Disney+ Could Revive Canceled Marvel TV Shows — But Will It?

Ever since Marvel’s TV series fell to the cancellation ax, fans have been wondering if it would be possible for Disney+ to revive them. The ends of shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones on Netflix and The Runaways on Hulu left fans aggrieved since they more or less went away at the same time. 

Now with Marvel set to roll out five series between now and 2021, with three more to follow at an undetermined site, fans are hopeful if not optimistic their old favorites came back.

Why Marvel canceled its TV shows

Jessica sitting at her desk on Jessica Jones Season 2
Jessica sitting at her desk on Jessica Jones Season 2 | Netflix

While Netflix is notorious for canceling shows and dismaying viewers, from Orange Is the New Black to Spinning Out, the Marvel cancellations weren’t truly its doing. The leading streamer does tend to cap shows after they run for 4 or 5 seasons at best because they want to turn over their content, what really drove the cancellations was a change in direction at Marvel. 

Marvel Television had been responsible for these shows and ones that aired on ABC like Agents of SHIELD and on Freeform like Cloak and Dagger. While most of the shows had a strong following, Marvel began seeing increasing success with its movies produced by Kevin Feige. Perhaps even more importantly, Marvel’s owner, Disney, had its eyes on its own streaming service. 

In a nutshell, Marvel and Disney decided to fold Marvel Television and put Feige in charge of movies and TV shows. This meant shows based on the phenomenal success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Just as fans expect the MCU can produce its own movies based on former Fox properties like X-Men and Fantastic Four, they can resurrect the Defenders shows and the others. However, that’s easier said than done.

Could Disney+ resurrect the shows? 

On Reddit, fans seized on a CNET article about Disney+ that included this key statement: “Kevin Mayer, the Disney executive in charge of Disney Plus, has said Disney Plus could possibly revive the canceled shows.” That suggested there is some hope, but some fans suggested hopes shouldn’t rise too high. 

One fan pointed out the article contains mostly older information, and that it also includes this key piece of information. “The terms of their original deal could restrict Disney Plus from any revivals until 2020, according to a report. ” That’s obviously this year, but there has been no indication that revivals of the shows are in the works. 

Moreover, with the coronavirus grinding Hollywood to a halt it seems especially unlikely that the revivals would appear anytime soon if they’re even in the offing at all. For now, the focus remains on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki What If and Hawkeye, this year and next, with Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk to follow at an undetermined time later. 

Disney+ needs new content

On the other hand, Disney+ can use all the new content it can get. Although more people than expected stuck with the service after The Mandalorian wrapped, there are no major new series on deck until The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in the Fall.

Lately, Disney has been relying on its record-breaking 2019 movies, including Toy Story 4, Aladdin and The Lion King to keep viewers. Disney even put Frozen II on the service earlier than planned as the pandemic crisis looms and threatens to keep families at home for several weeks. 

With so many question marks swirling around now, Disney and Marvel might do well to pitch story ideas for a revived Defenders lineup if they haven’t already. Even if the revivals can’t go into production anytime soon, it might be wise to have too much content on deck rather than not enough.