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Netflix to remove Marvel shows: What does it mean for the future of Daredevil, Iron Fist and Punisher in MCU?

The Punisher, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones (Image via Netflix/Marvel)
The Punisher, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones (Image via Netflix/Marvel)

Streaming giant Netflix is set to remove its slate of Marvel shows, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and The Defenders. On February 11, multiple publications revealed the date for the removal of Marvel-branded content by the streaming platform.

Almost seven years after the series' release, Netflix is set to remove Daredevil from their collection of shows from March 1.

The two entertainment giants, Netflix and Marvel, produced these shows with multiple seasons between 2015 and 2018, following which the series was canceled.

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Meanwhile, Disney confirmed that Daredevil and the other series are mostly canons to the MCU, with Matt Murdock's appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Wilson Fisk's (Kingpin) role in MCU's Hawkeye Disney Plus series.


Why are the Marvel X Netflix series being removed from the streaming platform?

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The production history behind the shows is exceptionally complicated. However, it seems that Netflix did not permanently own these shows' rights.

As per a recent report from Insider, the shows were produced by Disney's ABC studios and were then distributed by Netflix as part of their original deal with the Mouse House. Netflix may have been partly involved in some of the production of the MCU shows on their platform.

Thus, if Disney wanted to get these existing shows on any other platform, they might have paid some amount of compensation to Netflix for their involvement in the production.

After the shows' cancelation in 2018, Disney was bound to wait for two years due to a "legal cooldown period" before using the characters in their own MCU properties. That's why Marvel waited until around 2021 before actors like Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio reprised their characters in the MCU.

According to recent reports, the rights for the shows have now gone back to Disney, which is why Netflix is removing its set of MCU projects. It is possible that Disney paid the streamer some amount for their portion of production investments to remove any legal obligation against the ownership of these properties.

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If true, this could mean that the removed shows, including Daredevil (S1-S3), Jessica Jones (S1-S3), Iron Fist (S1-S2), The Punisher (S1-S2), The Defenders (S1), and Luke Cage (S1-S2), could make a comeback on Disney Plus streaming platform or on Hulu.


Future of Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Punisher, and Jessica Jones in MCU

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While Daredevil characters have already returned with Spider-Man: No Way Home and Hawkeye, the other shows' primary characters are yet to appear in any MCU projects. The Devil of Hell's Kitchen is also rumored to have a role in the upcoming Disney Plus shows, She-Hulk and Echo.

In December 2020, industry expert and reporter Grace Randolph mentioned that her sources confirmed Marvel head Kevin Feige is working to bring some characters from the Netflix X MCU shows into the primary cinematic universe.

She added that Feige likes Charlie Cox's Daredevil, Jon Bernthal's The Punisher, Krysten Ritter's Jessica Jones, and Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin. This could mean that Bernthal and Ritter may get to reprise their role in MCU soon.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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