Well, for anyone anxious about the future of the surviving Netflix MCU series, ‘Jessica Jones‘ and ‘The Punisher,’ I’m afraid things do not look all that great for them in the coming years, especially after the cancellation of the flagship Netflix/MCU series, ‘Daredevil.’ At least according to Matthew Ball, a former head of strategy at Amazon, currently with REDEF, who took to Twitter to lay out his thoughts on the current state of Marvel Television on Netflix, and what happened to the already cancelled series. The big takeaway has to do with the fact that Netflix was looking to cut down on season length in order to save money and produce better content that was easier for the audience to consume and enjoy, while Disney/Marvel was not interested in cutting down series length for characters on a platform they were not profiting from, especially just to indulge the business strategy of another company.
Here’s a bit of Ball’s Twitter post:
10/ Netflix reportedly wanted to shorten the seasons, thereby reducing total spend and improving retention and quality (Netflix’s shows, especially the Marvel ones, are famously bloated). Reportedly from 13 eps to 6-8.https://t.co/FduR4bW4I8
— Matthew Ball (@ballmatthew) December 3, 2018
You can read the full explanation over at Ball’s Twitter feed here.
To be fair, ‘Iron Fist’ Season 2 seemed to benefit greatly from a reduced episode count, though the argument could be made that the quality improvement had more to do with firing the Season 1 showrunner than with simply reducing the number of episodes. On the other hand, ‘Luke Cage’ Season 1 also suffered from the bloated season syndrome, as the second “Diamond-back’ half of the season was easily the worst part of its initial outing, and had the show only been 6-8 episodes and focused solely on Cottonmouth, it most likely would have been stronger for it.
But it does feel like this was bound to happen regardless, as Disney is very interested in their own streaming services at the moment, with Disney+ in the works, and Marvel being one of their most valuable IPs, it does not make a lot of sense to continue loaning valuable characters to Netflix, their primary competition in the streaming market. It seems that while episode length may have been the straw to break the proverbial camel’s back, it would have happened one way or another regardless. Here’s hoping that Marvel TV does not lose these characters entirely though, as I believe the fan base is still strong enough to follow them to Hulu or FX (as long as the 20th Century Fox deal goes through).
What are your thoughts on this potential reason for ‘Daredevil,’ ‘Iron Fist,’ and ‘Luke Cage’ getting canceled? Do you think they are waiting for ‘Jessica Jones’ and the ‘The Punisher’ to air their latest seasons before cancelling them as well? Feel free to share your theories below!