The Marvel/Netflix partnership is officially over with the streaming giant axing The Punisher mere weeks after the second season launched, and Jessica Jones a couple of months before the third season is due to be released. In a statement from Netflix, no specific reasons were cited for the cancellations
“Marvel’s The Punisher will not return for a third season on Netflix. Showrunner Steve Lightfoot, the terrific crew, and exceptional cast including star Jon Bernthal delivered an acclaimed and compelling series for fans, and we are proud to showcase their work on Netflix for years to come.
In addition, in reviewing our Marvel programming, we have decided that the upcoming third season will also be the final season for Marvel’s Jessica Jones. We are grateful to showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, star Krysten Ritter and the entire cast and crew, for three incredible seasons of this groundbreaking series, which was recognized by the Peabody Awards among many others
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.”
Both shows were the last two Marvel offerings standing on Netflix after Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Daredevil were all given the chop late last year. The move to cancel The Punisher and Jessica Jones was inevitable, but it shouldn't be seen as a reflection of the quality of each respective show. Aside from Iron Fist, I really struggled to like the adventures of Danny Rand.
The main cause for the termination of the Marvel/Netflix partnership is, of course, the impending launch of Disney's streaming service. Disney+ will arrive before the year is out, and the Mouse House wants to keep hold of all the rights to its roster of superheroes. Sadly, no new Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Punisher, or Iron Fist series or movie can be made for the foreseeable future owing to a contract clause that stats a two-year waiting period before the characters can be used again. Naturally, we could see continuations with the original cast returning, but a reboot of each character seems more likely.
Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg announced last year that the third season would be her final one as she was leaving Netflix for a new development deal at Warner Bros. Television. Rosenberg started working on a Jessica Jones series back in 2010, her commitment to bringing an authentic adaptation to audiences is what made the series so engaging. Her exit sparked rumors that the third season would serve as its last, so I would be surprised if the finale didn't offer some form of closure for the main characters.
Jessica Jones will return for its final season later this year on Netflix.