Marvel movies and television shows and make a lot of money — to the tune of $3.7 billion in 2018. With fans so eager for the next high-flying, crime-busting superhero, it’s surprising when Netflix cancels another Marvel property. And the streaming giant just announced that Luke Cage has been canceled, the second Marvel TV show to bite the dust.
“Unfortunately, Marvel's Luke Cage will not return for a third season. 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,” Netflix and Marvel said in a statement.
According to a source at The Hollywood Reporter, Luke Cage was axed because of “creative differences” and an “inability to agree on on terms for proceeding onto the third season of the show.” Netflix famously doesn’t release viewership ratings for its shows, so we have no way of knowing if this is an attempt to save face for lackluster numbers.
But we’re inclined to believe this source after that awful season 2 ending. Our own Ariana Romero wrote that the Luke Cage story arc was way too long, which left a lot of filler moments between the action. And Luke’s (Mike Colter) turn towards gray morality gave us little reason to root for him, even with a backdrop as splendid as Harlem, with references to Biggie Smalls, Blaxploitation, and beloved local foods.
With the cancellations of Luke Cage and Iron Fist, this leaves Jessica Jones, Punisher, and Daredevil as Netflix’s Marvel shows for when we need our superhero binge fix. While we’re bummed that Luke Cage won’t bring a distinctly Black New Yorker’s experience back to Netflix, we’re still counting down the days till Jessica Jones graces our screens again.