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Sweet Christmas! 'Luke Cage' Cancelled By Netflix

By Brian Richards | Streaming | October 20, 2018 |

By Brian Richards | Streaming | October 20, 2018 |


Yesterday was the day that Netflix decided to hit all of its subscribers with good news and bad news. The good news is that Season 3 of Daredevil finally dropped, which means that we once again have thirteen episodes to see Vincent D’Onofrio return as Wilson Fisk a.k.a. ‘Kingpin,’ Wilson Bethel appear on the series as FBI Special Agent Benjamin Poindexter who may or may not end up being Bullseye (oh, who are we all kidding? It’s totally Bullseye), and most importantly, Charlie Cox rocking the hell out of his skin-tight, non-armored costume and giving us more reasons to show Elektra-like appreciation of his ass while he does so.

And now the bad news, which Netflix felt the need to drop late on a Friday night and which made many people respond like this…

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Luke Cage has been cancelled by Netflix, which means that there won’t be a third season. According to Deadline

“Unfortunately, Marvel’s Luke Cage will not return for a third season,” Marvel and the streaming service said on Friday. “Everyone at Marvel Television and Netflix is grateful to the dedicated showrunner, writers, cast and crew who brought Harlem’s Hero to life for the past two seasons, and to all the fans who have supported the series.”

This axing of Luke Cage came as a surprise.

A writer’s room under showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker had been working for around six months producing scripts and taking notes from Netflix and Marvel. As actors like lead Mike Colter remained under contract, a formal Season 3 order was considered almost a foregone conclusion by all concerned.

After rising tensions the past month, that conclusion was scrapped as it all went distinctly south in the last 48 hours.

The pink slipping of Luke Cage was ultimately a combo of the age-old Hollywood “creative differences” and the inability for the parties involved to reach a deal on how to move forward, according to sources. With a season perched on the conclusion of the June 22 launched Season 2 plotted out months and months ago, detailed drafts for the first half of the 10-episode projected third season were delivered to Marvel and Netflix this week.

We hear that some execs had issues with the more developed scripts, even though they strongly incorporated suggestions from both the Netflix and Marvel brass.

Add to that, the writers’ room was put on hold for a week in September, as the streamer and the Disney-owned company were figuring out the mechanisms of changing the deal for the planned Luke Cage third season from the original 13 episodes to a slimmed down 10 episodes. It eventually escalated to behind-the-scenes turmoil in the past two days and demands for changes in creative regime. With Marvel and Netflix seemingly intractable and in different sides of the disputes, a harsh cancelation became the only viable exit strategy, it appears.

There were quite a few issues and complaints that many critics and viewers have had about Luke Cage: Erik LaRay Harvey-as-Diamondback replacing Mahershala Ali-as-Cottonmouth as the Big Bad for Season 1, Luke’s lack of swagger and seeming reliability on respectability politics, season-long pacing issues (which to be fair, is a complaint that has been made about every Marvel show on Netflix), the questionable Jamaican accents in Season 2, the equally questionable captioning by Netflix of said Jamaican accents, Luke Cage actually dabbing. But the show was still held in very high regard by many of those same critics and viewers. So needless to say, this bad news caught a lot of people off-guard and made them very unhappy…

The news of Luke Cage’s cancellation comes just one week after the announcement that Netflix had cancelled Iron Fist after two seasons, an announcement which didn’t disappoint too many people despite the fact that Season 2 showed many strong signs of improvement after the near-unwatchable quality of Season 1 that was overseen by former Iron Fist showrunner Scott Buck, who was also showrunner of the last three seasons of Dexter and the Marvel/ABC series Inhumans. You remember, the show that brought us this? And in IMAX?:


The popular theory that many people seem to have is that both Luke Cage and Iron Fist were cancelled by Netflix so that they can be revived on Disney Play, Disney’s upcoming streaming service, a.k.a. Netflix’s newest competitor. Or possibly that they won’t return in their own individual shows, but will return together onscreen in the television version of Heroes For Hire or Power Man & Iron Fist (whichever title Disney Play decides to go with), in which Luke Cage and Iron Fist team up and open their own private investigations/security business together. Whatever happens with the two of them, it still won’t stop people from also hoping that Disney Play will eventually make Daughters Of The Dragon a reality and make that into a series as well so that Misty Knight and Colleen Wing can team up and go on their own adventures.

And despite the fact that Netflix has already renewed Jessica Jones for a third season and The Punisher for a second season, these last couple of weeks have now left us all waiting and wondering how long it will be before both shows and Daredevil suffer the exact same fate.

Brian Richards is a Staff Contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.

Header Image Source: Netflix