It seemed like a perfect creative tandem at the time. As early as 2013, one year after “Avengers” hit cinemas, Marvel and Netflix agreed to co-produce miniseries for some of the former’s street-level, mature-leaning heroes such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones and the Punisher. The result was some of the most visceral, action-packed and grittily dramatic streaming superhero shows. But the partnership ended in 2019, when Marvel began planning original content on parent company Disney’s upcoming exclusive streaming channel. Netflix had rights to the produced series for two years after the deal ended. While “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage” and “Iron Fist” reverted to Marvel last year, the last two only happened now.
Comic Book Resources tells us that as of this Thursday, February 18, the original deal between Marvel and Netflix to produce live-action Marvel-hero shows for exclusive streaming on the latter’s platform has been wholly completed. As such the last characters used in the Marvel-Netflix series, the Punisher and Jessica Jones, have thus returned to Marvel’s control. As the original Marvel Television division that had formed the co-production with Netflix has since shut down, this means that the characters can be used by Marvel Studios in future projects, like the shows they are producing for Disney+.
By order of premiere on Netflix, the Marvel series that appeared on streaming were “Daredevil” (2015-18) followed by “Jessica Jones” (2015-19), then “Luke Cage” (2016-18), “Iron Fist” (2017), team-up series “The Defenders” (2017) and finally “The Punisher” (2017-19). As seen in the end-dates for their final seasons, Iron Fist was the first to complete the two-year post-agreement exclusivity of the series on Netflix, followed by Daredevil and Luke Cage, and finally Jessica Jones and Punisher.
As for what comes next, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has been tight-lipped about whether the characters will be reintroduced into the MCU, as they ostensibly were during their Netflix runs. Rumor has it that Daredevil star Charlie Cox had been seen on the set for the third “Spider-Man” MCU film with Tom Holland. Meawhile, one of the Disney+ MCU shows being developed is “She-Hulk,” and there is speculation that Jessica Jones, possibly portrayed by her Netflix actress Krysten Ritter, might return there. All Feige would say is that regarding Marvel, “everything is on board” when it comes to adapting stuff for the MCU franchise.
The Marvel heroes that had series on Netflix were pretty low-key in abilities. Daredevil/Matt Murdock was blind but had hypersensitive other senses and martial arts mastery. Similar is Iron Fist/Danny Rand, but with the addition of a chi-empowered super-punch. Jessica Jones is a super-strong private detective with PTSD, while Luke Cage is super-tough with “unbreakable” skin. Lastly, the Punisher is an ex-Marine vigilante with a massive arsenal of firearms, killing criminals in revenge for the mob-related death of his family.
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