Following IRON FIST And LUKE CAGE's Cancelation, What Comes Next For THE DEFENDERS On Netflix?

Following IRON FIST And LUKE CAGE's Cancelation, What Comes Next For THE DEFENDERS On Netflix?

Much to the disappointment of comic book fans, Netflix recently decided to cancel both Iron Fist and Luke Cage so what comes next for The Defenders characters? Here, we examine their possible future...

Right now, the future for The Defenders appears to be somewhat bleak (and I'm referring to both the team-up TV series and characters in general). It appears as if Netflix is beginning to sour on the heroes, either because Disney is pulling its content from the streaming service for its own version or because viewership simply isn't what it once was. 

Now, with reports swirling that both Daredevil and Jessica Jones could be next for the chopping block after Iron Fist and Luke Cage were axed, we're taking a look at what the future might hold in store for these beloved small screen heroes, examining the evidence on offer along with a healthy dose of speculation about what could come next for the Man Without Fear and his allies. 

There are good outcomes and some not so good ones, and we're sure you'll have some thoughts of your own. So, once you've hit the "View List" button below to take a look at this list, be sure to head down to the comments section to weigh in.


Heroes For Hire?



A specific reason wasn't given for Iron Fist's cancellation but we can probably blame it on poor reviews and low viewership. In the case of Luke Cage, though, it's been said that it boiled down to creative differences behind the scenes and Marvel not taking the series in a direction that Netflix was happy with. 

Could all of that have something to do with Netflix wanting to pair these two up for a Heroes for Hire series? Given where the characters are right now, bringing them together will be a challenge but it could work and would ensure that their stories could continue.

Fans have been saying for years now that they want Heroes for Hire so if combining Iron Fist and Luke Cage to make that show is an option, it could be one all parties involved will be happy with. Unfortunately, if Netflix doesn't feel they work individually, why would they spend money putting what they view as two failures together? 

 

A Possible Future On Disney's Streaming Service



Disney can't just take these characters from Netflix for its own streaming service but now that their shows are cancelled, they can do whatever they want with them. While the first couple of seasons of Luke Cage and Iron Fist would remain on Netflix, Disney must know that people won't ever ditch the streaming service for theirs because of the different content; if anything, they'll want both.

So, with the solo shows easy enough to find, Disney could easily launch its own version of Heroes for Hire or even deliver third seasons for both characters, a smart way to attract Marvel fans away from Netflix (Daredevil was the main reason I signed up back in 2015 and I'm sure the same is the case for a lot of fans). 

Here's an exciting option for you: what if Disney decides to put these characters in the hands of Marvel Studios so Kevin Feige and company can tell some stories with them in the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper? That would be incredible but whether or not he would want to handle what are essentially second-hand goods is hard to say. 

 

No More Defenders



When Iron Fist was cancelled, it was said that the character would live on elsewhere and while Heroes for Hire was the series most fans immediately started dreaming up, what about The Defenders

Unfortunately, all the signs are pointing to that show having been cancelled after the disappointing first season which failed to take advantage of the premise and dropped the ball on The Hand in a big way. As a result, there's no way we'll see the team reassemble in the near future so that pretty much closes the door on bringing them back there. 

Luke Cage could show up in Jessica Jones but that would feel very forced now that he's a "crime lord" and while Iron Fist has often been an ally to Daredevil, I don't see Marvel wanting to complicate things by throwing that mythology into the Man Without Fear's mix.

 

Luke Cage And Iron Fist As Supporting Characters?



As I mentioned above, this certainly isn't the best option but it ould be the only one that works for Iron Fist and Luke Cage assuming Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and The Punisher aren't cancelled by Netflix.

We could see Frank Castle take aim at Luke in a future season of the latter if he believes that he really has turned bad, while Iron Fist might be able to squeeze his way into Jessica Jones if he hires her to help him track down Orson Randall. In terms of Daredevil, I'm not sure either of their stories would fit into his world in a way that wouldn't feel incredibly forced and convoluted.

The fact is, neither of them 
are meant to be supporting characters but short of a third season for them both or a team-up of some sort, there's no other way for the heroes to remain part of this world.
 

