Simone Missick and Mike Colter in Luke Cage (2016)

In a Shocking Move, Netflix Cancels Marvel’s Luke Cage After Two Seasons

Luke Cage joins Iron Fist, which was canceled just last week.
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Sweet Christmas! Just one week after canceling Iron Fist, Netflix and Marvel have pulled the plug on season three of Luke Cage. Marvel and Netflix released a joint statement saying, “Unfortunately, Marvel’s Luke Cage will not return for a third season. 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.”

The news is especially shocking, considering that showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker and his writers’ room that have been working on season three for nearly six months. Apparently, Coker and the higher ups at Netflix and Marvel couldn’t agree on season three developments and became creatively deadlocked. Trouble started in September, after the 13 episode series order was cut down to 10.

Despite the behind the scenes drama, canceling the beloved series feels like an abrupt move. The first season of Luke Cage crashed Netflix on its opening weekend, and the show has remained both critically and commercially popular. Its cancellation is also a massive blow for representation, as Luke Cage was easily the most inclusive of all of Marvel’s Netflix shows.

Netflix clearing its decks of Marvel content may be due to the upcoming launch of Disney’s own streaming network, which will be taking back the rights to all the Marvel movies currently streaming on Netflix. There’s no word yet on whether Iron Fist or Luke Cage will have a second life on the new streaming network, which has already announced standalone shows for Loki and the Scarlet Witch.

For now, the only Marvel shows remaining on Netflix are Daredevil, which just dropped season 3 this weekend, the upcoming season 3 of Jessica Jones, and the second season of The Punisher. No plans have been announced beyond those season orders, although showrunner Melissa Rosenberg will be leaving Jessica Jones after season three for a lucrative new deal at Warner Bros Television.

The double cancellation of Iron Fist and Luke Cage robs viewers of two kickass women of color: Jessica Henwick’s Colleen Wing and Simone Missick’s Misty Knight. The two were highlights of their respective series on their own, and their cross-series team-ups left fans ready for a Daughters of the Dragon team-up. Fingers crossed that Disney sees the potential of a spin-off series starring these two talented actresses.

Are you shocked by the cancellation of Luke Cage? Do you think Disney will bring it back from the dead? Share your thoughts in the comments.

(via Deadline, image: Netflix)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.