The weather's beginning to cool, leaves are starting to change colors, and before you know it, Halloween will be here. Around these parts, another major event is on the horizon — the "return" of the live-action rights for characters in Netflix's DefendersVerse to Marvel Studios. In a matter of months, the likes of Charlie Cox's Daredevil and Jon Bernthal's Punisher will be back at the House of Ideas, able for use in other properties within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. First up? Iron Fist and Luke Cage.
Netflix pulled the plug on both shows, starring Finn Jones and Mike Colter, on October 12, 2018, leading to a chain reaction that'd eventually lead to the cancellation of all shows on Netflix featuring characters from the Marvel library. Daredevil was subsequently cancelled on November 29th after a critically acclaimed third season, and both The Punisher and Jessica Jones were sent to the chopping block on February 18, 2019.
As some of you may be asking — why's the timeline matter when it comes to these cancellations? The shows have been cancelled, so surely Marvel can use the characters whenever, right? In short, not necessarily.
You see, once these shows were cancelled, news began to surface of a clause in the contract between Netflix and Marvel Entertainment that prohibited the latter from using any characters introduced in the Netflix shows for a period of two calendar years after the programs sailed into the sunset. While Disney and Marvel still owned the live-action rights to the characters — this wasn't a Sony or 20th Century Fox scenario — they were reportedly prohibited from using them due to the contractual obligation.
It certainly makes sense from a business standpoint, after all — Netflix wanted to make sure as many fans as possible would watch the shows before Marvel Studios ran wild with the characters, introducing them in other properties and film franchises.
Fast forward to 2020, two full years after the beloved DefendersVerse began losing shows. With Iron Fist and Luke Cage both being cancelled on October 12, 2018, that means that Marvel Studios could hypothetically start using those characters in the development of new shows and movies in a matter of weeks.
It should be noted this news wasn't ever confirmed by Marvel Studios or Netflix, nor will it ever be, for that matter. In fact, there's a world where all of the rights have already reverted, perhaps. Several actors involved in the productions, however, have talked about the existence of such a clause prohibiting their characters from going elsewhere.
Iron Fist and Luke Cage each have two seasons now streaming on Netflix.
Where do you think the characters could pop up? Do you think they will anytime soon? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things Marvel!