It was only a matter of time, but today Netflix finally made it official, announcing the cancelation of its two remaining Marvel Defenders series, The Punisher and Jessica Jones. The latter’s third season hasn’t even aired yet, although Deadline Hollywood reports that Netflix will air season 3 as planned. Nobody who has followed the axing of Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Daredevil over the last few months was expecting The Punisher to get a third season, even though season 2 was an under-appreciated gem.
Punisher star Jon Bernthal—who is set to join New Line’s The Sopranos prequel feature—gave a fitting farewell on Instagram: “To all who have served. All who know loss. All who love and understand Frank and his pain. It has been an honor to walk in his boots. I’m endlessly grateful to the comic fans and the men and women of the Armed Services and law enforcement community who Frank means so much to. Thank you to the USMC and all the wonderful soldiers who trained me. Go Hard. Be safe.”
In its official statement, Netflix expressed gratitude to the showrunners, stars, other cast, and crews of both Jessica Jones and The Punisher, adding “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.”
Marvel also released a lengthy statement via Deadline Hollywood, hinting with a Daredevil reference at the end that we may not have seen the last of these characters. Disney’s new streaming service is launching soon, and while it’s barred from creating new content with these characters for the next couple of years, there’s a solid chance their stories will eventually continue in rebooted shows on that service. The full statement:
It had never been done before. Four separate television series, each with different super-talented showrunners, writers, directors, cast and crew, coming out months apart and then …they would meet in a single event series all set in the heart of New York City. We called them The Defenders.
And together we were thrilled by stories of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and even the Punisher joined in! They said it couldn’t be done.But Marvel assembled amazing teams to write, produce, direct, edit, and score 13 seasons and 161 one-hour episodes. Take a moment and go online and look at the dazzling list of actors, writers, directors, and musicians who graced us with the very best of their craft.
We loved each and every minute of it. And we did it all for you — the fans — who cheered for us around the world and made all the hard work worth it.
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.
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…!