That’s it for the Marvel-Netflix universe.
The streaming giant has canceled The Punisher after two seasons as well as Jessica Jones ahead of its third season, which is still set to air, EW has confirmed. The double cancellation rounds out Netflix’s purge of Marvel content, which began in October with the axing of Iron Fist, then Luke Cage (both after two seasons), and finally Daredevil (after three seasons) in November.
“Marvel’s The Punisher will not return for a third season on Netflix,” the streamer said in a statement. “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.”
Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb also released a letter to fans, thanking them for tuning in to the series, while hinting that the characters could always appear again elsewhere. “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,” he wrote. “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…!”
The library of Netflix-Marvel content began with four standalone character-centric series set in New York: Daredevil, about the blind lawyer-turned-vigilante played by Charlie Cox; Jessica Jones, about the super-powered private investigator starring Krysten Ritter; Luke Cage, about the bulletproof hero of Harlem starring Mike Colter; and Iron Fist, about the billionaire-turned-mystical-martial-arts-expert played by Finn Jones. The Punisher starring Jon Bernthal as the trigger-happy Marine Corps veteran spun off of the second season of Daredevil, while the original quartet teamed up in the miniseries The Defenders, then dispersed for further seasons of their individual shows.
And though the project had been popular with fans — Daredevil‘s ending particularly shocked viewers — the decision not to air subsequent seasons on Netflix is unsurprising: Disney’s own streaming service, Disney+, is set to launch this year and will feature new Marvel shows, and Marvel TV just inked a new partnership with Hulu that will include four standalone animated series culminating in a crossover. (Sound familiar?)
Bernthal posted a message on Instagram lamenting The Punisher‘s demise:
Ritter shared photos from the cast’s table read for the series finale and wrote, “I am proud of how we complete [Jessica Jones’] journey. I can’t wait for you all to see it.” Rosenberg also tweeted, “To all JJ’s fans and followers, thanks for your support! What an extraordinary rid it’s been! So much gratitude to K Ritter et al. We’ll be going out with a bang for our last 13 eps when they air. Can’t wait for you to see them!”
Iron Fist‘s Jones responded similarly last fall:
And Cox, who helmed the flagship series Daredevil, expressed disappointment in the cancellation as well. “A lot of us really expected to keep going, and I certainly did,” Cox told EW in December of saying goodbye to Matt Murdock. “The truth is, I felt like we had a lot of stories to tell, and although I understand [the cancellation], I’m very saddened by that.”
This post has been updated with reactions from Krysten Ritter and Melissa Rosenberg.
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