Marvel Terminates Overall Deals With THE PUNISHER And HELSTROM Showrunners

Marvel has terminated showrunner deals with Steve Lightfoot (The Punisher) and Paul Zbyszewski (Helstrom) as a cost-cutting measure during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Read on for details...

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The Hollywood Reporter confirms that Marvel has terminated overall deals with The Punisher showrunner Steve Lightfoot and Helstrom boss Paul Zbyszewski. This comes as studios start tightening their belts in response of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with Marvel Studios now fully in charge of MCU-set TV shows, it's not overly surprising that they're not being kept around. 

According to the trade, their respective deals were with Marvel and not the Disney-owned ABC.

Lightfoot was in charge of both seasons of The Punisher before it was cancelled by Netflix, while Zbyszewski served as showrunner on Helstrom, the upcoming Marvel Television drama coming to Hulu. That's the last show which was developed by Jeph Loeb before Kevin Feige took charge, and this news points to it only having a single season run. 

Zbyszewski is set to finish post-production on the series, but it sounds like that will then be it for him. 

The trade explains that, "The decision to terminate Zbyszewski and Lightfoot's deals arrives as many industry watchdogs are anticipating studios big and small to begin invoking the force majeure clause in multiple pacts. A force majeure clause typically allows studios increased latitude to make decisions that are motivated by an unforeseeable incident like the novel coronavirus."

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is unlikely to suffer in any noteworthy way after these layoffs, but we certainly hope that both showrunners ultimately land on their feet further down the line.

As always, we'll keep you guys updated. 

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