Craig Erwich, Hulu’s senior VP of originals, told The Wrap that he’s open to “any Marvel property,” including the ones Netflix just canceled.
Netflix canceled three out of its five original Marvel shows last year, Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. The remaining two, The Punisher and Jessica Jones, are expected to suffer the same fate later this year, per Deadline.
The Netflix slew of Marvel TV shows was successful back when it premiered in 2015, with the critically acclaimed first seasons of Daredevil and Jessica Jones. The former was lauded for its impressive fight choreography and interesting villain, and the latter for its feminist themes and a complex yet easy to hate villain.
Then the hits kept on coming in 2016, with the second season of Daredevil, and Luke Cage spinning out of Jessica Jones. Daredevil Season 2 wasn’t as well received as the first, but it found a breakout star in John Bernthal’s Punisher. Luke Cage, meanwhile, was praised for its soundtrack and socially relevant message.
But then, 2017 came around with the premiere of the critically panned Iron Fist and the underwhelming crossover miniseries the Defenders. Despite every other TV season being critically acclaimed, the Marvel corner of Netflix never recovered.
Once Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist were canceled, many jumped to the conclusion that they will just be moved to the upcoming Disney+, but the New York Times reported that Disney has no plans to add them to that service. Luckily, Disney now has a second streaming service.
As a byproduct of buying Fox, Disney will now own a majority share of Hulu. This has led to an expansion of Marvel shows on the platform, including four adult animated shows, Howard The Duck, M.O.D.O.K., Hit-Monkey, and Tigra & Dazzler, the last of which being an X-Men show, a propriety Marvel will regain once the Fox deal is closed.
The four TV shows will feature the behind-the-scenes talents of Kevin Smith, Chelsea Handler, and Patton Oswalt, and will culminate in a special crossover called The Offenders (the concept appears to be a parody of the Defenders).
Beyond the Offenders, Hulu also carries Marvel’s The Runaways, which ironically is only available through Netflix in most parts of the world.
This “good creative relationship” has given Erwich hope that this would lead to more business with Marvel. When asked directly about the possibility of the canceled Marvel-Netflix shows being revived, he seemed cautiously optimistic.
“It kind of just depends on when they’re ready, [and] who, most importantly, is going to be behind these things.”
Variety reports that the original contract between Netflix and Disney had a clause preventing the characters from appearing in non-Netflix shows for at least two years after cancellation. This would mean that Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Iron Fist would be ready by 2020, while Jessica Jones and The Punisher could be ready by 2021 if Netflix cancels them this year.