Last week, Netflix confirmed that Iron Fist was cancelled after only two seasons. Then, they confirmed that Luke Cage was also being cancelled. Now, many are worried that Marvel and Netflix might be breaking up in an uglier fashion than anticipated.
What Luke Cage’s Cancellation Means
When Iron Fist was cancelled, it was stated by Netflix that the character’s story would continue elsewhere. However, the statement Netflix and Marvel gave regarding Luke Cage included no such language. Instead, we’re uncertain of what will happen with Luke and his supporting cast going forward.
Luke Cage season 2 ended on an odd note. Luke was set up to potentially be the primary antagonist in his own show after inheriting Harlem’s Paradise from Mariah Dillard. However, “creative differences” seem to have brought the show to cancellation.
Creative Differences Boil Over
Reports close to the situation at Netflix have indicated that creative difference caused the show to be shuttered. Pressure from up top came to shorten the third season of the series to ten episodes from the normal 13. Apparently, there was great deal of resistance, but the screenwriters acquiesced eventually. The screenwriters turned in scripts for the first five episodes, condensing the series considerably in the process. According to reports, executives were unhappy with the results.
In response, pressure came to switch the creative staff around. Again, this was met with resistance, and this time the executives wouldn’t budge. It’s unclear if this pressure came from Netflix or Marvel. In either event, Netflix responded by cancelling the show outright.
Disney’s Own Streaming Service May be to Blame
What kind of math Netflix did to decide the show needed to be cancelled is unclear. Netflix doesn’t release viewing numbers, so it’s impossible to know if the show was struggling to find an audience. However, what is clear is that Marvel intends to pull no punches with its own streaming service. Disney, who owns Marvel, will be launching its own streaming service in 2019.
Shows starring Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch are already planned. Whether or not Netflix will be able to retain rights to Daredevil and the rest of the Defenders is unclear at this point. However, Netflix may be unwilling to continue developing Marvel series if Marvel simply plans to yank the shows from Netflix when their service goes live.