In the time between Runaways’ review embargo lift and now, Disney took a bold stance and declared after The Punisher releases, there will be no new Marvel shows coming to Netflix.
The House of the Mouse’s goal is to take everything in-house, in preparation for the launch of its OTT streaming service in 2019.
So, since there won’t be any new shows, the question is what becomes of the ones that already exist?
Everything on ABC and Freeform should be fine since they are Disney owned networks. It remains to be seen if the same will be true for Runaways as, while Disney has a stake in Hulu, it’s not a big one.
The real debate is going to be on Netflix. It’s unclear publicly what kind of stake the streamer has in the shows it broadcasts.
Has it paid money to produce them, or just air them globally? If the former, there’s a case to be made for it holding on to the shows forever and never making any new ones.
However, if the latter is true, and Netflix is just perpetually renting the shows from Disney, there could come a day where Disney tries to buy the streamer out of its stake on the shows in order to bring them within the new service that will soon be home to Marvel shows of its own, as well a Star Wars live action series.
It’s a weird time to be Netflix and Disney. The two giants are potentially about to get into a big battle over Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, The Defenders and, yes, The Punisher. It will be interesting to watch the whole thing take shape over the next 18 months.
When Guardians of Galaxy hit theaters in 2014, many praised it as the best MCU film to date, not for the least of which being because it chose to not tie itself to existing mythology. It is within this prism we can praise the television side’s latest Netflix series: The Punisher.
The Punisher is the best Marvel series to date set within the fictional MCU. Why? Because it does its own thing.
Since 2015, we’ve watched a “Defenders” world get built within the confines of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. The Punisher has nothing to do with any of that.
While the show relies on some prior knowledge obtained from Daredevil season 2, from the moment we pick up with Frank we’re on a completely different side-quest that serves the show well.
In addition to being the best, The Punisher is also the most violent, unhinged series ever produced by the house Feige (or in this case Jeph Loeb) built.
Punisher fans are going to be truly pleased by the series’ take on the character. However, unlike the lackluster two (three if you count that 1989 one) feature films, The Punisher finds a way to make Frank a sympathetic character.
Yes, he’s still a psychopath. But he’s one you really care for.
By ignoring the craziness that’s gone down in the Netflix corner of the MCU in recent months, Punisher builds a world all its own full of CIA cover-ups, NSA investigations and frenemies who are so ready to go to war with one other.
The Punisher is the show Marvel Television needed. It’s the show that proves there might just be hope yet for the studio’s small screen ambitions.
And yes, if we’re judging purely on the act of transforming into a character, Bernthal absolutely deserves an Emmy nomination for this one. His performance has been far elevated from the days of Daredevil.
Marvel’s The Punisher debuts Friday, November 17th on Netflix
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