Marvel Defenders Series Announce Disney+ Premiere After Netflix Exit

After leaving Netflix, Marvel Defenders series “Jessica Jones,” “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage,” “The Defenders,” “The Punisher,” and “The Iron Fist,” plus ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will move to Disney+ streamer on March 16.

Disney has been shrinking the MCU across streamers, making Disney+ the ultimate hub for all things Marvel. Since the Marvel Defenders series left Netflix at the end of February, Disney+ will now be rolling out the respective shows instead.

“Disney+ has served as the home for some of the most beloved brands in the industry, and the addition of these live-action shows brings more from the Marvel brand together, all in one place,” Michael Paull, President of Disney Streaming, said. “We have experienced great success with an expanded content offering on Disney+ across our global markets and are excited to continue that here in the U.S. as well by offering our consumers not only great content with the new Marvel additions, but also a set of features that help ensure a viewing experience most suitable for them and their family.”

To accommodate the introduction of the more adult-themed content in the Marvel Defenders shows to the platform, Disney+ will be updating its existing Parental Controls in the U.S.

Per the streamer, when opening Disney+ for the first time on or after March 16, U.S. subscribers will be prompted to update their Parental Controls. This includes the option to select content ratings restrictions for each profile as well as to add a PIN to lock the profiles. Those that choose to keep their settings the same will continue to enjoy Disney+ as they always have within a TV-14 content rating environment, with the option to make changes at any time under profile settings.

IndieWire has reached out for comment regarding what specifically that means for shows like “Luke Cage,” which includes repeated use of racial epithets.

Netflix previously confirmed to IndieWire that the Marvel Defenders series, which were Netflix Original productions, left the streaming platform February 28. The Defenders titles were licensed originals, and since the license for Netflix has ended, the rights returned to Disney.

Netflix kicked off its collaboration with Marvel with “Daredevil” in 2015. Charlie Cox starred as the titular superhero, which expanded into Hell’s Kitchen spin-offs “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist,” and “The Punisher.” The characters later teamed up for miniseries “The Defenders,” which premiered in 2017. All six series were canceled following the 2018-2019 season.

IndieWire reported in August 2019 that a contract existed preventing Netflix’s Marvel shows and characters from appearing in any non-Netflix series or films for at least two years after cancellation. November 2020 marked two years since the “Daredevil” cancellation, thus allowing Charlie Cox to appear in any Disney-owned MCU property.

Cox reprised his Daredevil role in Sony’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” and Marvel president Kevin Feige confirmed in December 2021 that Cox is the only actor who would play Daredevil in the MCU.

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