We all knew it was coming. It was just a matter of time.
Punisher is officially cancelled by Netflix.
That means no third season of Frank Castle, and no Jon Bernthal reprising the role any time soon. With this announcement also comes news of Jessica Jones getting the ax. Netflix also made a statement about Jessica Jones’ third season being its final for the streaming service. And with that, the Netflix/Marvel relationship is officially severed.
The logistics and the messages being sent by the folks at Netflix and Marvel are making it confusing for audiences. Even I’m having trouble figuring it all out.
The showrunner for Jessica Jones, Melissa Rosenberg, was announced to leave after the third season of the show anyway. So that cancellation was pretty much a done deal. However, some were holding out hope that Punisher would persevere, given that the show was not originally part of the MCU/Netflix Defenders deal.
What may come as a surprise to some is a statement from Jeph Loeb regarding the cancellation of all the shows:
“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 Matt 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.’
Cue the trailer for Captain Marvel.
But in all seriousness, with a message like that coming from Jeph Loeb, it seems pretty confusing after hearing some of the other news about contracts the characters signed making them exclusive to only Netflix for the next two years. It might echo some of the earlier news of the heads of Hulu and Disney + looking to pick up the shows on their streaming services, but contracts are contracts.
The Interesting Thing About Punisher
There’s a bit of buzz on the internet about Bernthal in particular that makes his show the outlier amongst them all. He wasn’t originally part of the Netflix/Marvel Defenders deal. Heck, he doesn’t even show up during the team-up series. Although the co-stars of the series have talked openly about their contracts, the actors behind the main characters have been mostly silent about their contracts. They’ve given some brilliant social media send-offs to their characters though.
Royce Johnson who plays Detective Brett Mahoney spoke to ComicBook.com to reveal the Punisher might be on hold for up to two years, “”I mean, talking to [Marvel TV president] Jeph Loeb, I read that the memo had said, ‘To be continued.” He added, “There is a clause that I heard through rumor that we have to wait 18 months, up to two years.”
He was skeptical of the same cast returning, “Will we get the same people? We don’t know that. I think they got together with a great team, I mean, with the writers, producers, editors, scorers, the stunt teams, everybody.”
The Snap That Wiped Them All Out
We hear the snap, and the shouting. Then nothing. One by one, we saw them falling, fading, blown into ashes. And this isn’t just the folks on screen in Avengers: Infinity War.
It all started with Iron Fist getting the ax after its second season. People were hoping it meant a proper Heroes for Hire title, or an Immortal Weapons, or at least a Daughters of the Dragon spin-off series featuring Colleen Wing and Misty Knight.
And then Luke Cage was cancelled. This was to the surprise of many cast and crew. They were working on a third season script and purportedly the writers were at odds about where to take the story and this caused a breakdown that led to the show being axed. There were some lingering hopes that Heroes for Hire would happen, but the writing was beginning to appear on the wall.
All of it fell apart when Netflix announced Daredevil Season 3 would be its last season. It had a sense of finality with its final episode, but for many Marvel/Netflix series fans, it was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. This despite reports the show was the fourth most watched show on Netflix. It was a foregone conclusion that Jessica Jones was next on the chopping block.