Netflix's Luke Cage Series Canceled
Not so untouchable after all.
Netflix has announced that Luke Cage will not be returning for a third season. The news comes just a few days after the announcement that Iron Fist has been canceled, leaving just Jessica Jones and Daredevil as the last Defenders standing on the streaming service.
"Unfortunately, Marvel's Luke Cage will not return for a third season," reads a joint statement from Netflix and Marvel. "Everyone at Marvel Television and Netflix is grateful to the dedicated showrunner, writers, cast and crew who brought Harlem's Hero to life for the past two seasons, and to all the fans who have supported the series."
Showing solidarity, Iron Fist star Finn Jones posted an image on Instagram in response to the news. It shows his character, Danny Rand, combining the power of the Iron Fist with Luke Cage's own overwhelmingly destructive abilities.
While the Iron Fist series had a shaky start, general consensus is that its second season showed some improvement. Luke Cage, however, started much stronger. Like many of the Netflix and Marvel shows, it suffered from bloat, with more episodes than there perhaps needed to be. Despite this, Luke Cage had a distinct identity and a grit that many appreciated. Its first season was bolstered by strong performances from Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Simone Missick (Misty Knight), Rosario Dawson (Claire Temple), and Mahershala Ali (Cottonmouth).
The series also had a visual and musical flair that many of the other Marvel shows on Netflix don't. It very much leaned into an aesthetic that could carry the feeling of living in Harlem and the culture that shaped it and represents it. In one memorable scene Mahershala Ali's Cottonmouth watches on as rapper Jidenna delivers a performance of Long Live The Chief to an empty club. In another, an iconic image of rapper Biggie Smalls is used to perfectly encapsulate Cottonmouth as a character.
The two cancellations come at a time when Disney is working on its own streaming service. Thus far Disney has confirmed Season 7 for Star Wars: The Clone Wars and a new live-action Star Wars series are in production for the service. In terms of Marvel offerings, Disney has said it will have TV shows based on "beloved superheroes" that may not have had their own spotlight on the big screen. Reports have suggested that Tom Hiddleston is lined up to reprise his role as Loki and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch for these.
Daredevil Season 3, meanwhile, is available now and returns to the struggle between Matt Murdock and Filson Fisk that made the first season so compelling. However, the third season also introduces another Marvel villain into the mix. Read our Daredevil Season 3 review to find out whether if it's successful or not.