In the wake of Netflix’s shocking cancellation of Daredevil, its cast and crew continue to express shock over what they feel is a premature ending for the legacy show. The news felt out of the blue even in the context of the Iron Fist and Luke Cage cancellations announced within a week of each other, mostly due to Daredevil’s perceived position as the most successful Marvel series on Netflix, acclaimed by both critics and fans.
Reasons for the series getting a sudden ax are largely left up to speculation, given how close to the vest Netflix plays things when it comes to their viewership data, and the mysterious lack of explanation given regarding the show’s clipped journey. While their official statement mentioned wanting the show to go out on top and even hinted that this isn’t the last viewers will see of Charlie Cox’s vigilante Matt Murdock, both are far from a real explanation for why the streaming giant would eliminate one of its most popular, lauded shows. Optimistic camps have speculated that the impending launch of Disney Plus and their intention to premiere their own Marvel television series indicates that the cancellations of Marvel TV shows on Netflix were a signal those shows might be on their way into the Disney Plus fold. Unfortunately, given the strained relationship between Marvel Studios and Marvel TV, not to mention the adult nature of the Marvel Netflix shows not being a fit with the family-friendly entertainment Disney Plus promises, a move in that direction seems unlikely. The writing on the wall indicates that the rug was genuinely pulled out from under Daredevil, and everyone who worked on it.
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The cast and crew haven’t been shy about about expressing their feelings toward the cancellation news, with writer Tamara Becher-Wilkinson commenting that she thought the series was “too big to fail.” Considering she’d already been hired on for Season 4 and a story had already been pitched to Netflix, her perspective makes sense. In an interview with i09, she described being speechless when showrunner Erik Oleson relayed the news of the show’s premature end: “…he waited for everybody to gather back in the writers’ room and he said, ‘Netflix has decided not to move forward with season four.’ And that’s all I remember, you know. I kind of missed the details because I was, like, so surprised.” She went on to say that the cancellation of Daredevil probably spelled the end of the Marvel universe on Netflix. Unfortunately, that kind of pessimism is probably warranted.
While no announcement has been made as of yet regarding the two remaining Marvel Netflix shows Jessica Jones and Punisher, their survival is highly unlikely. The shows both have third and second seasons, respectively, already in production, and it’s doubtful the streaming giant would’ve announced cancellation news before either season drops, regardless of their intentions. It’s improbable that either of those shows will remain if Netflix didn’t see fit to give what was arguably its flagship Marvel show more life.
While fans can still hold out hope that the Daredevil franchise will survive, given Netflix’s enigmatic reference to the character living on in other capacities, the chances of another season look to be slim. If the cancellation did come down to axing an expensive series that wasn’t bringing in enough viewers to offset its costs, that’s typically not a decision that would be reversed – at least not any time soon.
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