Netflix is canceling its superhero shows Jessica Jones and The Punisher, the company announced Monday, bringing an end to the streaming service's series based on the so-called Marvel Defenders.
"Marvel’s The Punisher will not return for a third season on Netflix," a spokesperson told BuzzFeed News in an emailed statement. "Showrunner Steve Lightfoot, the terrific crew, and exceptional cast including star Jon Bernthal, delivered an acclaimed and compelling series for fans, and we are proud to showcase their work on Netflix for years to come.
"In addition, in reviewing our Marvel programming, we have decided that the upcoming third season will also be the final season for Marvel’s Jessica Jones," the Netflix spokesperson said. "We are grateful to showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, star Krysten Ritter and the entire cast and crew, for three incredible seasons of this groundbreaking series, which was recognized by the Peabody Awards among many others. 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.”
With the cancellation of Jessica Jones, there are now no more Netflix shows in production based on the Marvel Defenders characters, with Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Iron Fist all having previously been scrapped.
Netflix ordered a Punisher spin-off in 2016 based on Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), who first appeared in an episode of Daredevil.
In an open letter to fans, Jeff Loeb with Marvel Television praised the cast and crews of the four shows for producing a total of 161 episodes.
"Our Network partner may have decided they no longer want to continue telling the tales of these great characters... but you know Marvel better than that," he wrote. "As Matthew Murdock's Dad once said, 'The measure of a man is not how he gets knocked to the mat, it's how he gets back up.'"
But disappointed fans may still hold some hope that the characters will return.
Marvel's parent company, Disney, is preparing to launch its own streaming service, so it's possible the shows could find a second life there.
On Instagram, Bernthal paid tribute to his character and fans in the military.
"To all who have served. All who know loss. All who love and understand Frank and his pain. It has been an honor to walk in his boots," he wrote. "I’m endlessly grateful to the comic fans and the men and women of the Armed Services and law enforcement community who Frank means so much to. Thank you to the [United States Marine Corps] and all the wonderful soldiers who trained me. Go Hard. Be safe."