The long saga of the union — and separation — of Marvel and Netflix’s shared superhero streaming ambitions is reaching a peculiar end, it seems. Quietly, Netflix has revealed that all six of its original Marvel streaming series will join a rare handful of Netflix Originals to leave the service, and it’s not sure yet if, or when, they’ll appear elsewhere.
First spotted by What’s On Netflix today, notifications for the removal of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders have begun appearing for Netflix users in the United States, warning that each series will depart the service on March 1. Not every region will seemingly lose the shows at this point — Gizmodo checked in with Netflix accounts serving in both UK and Europe and didn’t receive removal warnings. However, we could confirm that each series on Netflix U.S. does indeed carry a warning indicating that it will leave the service at midnight on February 28.
Netflix has yet to publicly comment on the removal, but a spokesperson confirmed the planned removal to Gizmodo, and that all six series have had their rights reverted to Disney, with the studio expected to have further information about the future distribution of the series going forward. Whether this means that the series will now be free to stream on Disney’s own streaming services, either Disney+ or the usually more adult-oriented Hulu, remains to be seen.
A move to Disney+ would come full circle on the peculiar end of Marvel and Netflix’s bold plans to enter the world of streaming TV. Disney’s intent to enter the streaming market was heralded with the removal of much of its licensed content from Netflix back in 2017, while each of the six Marvel series it had developed with the streamer were currently still airing. One by one as their respective seasons wrapped up however, it was confirmed that each of the shows — once lauded as the future of Marvel Studios’ presence beyond the box office, even as those movies danced around acknowledging the existence of these heroes and their stories — would not be continuing, as the launch of Disney+ drew closer and closer.
Marvel Studios has, of course gone on to embrace its owner’s platform, launching multiple series directly tied to the events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the last few years, including WandaVision, Loki, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, What If, and Hawkeye. With more on the way, including next month’s launch of Moon Knight, just how either Marvel Studios or Disney itself will detail the integration of these Netflix series into the platform remains to be seen. With Daredevil in particular recently seeing a resurgence in popularity on Netflix after Charlie Cox’s surprise cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home as Matt Murdock, Disney regaining its Netflix heroes could mean their re-integration back into a cinematic universe that once shunned them.
io9 has reached out to Disney and Marvel for further clarification on the future of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders — we’ll update this post when and if we hear more.