Marvel's series on Netflix have had a tumultuous ride, from their early development, cancellation, removal, and, finally, a chance at a second wind. Prior to the creation of Disney+, the shows were initially seen as a way to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe onto television, giving the likes of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and more their very own television series.
As the shows continued though, a lack of acknowledgment from Marvel Studios' films raised questions about their true connections to the MCU, in addition to the fact that the series were being produced instead by Marvel Television. While early offerings like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage received high praise, other lackluster installments like Iron Fist and disappointing follow-up seasons eventually led to the cancellation of all of the shows.
This left the Defenders characters and their respective shows in a state of limbo, until a glimmer of hope came with the prospect of the characters' rights returning to Marvel Studios proper. Spider-Man: No Way Home and Hawkeye's use of Daredevil characters continued to signal that the Netflix gang might soon be reincorporated somehow, which was only furthered by the announcement that all of the series would be leaving the streaming platform on March 1.
It was unknown what the plan for the Netflix shows was after being removed, but a new announcement indicates where fans will be able to watch the series next.
Marvel's Defenders Move to Disney+
A press release from Disney Canada, via Twitter user Shahbaz - The Movie Podcast, officially confirmed the Disney+ release date of Marvel's Netflix-distributed shows on the streaming service after they leave Netflix on February 28.
The announcement revealed that Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders will start streaming on Disney+ Canada on March 16, 2022. It's unknown if Disney+ in the United States and other territories will begin streaming these series on this date or at a later time.
There's no word yet on the release status of Agents of SHIELD, which is also set to be removed from Netflix soon.
How Will Disney+ Promote Marvel's Netflix Shows?
This latest confirmation from Disney+ Canada serves as a major step toward bringing Marvel's Defenders back to its rightful home. While it is not yet confirmed if it will arrive on Disney+ U.S., the fact that the shows are coming in international territories is already a good sign, potentially hinting that an official announcement could be unveiled sooner rather than later.
Marvel's Netflix shows have been the subject of debates among fans over the years due to their confusing connection to the wider MCU.
The conversations amplified even further when two major characters from the Defenders universe made their way to Spider-Man: No Way Home and Hawkeye. Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock helped sort the legal mess of Tom Holland's Peter Parker, while Vincent D'Onofrio made his presence felt as Kingpin against Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton and Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop.
In a previous interview, D'Onofrio confirmed that Daredevil's Kingpin is the same as Hawkeye's Kingpin, with the actor even admitting that "it's the same canon" but he completely understood the confusion. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige then teased the possibility of seeing more former Netflix heroes return to the MCU, cryptically saying "whenever a character comes back into the Marvel sandbox, it becomes another [storytelling] tool."
Given the mature content in Marvel's Netflix shows, it's possible that Daredevil, Luke Cage, and the rest will be slated to premiere on Hulu or Star (a content hub featuring movies and shows from Fox and other Disney-owned studios). Still, it's also likely that the Defenders-led projects could join the rest of the MCU slate, thus solidifying the shows' place in the franchise's interconnected events.
If that is the case, then fans will eventually find out where shows like Jessica Jones and The Defenders fit in the Infinity Saga. Doing this allows fans to completely understand how each Netflix show connects to one another, and it would hint at how major films such as Avengers: Endgame affect the titular heroes.