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Jessica Jones and Punisher cancelled – the Marvel-Netflix era is over

by Eric Frederiksen | February 18, 2019February 18, 2019 1:30 pm EST

It was good while it lasted, but the era of Marvel shows dropping on Netflix is officially at an end, and Marvel executives seem to be putting the decision firmly on Netflix. Jessica Jones and The Punisher are both cancelled, though Netflix confirmed that Jessica Jones’ third season is still coming.

Deadline broke the news of the cancellation earlier today, and Marvel and Netflix both confirmed with official statements:

Marvel’s The Punisher will not return for a third season on Netflix,” Netflix said in a statement to Deadline. “Showrunner Steve Lightfoot, the terrific crew, and exceptional cast including star Jon Bernthal, delivered an acclaimed and compelling series for fans, and we are proud to showcase their work on Netflix for years to come.”

Speaking about Jessica Jones, Netflix said that “in reviewing our Marvel programming, we have decided that the upcoming third season will also be the final season for Marvel’s Jessica Jones.”

Jeph Loeb of Marvel TV was a bit more straight-forward.

“On behalf of everyone at Marvel Television, we couldn’t be more proud or more grateful to our audience,” the Loeb said. “Our Network partner may have decided they no longer want to continue telling the tales of these great characters… but you know Marvel better than that. As Matthew Murdock’s Dad once said, ‘The measure of a man is not how he gets knocked to the mat, it’s how he gets back up.'”

“To be continued…!” Loeb added in classic comic-book style.

None of this is surprising. Netflix brought the axe down on Iron Fist, Luke Cage, the Defenders, and Daredevil, so it seemed highly unlikely that the last stragglers would continue. By the time those shows were done, though, Punisher and Jessica Jones were both far enough into production to be cancelled.

What is surprising is how strong a stance Marvel TV is taking on this decision. It seemed before like a divorce between two uninterested parents – Netflix wants its stuff, Marvel/Disney wants to focus on the Disney+ streaming service – but now it seems more like Netflix kicked Marvel out of the house because, again, Netflix wants to own its shows even if that means kicking out one of the most popular brands in the world.

Marvel’s statement even seems to suggest that bringing these shows back on Disney+ isn’t a wild idea. Calling out that quote from Jack Murdock is poignant, and was something the writers of the shows repeatedly referenced. It has a lot of weight with fans of the Netflix series, and it puts some real weight behind the idea that these characters may not be done, even if it’s far from confirmation. It’s enough to get letter-writing campaigns going, at the very least.

The Punisher season 2 is on Netflix now, and Jessica Jones season 3 is coming this spring.