In a late Friday night statement, Netflix has announced that it has cancelled the popular Marvel series ‘Luke Cage.’ The cancellation comes a week after the ax of another Marvel series ‘Iron Fist.’ The news comes as a shock especially since earlier in the week it was reported that Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos had assured its investors that despite Disney launching its own streaming service, the fan favorite genre shows were safe and that the company was “super happy with their performance so far.”
According to the statement released by both Marvel and Netflix:
“Unfortunately, Marvel’s Luke Cage will not return for a third season. Everyone at Marvel Television and Netflix is grateful to the dedicated showrunner, writers, cast and crew who brought Harlem’s Hero to life for the past two seasons, and to all the fans who have supported the series.”
Unlike ‘Iron Fist’ which received dismal ratings and was panned by both critics and fans (although Season 2 was a vast improvement), the axing of ‘Luke Cage’ took everyone by surprise as a third season was pretty much assumed to be a done deal. According to Deadline who first reported the news, things started going south for the series back in September when both Disney and Netflix were in discussions to decrease the episode count for the series from 13 to 10. Once that was settled, showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker had writers working on Season 3 and even turned in a few scripts to Netflix and Marvel.
Apparently, some executives were not impressed by what was submitted and that’s where the “creative differences” come in. Netflix and Marvel made suggestions to the scripts but even after making some of those suggested changes, certain executives were still unhappy with what was submitted. This all came to a head when some behind the scenes shenanigans began with executives demanding a change in the creative reign for the series. With this disagreement between Netflix and Marvel over the “creative direction” for the show and the inability to come to “suitable terms,” it seemed from both parties the only way to resolve this volatile situation was to just cancel the series.
‘Luke Cage’ was one of the original Marvel series to have debuted on Netflix following ‘Jessica Jones’ and ‘Daredevil’ (which just premiered its third season). Along with ‘Iron Fist,’ the four standalone heroes of the shows came together for ‘The Defenders’ – which also did not receive a second season and is being touted as a one off series. As it stands now, ‘Jessica Jones’ and ‘The Punisher’ are set to return for another season. As for ‘Daredevil’? We could be seeing the last season of this show too. It’s all in the hands of the executives at Marvel and Netflix.
While it may be doom and gloom with this news, there is always hope that maybe a ‘Heroes for Hire’ series will be in the works and we haven’t seen the last of Mike Colter and Finn Jones. As for what comes next, the tweet from the official ‘Luke Cage’ twitter account says it all:
— Luke Cage (@LukeCage) October 20, 2018
Keep checking back with ScienceFiction.com as well continue to update this story as it develops.