In an interview with Deadline, Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb says the division of Marvel Entertainment was "blindsided" by Netflix canceling their properties: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Punisher.
"The hardest part was while the situation at Netflix, which I really can’t go into other than to say that we were blindsided and the things that were to come weren’t finished yet," Loeb said. "We weren’t ready to announce that, so there was this space in between it, so it did look like maybe we were going to go out. Then suddenly, we were arising again like the Phoenix."
Back in October, Iron Fist became the first casualty, coming to an end after two seasons. The series immediately faced backlash over the main character/hero Danny Rand being seen as a white savior. Despite negative reviews, Iron Fist was renewed for a second season where it showed improvement. A lack of viewership may have ultimately led to the show's demise.
Later that month, Marvel Television and Netflix released a joint statement announcing the cancellation of Luke Cage after talks for a third season fell through. While the two sides were able to work together on an amicable announcement, canceling Luke Cage came at a time when rumors of the Disney+ streaming service spawned the belief that Marvel was pushing the buttons on the future of their Netflix shows in an effort to streamline their programming.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos shot down that theory, telling Inverse, "Those shows are for us to cancel, and we’re super happy with their performance so far." Sarandos' vote of confidence was short-lived when the streaming service announced yet another cancellation one month later. This time, Daredevil got the ax. Unlike previous cancellation announcements, Netflix was the only one to provide a statement.
In February, The Punisher and Jessica Jones, the two remaining shows on Netflix, were canceled, marking the end of their relationship with Marvel. "We are grateful to Marvel for five years of our fruitful partnership and thank the passionate fans who have followed these series from the beginning," the company said in a statement.
Read the rest of Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb's interview here.