Just a week after it shockingly put an end to Iron Fist after a promising second season, Netflix and Marvel have pulled the plug on another of their superhero shows. The streaming service has confirmed that after two seasons, Luke Cage is canceled.
Deadline has this joint statement from Netflix and Marvel tonight:
Unfortunately, Marvel’s Luke Cage will not return for a third season. Everyone at Marvel Television and Netflix is grateful to the dedicated showrunner, writers, cast and crew who brought Harlem’s Hero to life for the past two seasons, and to all the fans who have supported the series.”
The move is another surprising one for the companies, given that Luke Cage was, like Iron Fist before it, setting up some very intriguing moves for a third season that, up until today, felt all but guaranteed. Especially in a world where Netflix proudly championed its stable of Marvel series as something that would continue to thrive in a post-Disney streaming service future.
This past July, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos assuaged investors in interviews for Netflix’s Q2 earnings report that the future of its Marvel shows was bright despite the Disney/Fox merger—comments that resurfaced online this week (via Inverse) after the cancelation of Iron Fist last week. Sarandos said:
Those shows are for us to cancel. And we’re super happy with their performance so far.
But now that Luke Cage has also gotten the ax, I’m sure the investors will have more specific questions next time around.
Time will tell what’s in store for the remaining Marvel shows in Netflix’s roster—Daredevil, which just debuted its third season, The Punisher, and Jessica Jones, which just lost its showrunner, Melissa Rosenberg, in August after she signed a new deal with Warner Bros. TV. The team-up series The Defenders never received an official cancelation, however; some sites reported the Facebook page for that show was recently rebranded by Netflix to a “space to live everything super, sci-fi, the fantastic, and beyond.”
We’ve reached out to Netflix for comment and will let you know more if we hear back.