Marvel fans expect The Punisher to be axed just two seasons in following the abrupt cancellations of Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Daredevil.
Netflix's plug-pulling on Daredevil, coming in a little more than a month after the streaming giant premiered the critically acclaimed third season of the fan-favorite series, raised suspicions its pair of last surviving Marvel-Netflix team ups, Jessica Jones and The Punisher, are on death row.
Daredevil and The Defenders star Amy Rutberg opined it was Netflix — not Disney-owned Marvel — who pulled the trigger on the cancellations, telling Inverse Marvel was "very surprised" to learn Netflix would not be moving forward with future seasons of Daredevil despite its creative team's plans for at least three future seasons.
"Any of the rumors that it was a Marvel decision are wrong, I think it was purely a Netflix decision," Rutberg said. "That comes from personal conversations with people high up at Marvel. They were surprised."
Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb previously told EW "the television studio will always be beholden to our networks," a statement that was backed by Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, who told The Insider Netflix's Marvel shows "are for us to cancel."
Disney direct-to-consumer and international division chairman Kevin Mayer, who oversees the company's upcoming premiere streaming service Disney+, later told THR the "very high-quality" shows could potentially live on under Disney: "We haven't yet discussed that," he said, "but I would say that's a possibility."
As reported by Variety, an examination of the Marvel Television and Netflix deal revealed a clause stipulating the blocking of its TV-MA side of the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe that will exist in place for two years post-cancellation, effectively benching Danny Rand (Finn Jones), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) until late 2020.
Because The Punisher was not a part of the initial five-series deal that spawned Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders, it is not currently known if the series, led by Jon Bernthal as violent vigilante Frank Castle, is beholden to the same two-year timeout should the popular series be cancelled by Netflix.
Should the streamer execute The Punisher, Marvel fans have made it clear: there will be hell to raise and more to pay.
Netflix debuts The Punisher Season Two in January.
I dont even know how we are even going to reboot the punisher again after netflix is forced to cancel cus of Disney +. We finally have the perfrct punisher. pic.twitter.com/LgsoYBQYli— James Cullen Bressack (@JamesCullenB) December 19, 2018
if they decide to cancel the punisher i'm pic.twitter.com/d5gRgnYMzx— kirsty loves matt murdock (@petequill) December 13, 2018
They might cancel him..... But he's going out with a bang. pic.twitter.com/0qfeb6aR9l— PunisherGNR.45 (@PunisherGNR45) December 12, 2018
So The Punisher is coming out next month on January. I don’t know if I should be excited or not since I know for a fact @netflix is going to cancel the show one month later after it’s release?#ThePunisher #netflix pic.twitter.com/6m6ByKmuM4— Cristopher Zamora (@Cristopherj300) December 13, 2018
Y’all dumbass of Netflix better not cancel Punisher— Bihagaro (@dimarco34) December 13, 2018
they better not cancel the punisher for real bc i'm suing if that happens— M. (@valramorghuliis) December 12, 2018
netflix gon hype up punisher and jessica jones just to cancel both a month after they’re released...ive HAD it pic.twitter.com/TcEOuVCksO— serena (@serenasmh) December 17, 2018
how many days until you cancel Punisher too, blaming low viewership numbers, after not promoting it at all?#savedaredevil— Matt's Dirty Alarm Clock (@DirtyAlarmClock) December 16, 2018
When Netflix cancel The Punisher After Season 2 pic.twitter.com/314fB16kb0— ALi (@Uriilr) December 15, 2018
Damn Netflix really gonna launch season 2 of the Punisher, just for them to cancel it later.
You fuckin jabronis pic.twitter.com/T3qlB6wKZ3— Edogā Basukesu (@ebv_nyy4l) December 13, 2018
This is Netflix shooting himself after they cancel the punisher, can’t believe we are only getting 2 seasons of this. Fuck Netflix!!! pic.twitter.com/cknh316eIg— Pablo Areosa (@TheKingOfSouth3) December 12, 2018