Netflix and Marvel completes its messy breakup, The Punisher and Jessica Jones have been cancelled

It’s been a long time coming, but Netflix has finally put an end to its relationship with Marvel. It’s been a messy breakup, with Daredevil, Luke Cage, The Defenders, and Iron Fist all caught in the crossfire over the last four months. It is now being reported that we will not be receiving a season 3 of The Punisher, while Jessica Jones will be given the chance for a big send-off before suffering a similar fate. That’s right, Jessica Jones and The Punisher have been cancelled by Netflix. 

Jon Bernthal took to Twitter and Instagram earlier today with a poignant statement, leading many to believe that his time as Frank Castle had been brought to an unceremonious end. “To all who have served. All who know loss. All who love and understand Frank and his pain. It has been an honor to walk in his boots. I’m endlessly grateful to the comic fans and the men and women of the Armed Services and law enforcement community who Frank means so much to. Thank you to the USMC and all the wonderful soldiers who trained me. Go Hard. Be safe.”

While it had been long rumoured that The Punisher was going to be cancelled as Marvel looked to put an end to its long-running deal with Netflix, many fans were hoping that there would in fact be more to come after The Punisher season 2. Still, Marvel later confirmed the news in a statement to Deadline, noting that “Marvel’s The Punisher will not return for a third season on Netflix” before celebrating those that had worked so diligently on making the show a success. “Showrunner Steve Lightfoot, the terrific crew, and exceptional cast including star Jon Bernthal, delivered an acclaimed and compelling series for fans, and we are proud to showcase their work on Netflix for years to come,” a spokesperson for Netflix added, confirming that the suite of Netflix shows will continue to exist on the platform for some time yet.

“In addition, in reviewing our Marvel programming, we have decided that the upcoming third season will also be the final season for Marvel’s Jessica Jones. We are grateful to showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, star Krysten Ritter and the entire cast and crew, for three incredible seasons of this groundbreaking series, which was recognized by the Peabody Awards among many others.”

This is a particularly bitter pill to swallow, given that Krysten Ritter is undoubtedly (and okay, yes, my bias is showing here) one of the very best castings to come out of Marvel’s forceful push into the realms of entertainment, starting back in 2008 with the release of Iron Man. Jessica Jones season 3 is still in production, though it is now expected to air later this summer. 

Ritter addressed the cancellation of Jessica Jones on social media, noting that she was "so grateful for every second of it. We have THE BEST fans. You guys mean the world to me and I appreciate you beyond words. The final season of Jessica Jones is coming later this year and I am proud of how we complete JJ’s journey. I can’t wait for you all to see it. Stay tuned and more to come." 

You can read her full post on Instagram here

Still, the cancellation of The Punisher and Jessica Jones puts an end to an inconsistent but often brilliant collaboration between the two creative houses. The deal, established back in 2013 with the announcement of four series and a The Defenders limited series, has given us some truly fantastic seasons of content and the opportunity to live with some truly wonderfully well realised characters. 

This news is disappointing, but it isn’t particularly surprising given that Disney is establishing its own streaming service, Disney+, which is set to launch later this year. Whether Marvel will invest in all new shows for the upcoming platform remains to be seen, but it seems likely that Bernthal and Ritter – like Charlie Cox, Mike Colter, and Finn Jones before them – will now have to say goodbye to these characters, forever. 

Why not find something new on Netflix while you’re waiting for season 3 of Jessica Jones? 

Josh West
Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Josh West is the Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar+. He has over 15 years experience in online and print journalism, and holds a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Feature Writing. Prior to starting his current position, Josh has served as GR+'s Features Editor and Deputy Editor of games™ magazine, and has freelanced for numerous publications including 3D Artist, Edge magazine, iCreate, Metal Hammer, Play, Retro Gamer, and SFX. Additionally, he has appeared on the BBC and ITV to provide expert comment, written for Scholastic books, edited a book for Hachette, and worked as the Assistant Producer of the Future Games Show. In his spare time, Josh likes to play bass guitar and video games. Years ago, he was in a few movies and TV shows that you've definitely seen but will never be able to spot him in.