Marvel’s universe looks set to downsize: a number of its big heroes have had their TV shows canceled by Netflix.
CGTN’s Phil Lavelle reports.
The likes of Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist have all been axed by the streaming giant, despite their popularity with fans. Daredevil, in particular, was regarded as just having shown its best season so far.
So why get rid of a winning formula?
The answer could lie with Disney, explains the Los Angeles Times’ TV Critic, Lorraine Ali.
“You’ve got Disney coming up with a streaming service.. they essentially own Marvel.. and I think Netflix sees the writing on the wall.. Now they have the platform to do it, they don’t have to give it away to another streaming service. It’s theirs,” Ali said.
Disney announced last year that it’s planning on joining the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime TV and Hulu in the streaming world with its own service, Disney Plus. That’s due to come online sometime in 2019, with Disney keen to bring all of its brands like Star Wars and Marvel under one umbrella and develop its own shows.
“Netflix is really in the volume game, whereas Disney Plus is positioning itself as ‘were not going to have the volume of those guys, but we’re gonna have stuff that is such high quality, you need to subscribe to see this’ kind of thing”, Aaron Couch of The Hollywood Reporter said.
Entertainment bible, Variety is reporting that under a contract clause, any of the shows that Netflix developed could be kept off the air for at least two years after Netflix cancels them. It means that if Disney did choose to resurrect Luke Cage, it couldn’t do so until 2020.
But it’s also considered unlikely that Disney will bring them back – the Netflix series are considered way darker than the ‘family friendly’ tone that Disney has talked about wanting to strike with Disney Plus:
“With the Netflix series, they’re much more geared towards adults and they’re much grittier. You’ll get more graphic violence, graphic sex, themes that are more mature, inner city things.. stuff that I think would scare Disney” adds Lorraine Ali.
Lawrence Young is a Marvel fan – and he’s in mourning already:
“I love them. I think they really capture the essence of the characters,” he tells CGTN of the Netflix shows that he has watched over and over again.
“I think what makes the Netflix series unique Is that they tell long-form stories where you really get to explore the characters and get to watch them come into the people that they become. You get to explore the thought process more, you get to watch the quiet moments. That’s something that is a stark contrast from the movies where you kinda only see the highlights of what’s happening with those characters. To see those characters go away – especially with the uncertainty of knowing whether they might actually pop up someplace else, it’s a sad thing.”
And so, as fans question the decision, there’s little they can do but watch and wait.. and keep watching until their favorites fade away from the Netflix lineup.