Yesterday Netflix announced the final swing of the cancellation ax on the Marvel series Jessica Jones and the Punisher, ending a nearly half decade partnership with the comic book company and severing one of the few ties left with Disney.
While the recently axed Jessica Jones will still see a third, final season later this year, this casts a gloomy shadow on fans hoping to see more of the darker underside of the MCU. Doubtful that Disney would allow any of the shows be renewed within a ten-mile radius of their own streaming service, not unless they wish to torpedo the family-friendly brand they’ve cultivated for decades now.
But it might not be the end those series. In fact, it’s quite possible that these underground heroes could reappear (either through renewal or just cameos) on Netflix’s biggest streaming rival, Hulu.
Hear me out.
Once Disney is done gobbling up Fox (and the mass layoffs that will occur after said digestion is complete), the company will own a majority stake in Hulu. Now given Disney’s history with distributing more mature themed films under different labels à la Touchstone Pictures, it’s not much of a stretch to think Hulu will become a repository of their more “adult” IPs, from Alien to Wolverine and all that lies in between. And while, as far as I know, there hasn’t been a series that made a jump from one streaming service to the other, it’s not unheard of that happening in the ye’ olden world of broadcast television.
Futurama has for example, been cancelled by Fox only to be renewed by Comedy Central years later (and slightly later with the series first five seasons being removed from Netflix due to Fox and Netflix not renewing their contract, with only the last two-three seasons available cause of the distribution rights being owned by Viacom, with the series eventually migrating to Hulu altogether). Brooklyn Nine-Nine being taken into the NBC family after Fox not renewing it for another season. Hell, even Netflix’s habitual necromancy of reviving dead shows like Arrested Development is a prime example. With those in mind, it is tentatively possible that we could see a continuation for Jones, Murdock, Cage, and the rest of the gang on Hulu, albeit in a different form and that would try to cram seasons of exposition in a short span of runtime, or assume most viewers have seen the previous seasons and forgo any narrative exposition entirely, since said previous seasons are staying on Netflix for the foreseeable future. And given with Futurama having most of its seasons cut from Netflix and eventual move wholly to Hulu, it’s not far-fetched to think that the shows like Luke Cage or Jessica Jones could exist on both services, albeit with only one continuing the storyline.
Though, for now we likely won’t see them anytime soon anyway, not with the merger later this month. But as I mentioned earlier, cross over cameos could happen with other shows. Even combining two series together like Luke Cage and Iron Fist, becoming Heroes for Hire. Charlie Cox is contracted to appear in a Marvel film if asked by Disney (though I think it’d be great to see Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin to appear on the silver screen even more). While it’s sad to see all these shows seemingly close out, this could mean new doors for the likes of Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Misty Knight, Luke Cage, Colleen Wing, and Trish Walker. Or Disney will just sit on its horde of IPs and do nothing with them, as is most legitimately feared with the eventual
absorption merger with 20th Century Fox.