Marvel Cinematic Universe fans have been left in a serious state of mourning now that all of the Marvel Netflix series have officially been cancelled. The Punisher and Jessica Jones were the final two to go, joining Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Daredevil, and The Defenders, which were all cancelled at the end of last year. As this is Netflix, no solid reason for the cancellations was given... until now.
Thanks to a new report from the Hollywood Reporter, we may now have the official answer as to why the Marvel Netflix universe fell apart, and, no surprise, it's reportedly all about the money. Here's what THR included as part of its breakdown of the Punisher and Jessica Jones cancellations:
"Put simply: Netflix did not have an ownership stake in any of its Marvel TV series. Each of the six Marvel shows was owned by Disney. Netflix paid ABC Studios a (steep) licensing fee for each season of its respective series."
Nothing too surprising in the above, but certainly plenty of validation for fans and industry figures who always peculated on this being this situation going on behind the iron curtain of Netflix.
As the article indicates, there is indeed a new phase of the entertainment industry gearing up now for full launch in 2020. Studios are scrambling to find ways of owning and distributing their content direct to consumers, circumventing the expensive licensing fees that come with broadcast TV or third-party streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Disney+ is by far the biggest and most ambitious -- especially after the merger with 20th Century Fox; however, we're already seeing CBS All Access, DC Universe, and soon a Warner Bros. streaming service all securing their own content corners, as well.
In this changing order, something like the Marvel/Netflix partnership is no longer feasible. Disney has been steadily gathering every piece of Marvel Cinematic Universe content into one place, and these Netflix shows are a part of that. It just remains to be seen if they continue on Disney+ (or something like FX, which Disney now owns), or get fully recast and rebooted for a full MCU integration.