A Big Screen Reboot



This probably isn't even remotely likely (at least not in the next five to ten years) but assuming we're witnessing the beginning of the end for this iteration of The Defenders, then the door could be open to Marvel Studios rebooting them for the big screen somewhere down the line.

Daredevil has a huge amount of cinematic potential as does a Heroes for Hire movie and I could definitely picture Jessica Jones showing up as a supporting character in a movie somewhere. As with any reboot, Kevin Feige and company would have to give it some time before delivering fresh versions of the heroes but there's nothing to say they have to stay on television.

Personally, I think Charlie Cox's Daredevil is particularly worthy of his own movie but seeing as Kevin Feige doesn't really seem to have much interest in the Man Without Fear (he was willing to let Fox keep him in exchange for Galactus and Silver Surfer back in 2012), this may be wishful thinking.

 

The Beginning Of The End?



I mentioned the beginning of the end for these heroes in the previous slide and, sadly, that may be what we're witnessing. Disney has made no secret of the fact that they're looking to create a Netflix beater and while I'm not sure they'll achieve that (even with Fox's content, there's a lot of great TV shows and movies they won't have), they're going to hurt the streaming giant in a big way.

Disney is pulling its content from Netflix and a lot of people will choose to pay to see something like a Star Wars TV show over more Stranger Things any day of the week. 

As a result, Netflix cancelling these Marvel shows could be a way of punishing Disney and it honestly wouldn't be at all surprising if we see no more of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and The Punisher after their respective upcoming seasons. On the plus side, as crappy a prospect as that may be, at least the Man Without Fear ended up going out on a high with season three. 

 

Daughters Of The Dragon



A number of reliable sources have claimed that Netflix won't be giving the green light to any future Marvel TV shows but what if Iron Fist and Luke Cage were cancelled because they see greater potential in supporting characters Colleen Wing and Misty Knight?

Fans are demanding more diversity in superhero adaptations and putting the spotlight on these two strong female breakout leads (both of whom happen to be women of colour) would be a great move by Netflix and one which would undoubtedly be welcomed.

The only potential problem here is that Marvel would be tempted to shoehorn Iron Fist and Luke Cage into proceedings, something which could backfire in a number of different ways. Still, a Daughters of the Dragon TV show would definitely be worth watching.

 

Future Spinoffs Could Be Dead



As I said, we've heard rumblings that no more Marvel TV shows are coming to Netflix and that probably means all those spinoffs we've been banking on are well and truly dead. To be fair, it's not like a huge number of them have been rumoured to be in the works beyond Daughters of the Dragon and Heroes for Hire but if those shows do happen, it probably won't be via this platform, sadly.
 

Can Daredevil Save The Defenders?



Maybe? Daredevil season three was superb and quite possibly one of the best Marvel Comics adaptations ever. Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive and fans have responded to it really positively, so that may be enough to save at least some of these shows on Netflix.

The problem is, the marketing campaign for the show was abysmal and it's hard to escape the feeling that Netflix wanted it to fail. 

We didn't learn when it would debut until the last minute and aside from a few trailers and posters, Netflix didn't do much to promote it at all. Here in the UK, I can't turn the TV on without seeing a commercial for that Sabrina the Teenage Witch reboot but where's Daredevil? It took me ten minutes to even find it with their algorithm last Friday!

Still, if any show can save The Defenders, it's undoubtedly this one. 

 

Comic Book Continuations



There's no guarantee that this will happen but it could if we're lucky. If Marvel decides that Luke Cage and Iron Fist's stories really are over, there's nothing stopping them allowing the comic book division to launch limited series' which wrap up their respective tales with Luke's return to being a hero and Danny's transformation into the Iron Fist from the comics after finding Orson Randall.

Sure, it wouldn't be as satisfying as actual TV shows but it's not a bad option, especially if Marvel enlists the showrunners and writers who worked on these heroes on the small screen! 

We have seen this sort of thing happen in the past and while I'm sure it's not a huge priority for 
Marvel, if they can keep releasing those terrible Marvel Cinematic Universe prequel stories, then surely they can do something with the Netflix characters whose shows have been scrapped...

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