The Defenders can’t appear on TV or film for at least two years
Recently, Netflix purged itself of three Marvel shows, canceling Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Daredevil all within a couple weeks of one-another. While Jessica Jones is likely living on borrowed time, it was widely assumed that Disney was shoring up these properties before the launch of its own streaming service next year, Disney+.
However, Variety reports that due to a clause in the contract between Disney and Netflix, the characters won’t be able to appear onscreen anywhere for at least two years after the cancellation, and that’s if Disney decides to do so, which it hasn’t yet.
When Netflix launched its initial quartet of Marvel shows there was a clause that stated they couldn’t appear in any non-Netflix related film or TV show for at least two years after cancellation. This would mean the earliest that the Man without Fear or the Heroes for Hire could show up would be in late 2020. Given that Jessica Jones is airing a third season in 2019, her character would be out of the running for the supergroup The Defenders until 2021. Again, that’s if Disney opts to bring these characters back into the fold. Whether or not they bring back the same actors is anyone’s guess at this point, though Daredevil’s Charlie Cox is hoping they do.
Worth noting that another Marvel/Netflix show, The Punisher, is about to get a second season, but since it was not part of the original four shows, it may not be bound by the same restrictions. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how he’ll fit into the equation. Sure, he’s one of Marvel Comics’ most popular characters, but he doesn’t exactly line up with the family-friendly vibe Disney+ is aiming for.
In the meantime, we know Disney+ is working on a handful of shows set in the MCU, which would focus on characters like Falcon, The Winter Soldier, Scarlet Witch and Loki. They’re also working on a couple of Star Wars series, including Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian and the Rogue One prequel with Diego Luna reprising his role as Cassian Andor.