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Everyone was surprised when Netflix quietly pulled down all six of its formerly high profile Marvel Cinematic Universe series a few weeks back, but it ultimately should have been expected, given that the rights to the characters had expired, and soon enough, the shows would go with them.
The question became where those shows would land, and early indications are that we have an answer out of the two main possible options.
From The Movie Podcast, we have a press release showing that at least in Canada, all six Defenders series, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher and The Defenders, will be coming to Disney Plus on March 16:
The question has always been whether Disney would take these often R-rated series to the PG-13-at-best Disney Plus, or if it would instead put them on Hulu which has a wider range of content.
Before you chime in, yes, I know that Hulu does not exist in Canada, but if they can go on Disney Plus there, I fully believe they can and will go on Disney Plus in the US as well, and I would expect an announcement shortly, possibly with that same March 16 date.
Disney Plus wants to catch those that are ahead of it like Netflix and HBO Max, and it needs every bit of content it can get in order to do that. Keeping the MCU shows all together in once place once they have the rights to them makes the most sense, plus, two further points of evidence:
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- Disney Plus series are already beginning to utilize Defenders characters like Kingpin in Hawkeye, so it makes little sense that Kingpin’s original series (Daredevil) would be airing on a totally different platform like Hulu.
- Kevin Feige has indicated confirmed Disney Plus series Moon Knight will be dark and violent, and sounds similar to the Netflix series:
“He’s brutal. It’s been fun to work with Disney Plus and see the boundaries shifting on what we’re able to do. There are moments [in the series] when Moon Knight is wailing on another character, and it is loud and brutal, and the knee-jerk reaction is, ‘We’re gonna pull back on this, right?’ No. We’re not pulling back. There’s a tonal shift. This is a different thing. This is Moon Knight.”
If a “brutal” show like Moon Knight is on Disney Plus, there’s no reason Daredevil or Punisher shouldn’t be as well. And with Charlie Cox hinting Daredevil himself might return soon enough, you would have to imagine that would be somewhere on Disney Plus too. I just cannot see Disney thinking it’s a good idea to offload such a huge chunk of Marvel offerings to Hulu. I really doubt they’re afraid of some wide backlash by parents that Punisher is airing on Disney Plus. The service really cannot afford to stay mainly kid-focused forever, and it’s already moving past that in some ways.