Some Marvel fans suspect Netflix cancelling Iron Fist and Luke Cage one week apart could mean the streaming service is looking to merge both shows as Heroes for Hire.
Of the half-dozen Marvel-Netflix productions so far — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher — only the series headlined by Danny Rand (Finn Jones) and Luke Cage (Mike Colter) were canned, and both rather abruptly: Netflix declined to give a reason when announcing the shows had been axed, saying only in joint statements that Fist and Cage would not be renewed for third seasons.
Language in the Iron Fist cancellation statement, released jointly through Disney and Netflix, hinted Iron Fist would return — just not on the Netflix platform.
“Marvel’s Iron Fist will not return for a third season on Netflix,” the statement read. “While the series on Netflix has ended, the immortal Iron Fist will live on.”
Suggestive posts by each series’ social media accounts further hinted their respective heroes and heroines would resurface elsewhere in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Iron Fist shared an image of Rand branded “immortal,” with a caption reading “the story is never over,” while Cage shared an image of its bulletproof superhero with a message reading “always forward.”
A subsequent report from Entertainment Weekly confirmed Iron Fist will continue to appear in the Marvel universe, trailing a statement from Jones published on social media that noted “with every end is a new beginning.”
Shortly after Cage was cancelled Friday, Finn shared a message of solidarity on Instagram, sparking Heroes for Hire speculations when he shared an image depicting the combined might of Rand and Cage’s fists.
Because Disney has halted future dealings with Netflix beyond its original contract and is launching its own streaming service in 2019, which will be home to big-budget Marvel television series centered around Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), some suspected it was Disney who was responsible for the cancellations.
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos clarified such decisions lie solely with Netflix and that “those shows are for us to cancel.”
That comment echoed what Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb told EW in September when fielding questions about a second run of crossover limited series The Defenders, where he explained green lights and cancellations for Marvel TV falls on the networks — in this instance, Netflix.
“Unlike the movie studio, which can announce a Captain Marvel movie will be out in 2019, the television studio will always be beholden to our networks,” Loeb said. “And so if our networks want another season of Iron Fist, we’re ready to go.”
Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker and his writers were already developing a third season before the plug was pulled Friday. Season Three would have seen Cage acting as the new sheriff-slash-king of Harlem and navigating the hefty and sudden responsibility of absolute power.
A potential Heroes for Hire series could team Cage and Rand with fan-favorites Misty Knight (Simone Missick) and Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), as some fans have called for a Daughters of the Dragon spinoff.
“It’s something that’s in the air,” Coker told Empire’s Pilot TV in April on a potential joint series starring the two heroes, who first teamed up in The Defenders before joining forces again in Cage Season Two.
“Internally at Marvel Television, everybody knows there’s a part of that combination that is inevitable, particularly when you watch them together in the way that we did it. If feels right. It feels good. It feels like, ‘I want to see more of this combination. Heroes for Hire is really not off the table.’”
Luke Cage has been canceled.
Now wouldn’t be a bad time to team up Luke and Iron Fist for a Heroes for Hire show also featuring the Daughters of the Dragon, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing.— Joshua Yehlblazer (@JoshuaYehl) October 20, 2018
Both Iron Fist and Luke Cage are now cancelled by Netflix
Hopefully, we will get a Heroes For Hire series pic.twitter.com/O4Lhl47yls— David 🎃 (@akaspidey) October 20, 2018
Cancelling Iron Fist was more understandable because the first season was so bad. But Luke had mostly okay to good reception for both his seasons. So it definitely doesn’t make sense for them to cancel that one too.— Akil (@OneShot_Akill) October 20, 2018
If Luke Cage and Iron Fist are both getting cancelled it better be because they’re planning a Heroes For Hire movie. pic.twitter.com/FyHFNmjwnD— sᴄʀᴜ̈ᴇɢɢs 🇨🇦 (@scrueggs) October 20, 2018
If we're not getting a #LukeCage Season 3 then either 1) this is Netflix pivoting towards a Heroes for Hire show OR 2) These shows are shifting towards the Disney streaming service.— 3NegroNerds (@3BlackGeeks) October 20, 2018
Logic would dictate that with Netflix canceling 'Luke Cage' today so soon after dumping 'Iron Fist,' I could totally see a 'Heroes For Hire' series on Netflix or Hulu or Disney's new streaming service. Or how about a movie? Shame about 'Luke Cage' though as it was a quality show.— Nate (@1_900_555_YAPP) October 20, 2018
So, uh, cancelling both Luke Cage and Iron Fist in the same week doesn't bode well for Defenders, but can they at least merge into one show?— Colin 🦇💕 (@TriumphantBass) October 20, 2018
Daughters of the Dragon/Heroes for Hire pic.twitter.com/XFpQPcp0kU
Luke Cage and Iron Fist cancelled🤔 Are we getting Heroes for Hire as the replacement?— Christian🏃🏾 (@BookIt_CB) October 20, 2018
I'll be ok with Netflix cancelling both Luke Cage and Iron Fist ONLY IF I GET MY HEROES FOR HIRE SHOW. pic.twitter.com/722Fcr88f8— FormerlyDaddyAsFuckNowNotSoMuch (@DaddyAsFuck2) October 20, 2018
Conspiracy theory: Luke Cage and Iron Fist do the worst among the five Marvel Netflix shows.
BUT still do well enough to justify continuation. So I'm guessing they axed Luke Cage and Iron Fist in one fell swoop to streamline things in a single show.
HEROES FOR HIRE BABY— Tim Augustin (Is in a Cabin in the Woods) (@Timster2805) October 20, 2018
Iron Fist and now Luke Cage?
Maybe pull a heroes for hire show out of this please? pic.twitter.com/TN9hfLozwS— Graveyard Nick Estergard (@SuperNEStergard) October 20, 2018