Sweet Christmas. We have a second casualty of Netflix and Marvel’s “Defenders” universe: Luke Cage.
“Unfortunately, Marvel’s Luke Cage will not return for a third season,” Netflix and Marvel said in a joint statement. “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.”
According to a source, who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, “the cancellation was due to creative differences and the inability to agree to terms for a third season of the show.”
Other suggestions from Deadline, according to their sources, for the breakdown between Luke Cage season 3, and Netflix, were “issues with the more developed scripts,” as well as “behind-the-scenes turmoil in the past two days and demands for changes in creative regime.”
Reviews on Luke Cage’s second season were mixed amongst critics, though it was certainly less maligned than Iron Fist. Marvel fans, however, were still largely positive about the show, and the reaction on social media overnight was one of shock — compared to resignation at the Iron Fist announcement.
So wait… First they cancel Iron Fist after a massive improvement. Now they’ve cancelled arguably their best Marvel series?!
I swear to God, we’d better hear something about a Heroes for Hire series like, YESTERDAY. #LukeCage
Article Continues Below
— Petros L. Ioannou 🎬 (@PetrosofSparta) October 20, 2018
Luke Cage got cancelled….that Thanos snap did more damage then we thought, apparently cause its killing the Defenders! pic.twitter.com/Zib2O27KOk
— Rextober (@RexSparxV1) October 20, 2018
Me after hearing Luke Cage was cancelled. pic.twitter.com/h3raqVFOkA
— Lamarr Wilson (@LamarrWilson) October 20, 2018
If Luke Cage and Iron Fist are both getting cancelled it better be because they’re planning a Heroes For Hire movie. pic.twitter.com/FyHFNmjwnD
— sᴄʀᴜ̈ᴇɢɢs 🇨🇦 (@scrueggs) October 20, 2018
Me trying to figure out Disney/Marvel’s master plan after Iron Fist and Luke Cage have been cancelled. pic.twitter.com/qgssSpsIMk
— TC (@TCDoesComics) October 20, 2018
The largely prevailing theory is that both Iron Fist and Luke Cage being cancelled paves the way for a Heroes for Hire-style team up between the two characters — though, a Daughters of the Dragon spinoff is also being hotly anticipated.
Remaining on Netflix’s Marvel slate are Daredevil, whose third season premiered on October 19 to critical acclaim, as well as Jessica Jones, and The Punisher. Future plans for those series are still on track for their scheduled second and third season releases, respectively.
However, with Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg set to leave after season 3 for an overall deal with WBTV, the long-term future of the Marvel Netflix universe is uncertain.