Marvel’s Former Netflix Shows To Join Disney+ On March 16

by Erik Amaya

One mystery about Marvel’s former Netflix content has been answered.

Variety reports the six shows Marvel Television produced for Netflix — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher — will join Disney+ on March 16th. This is an intriguing choice for a number of reasons. As we discussed when word first broke that the programs would be leaving Netflix, each program features harder edges and more mature themes than a Marvel Studios feature or even the shows Marvel Television made to air on ABC. Although Disney+ distributes similar content in other markets via hub branded with their international Star service, the US app keeps things to TV-14; funneling content above that rating to Hulu. The six former Netflix shows will arrive with an update to the app’s parental controls; creating a new protected system for something like The Punisher. Although somewhat innocuous now, that change in the tech could be meaningful should Disney ever want to merge Disney+ and Hulu into a single app.

Moving the shows into Marvel’s Disney+ hub also brings most live action Marvel content together in one place. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will also join the hub on March 16th, leaving only Hulu’s Helstrom, Freeform’s Cloak and Dagger, FX’s Legion, Fox’s The Gifted, the Spider-Man films and a few 20th Century-produced X-Men movies outside of the service. For Marvel fans, this is a big boon as one can now easily access the Luke Cage story should Luke (Mike Colter) make an appearance in, say, Secret Invasion. Of course, that leads to the next mystery — are any of those stories canon?

Despite being developed to co-exist with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Daredevil and its cohort of shows were ultimately released at a time when Marvel Studios and Marvel Television were in separate parts of the Disney corporate structure and communicated far less frequently than planned. Thus, Marvel Television had to make the shows with few insights into what was ultimately called The Infinity Saga. The most blatant divergence of course, happened on S.H.I.E.L.D. as it set its final two seasons one year after Avengers: Infinity War unaware of the Blip or the five-year time jump. Such discontinuities also exist for shows like Daredevil, although to a lesser extent as the concerns of the programs never ventured much further than the five boroughs of New York.

From Marvel Studio’s point of view, it remains to be seen how much of these shows occurred in their ongoing reality. The return of Matt Mudroch (Charlie Cox) and Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofio) suggests it may be 1:1 for Daredevil, but it’s easy to imagine the studio is itching to re-imagine Iron Fist and The Defenders. In the grander scheme, all stories are true in the Multiverse and these shows occurred somewhere. How much of it will be recognized by stories going forward remains to be seen.

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