Marvel's Netflix TV shows head for Disney Plus - but what does it mean?
All five street heroes and even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D return home, here's why fans should be excited
Rumors about this have been making the rounds for some time now, but an important cameo in a recent Marvel movie practically confirmed it and now it’s official: many Marvel heroes from TV shows that appeared on non-Disney content services, such as Netflix and ABC, are returning home very, very soon. Those include Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Punisher, as well as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., all of which will be hosted on Disney Plus from March 16 in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
Disney notes that all seasons of all these shows — Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, The Punisher and the crossover show The Defenders as well as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — will be available to other territories on Disney Plus by the end of the year. It’s worth noting that most of these shows are not as family-friendly as Disney’s own productions tend to be, that’s why Disney Plus will be implementing stronger parental controls on March 16, so as to help subscribers manage what content each member of a family has access to.
The move of hosting these characters’ adventures on Disney Plus, as the company puts it, “made sense so as to best serve Marvel fans”, despite the fact that most of those shows have no real ties to the Marvel Cinematic Universe or other current Marvel shows. There has been a number of references in certain episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but the timelines of all other shows did not take into account whatever else was happening in the MCU while their events were unfolding.
That may be about to change. The appearance of Vincent D’ Onofrio, Daredevil’s Wilson Fisk a.k.a. The Kingpin, in Disney’s Hawkeye TV show last year was a hint of the potential return of these characters to the MCU fold. But it was a single appearance and, well, just a hint. Matt Murdock, though, being in December’s Spider-man: No Way Home — played by Charlie Cox, the same actor who played Daredevil in the original Netflix show — is proof enough that Disney indeed has a place for these “street-level” heroes. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’s future as a show is far less assured (in the current main MCU timeline the organization is supposed to have been disbanded since 2014) but who’s to say what might happen in the future, now that the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse is official too?
So should fans be excited about all this? Yes, they should. Not only do they get to watch some of the best Marvel action to ever grace the TV screen now that these shows are part of the Disney Plus library, but they can look forward to some of the most successful crossovers in Marvel comics history if Disney decides to borrow certain plotlines from those. Spiderman, for instance, has teamed up numerous times with Daredevil against The Kingpin, Jessica Jones has ties to Ant-man and Captain Marvel, while The Punisher’s history with Spiderman, Wolverine and Deadpool (both of them are also coming to the MCM) is not exactly secret.
Hawkeye proved that people like a more “earthly” adventure now and then — if nothing else then as a break from the planet-level or cosmic-level adventures the MCU has offered over the years. Iron Fist’s Finn Jones aside, all actors playing the rest of the “street-level” heroes were well-cast and very effective in their roles, so Disney would do well to give them a chance in the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse moving forward. Bring it on, Kevin Feige!