‘JESSICA JONES’ and ‘PUNISHER’ Rights Return to Marvel Studios
Two years after their final seasons dropped on Netflix, Jessica Jones and Frank Castle have now returned home to Marvel Studios. The reversion means that Marvel Studios finally has full control of all their so-called street-level heroes. A multi-year deal with Netflix had previously been holding the live-action rights to the characters in the streaming service’s clutches and prevented Marvel Studios from using them in any projects produced before the contract ran out. The details of the agreement between the two mega-corporations meant fans would have to wait two full years after each show’s cancellation before they could hope to see their favorite protagonist’s names in any Marvel Studios announcements. Jones, a super-powered private eye played by Krysten Ritter, was one of four Marvel heroes revealed to be getting their own series on Netflix in 2013, alongside Daredevil, Iron Fist, and comic book love interest, Luke Cage. The first season of her show was a surprise hit for Netflix, and led to the creation of two more solo outings. Jon Bernthal‘s Frank Castle, better known to viewers as The Punisher, debuted in the second season of Daredevil before his popularity led to the production of a spin-off. Two seasons were made before that series met its own untimely demise.
The four Marvel-Netflix projects, which converged in a team-up mini-series known as The Defenders, were incredibly popular among comic fans. It came as a shock to many when Netflix began to systematically cancel the projects in 2018. The moves by Netflix came shortly after Disney pulled the curtain back on it’s own rival streaming service, Disney+, which led subscribers to believe the cancellations may have been made out of spite. However, statistics released in the time since show a steady decline in viewership for many of the shows, which probably didn’t help their case in staying alive. Nevertheless, with all five major players having now come back to Marvel Studios, their most vocal advocates have made it known they want to see them on the small, or silver, screen once more. With Charlie Cox set to appear in the upcoming Spider-Man threequel, only time will tell if Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios have any plans to incorporate other characters into the future of the MCU, but for the first time in almost a decade, the ball is entirely in their court.