Since the cancellations of Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Daredevil – and the expected cancellations of The Punisher and Jessica Jones once their next seasons arrive – a lot of fans have been holding out hope that Disney’s upcoming Disney+ streaming service will swoop in and offer a lifeline to the shows.
Well, according to Variety, a clause in the original contract between Marvel and Netflix prevents the cast members from reprising their roles for any non-Netflix series or films for a period of two years following a show’s cancellation. This report has been confirmed by Daredevil actress Amy Rutberg (Marci), who told Inverse:
“There is this very real contract with Netflix. I had heard 18 months, maybe it’s 2 years. I suppose it’s possible that Marvel could buy them out, but I have not heard so much as a whisper.”
Based on that, the earliest that Marvel could begin shooting a new season of Daredevil, Luke Cage or Iron Fist would be 2020, with The Punisher and Jessica Jones off the table until at least 2021. The chances of Disney and Marvel being able to reassemble the cast and crews of the shows after a two or three year gap without any scheduling conflicts would be very difficult, if not a near-impossibility.
As Rutberg mentions, Disney and Marvel could potentially buy out the contracts, but considering that the Mouse House already has Marvel Studios developing several series for Disney+ – including Loki, Vision and the Scarlet Witch and Winter Soldier and the Falcon – one has to suspect this would be an unnecessary expense and that Disney would prefer to invest in new, original Marvel content.
That being said, stranger things have happened in the past, so while it seems unlikely at this point, we obviously can’t rule out further appearances from the Defenders somewhere down the line…