The Punisher and Jessica Jones officially canceled by Netflix


The Punisher and Jessica Jones mark the end of the Netflix/Marvel universe.

In a move which won’t shock many, Netflix has decided to call it quits on their Defenders universe. Deadline reports the streaming service will not renew The Punisher or Jessica Jones for another season.

Fans of The Punisher were holding out hope the series would somehow score a last-minute renewal because the character exists separately compared to the other series. Reports flooded in that the ratings for the second season didn’t see as large of a drop as the other Marvel shows. Unfortunately, the critical consensus for season 2 has been extremely mixed and with the success of The Umbrella Academy, Netflix seemed ready to move on.

In a statement to Deadline, Netflix thanked everyone involved with The Punisher for their hard work.

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"“Marvel’s The Punisher will not return for a third season on Netflix. 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,”"

Jessica Jones will appear on screen again this summer when the third season drops on Netflix. This cancellation doesn’t come as a huge surprise because the series creator, Melissa Rosenberg, was exiting after season 3. Rosenberg was not only the creator but the showrunner, executive producer, and writer.

With a similar statement to Punisher, Netflix praised Jessica Jones for its groundbreaking story-telling in the announcement.

"“In addition, in reviewing our Marvel programming, we have decided that the upcoming third season will also be the final season for Marvel’s Jessica Jones. We are grateful to showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, star Krysten Ritter and the entire cast and crew, for three incredible seasons of this groundbreaking series, which was recognized by the Peabody Awards among many others”."

Since the series was also still filming when Luke CageIron Fist, and Daredevil were canceled, there’s a strong chance the writers were able to head into this season with a satisfying ending in mind in case they also got the ax.

However, Netflix and Marvel also seem ready to confirm their partnership has come to an end. Both companies made statements to Deadline that make it seem like the end has officially come. Netflix’s was just a short sentence which gets the point across.

"“We are grateful to Marvel for five years of our fruitful partnership and thank the passionate fans who have followed these series from the beginning.”"

In a much longer statement, Marvel applauded the fans for their dedication to the shows and how ambitious the Defenders universe had been. The final paragraph of their announcement does hint that these characters could continue elsewhere. It’s unlikely fans will get to see the same iteration of these shows because of the agreement between the two studios, however, Marvel will definitely do something with them in the future.

"On behalf of everyone at Marvel Television, we couldn’t be more proud or more grateful to our audience. 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,” the company added.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…!"

With the recent announcement that Marvel would be creating an Offenders universe on Hulu, it seemed like the studio would be shifting content to their own streaming services. Disney+ is expected to have plenty of Marvel originals and the FOX/Disney merger also gives the company a majority stake in Hulu. Not to mention, it seems a bit like Marvel was poking some fun at the Defenders universe on Netflix by naming their new team-up Offenders.

When the Netflix/Marvel deal had gone through, both were getting something beneficial out of it. Netflix wanted a big brand like Marvel on their service to bring in plenty of subscribers, meanwhile, Marvel needed a service to build up their television universe.

While Krysten Ritter has yet to comment on the cancellation of Jessica Jones, Jon Bernthal did take to Instagram to express his love for The Punisher. 

Despite the drops in viewership, the Marvel shows did have a very passionate fanbase. Daredevil specifically was able to drum up a lot of signatures for their petition to save the show, even drawing attention from some of the show’s leads. Netflix maintained the cost of producing the shows was too high to warrant the number of people actually binging the show.

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However, both of the companies’ comments today make it seem like the true reason was just a business decision. While there have been reports that Marvel could buy out the contracts for some of the characters and revive the shows, it doesn’t seem likely. At least fans will get to watch Jessica Jones this summer before officially saying goodbye to the Defenders.

Are you disappointed The Punisher and Jessica Jones got canceled? Be sure to tell us in the comment section below!

Source: Deadline