled, which isn't surprising in the least.
In a statement issued to Deadline and other publications, Netflix said:
“Marvel's The Punisher will not return for a third season on Netflix. 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.”
A few hours later, Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb issued a statement via Marvel.com:
“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. So, Thank You!”
“On behalf of everyone at Marvel Television, we couldn't be more proud or more grateful to our audience. 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...!”
Loeb's words suggest that the shows — or the characters — could end up being resurrected on Disney+ or Hulu, which Disney will have a majority stake in after its acquisition of Fox is complete. Disney+ chief Kevin Mayer has hinted towards that being a ‘possibility' as well. But there are caveats here, in that the reported contracts between Netflix and Marvel TV wouldn't allow such a move for two years. And in an Instagram post, Ritter mentioned the “series finale” and called Jessica Jones season 3 “the final season”, which would “complete [Jessica's] journey”.
Time will tell what happens.