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What If ... Marvel Left Netflix?

Defenders

With Daredevil's cancellation by Netflix, it certainly appears the partnership between the streaming service and Marvel is nearing an end. Luke Cage and Iron Fist have already been axed, The Defenders is unlikely to receive a second miniseries, and fans are holding their breaths about the fates of The Punisher and Jessica Jones after they return for their next seasons.

The planned Disney+ streaming service reportedly isn't interested in rescuing those series, so fans are left to wonder not if, but when the Marvel/Netflix relationship ends, where they might appear, if indeed anywhere. Netflix has indicated that Daredevil (the character), at least, "will live on in future projects for Marvel," so let's look at a few possible destinations for them.

A DEDICATED MARVEL STREAMING SERVICE

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has 10 years' worth of content across 18 movies that could easily populate a streaming service. If the MCU were to have a branded platform for all its content, the television series could potentially go there to supplement the big-screen blockbusters.

RELATED: Netflix's Canceled Marvel Shows Aren't Heading to Disney+

Of course, there are a couple of sizable obstacles to that -- first and foremost being that Disney seems intent on making its Disney+ streaming service effectively the one stop for the myriad properties under its massive umbrella. In addition to the vast library of films, the media conglomerate is also confirmed to be developing new features, as well as the Star Wars spinoff series The Mandalorian and a Marvel series starring Tom Hiddleston's Loki. Cleaving off the Marvel properties for their own streaming service, a la WarnerMedia's recently launched DC Universe, would seem to undermine Disney's intent.

In addition, the more adult tone of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Punisher clashes dramatically with the stated family-friendly focus of Disney+.

RELATED: Marvel Says Daredevil Character Will 'Live On' in Future Projects

ANOTHER POTENTIAL NETWORK

agents of SHIELD punisher daredevil netflix marvel tv

We should also consider the possibility of another network or platform. Hulu already found success with Marvel's Runaways, so adding these series could give the streaming service -- of which Disney holds a 30 percent stake -- considerable leg up on the competition. Freeform also houses Cloak and Dagger, and with the likes of Amazon following the Netflix model, attaining Marvel properties is like striking gold, especially if it comes with an established fan base. In short, these networks have little to lose and everything to gain.

RELATED: Netflix Canceling Marvel's Daredevil Is a Huge Mistake

Another possible hub could be ABC, which serves as home to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Sure, the Netflix series are more mature, and buck the constraints of broadcast television, but this is a chance for Marvel Television to change the game by finding a way to make these shows the mini-movies they were meant to be (it's worth noting, too, the Jessica Jones was originally in development for ABC).

Daredevil Season 4 was already set up with Bullseye officially emerging at the end, while Luke Cage became a kingpin himself, and Danny Rand was off exploring the legacy of the Iron Fist -- so there's a lot to mine, which would ensure fans tune in on a regular basis to see the resolution of those cliffhangers. Fans do love their weekly superhero content, and this is a chance to fix the wrongs of the Inhumans TV show, and also compete with The CW's Arrowverse.

MARVEL TV'S VERY OWN MOVIEVERSE

Marvel Television attempted a sort of big-screen initiative with Inhumans, whose first two episodes screened in IMAX theaters before premiering on television. However, that experiment failed miserably, in no small part because its scope and ambition were greater than its budget, resulting in a cheap-looking product. That's not a problem with the Netflix series, as they're far more grounded in setting and subject matter.

RELATED: Marvel's Netflix Venture Was Always Going to End This Way

Even the mystical adventures of Iron Fist have been diluted to work within the budget, so there's no reason Marvel can't retool the concepts, and turn each property into a movie. In fact, this is Marvel's opportunity to make these shows more cinematic, giving Iron Fist a better exploration of K'un-L'un, and allowing audiences to see dragons (fully, and alive) as well as the Immortal Cities. The grime of Daredevil can easily be executed a la Christopher Nolan's Batman franchise, too, providing another entry point for other street-level crime-fighters like Moon Knight, Shang Chi and the Heroes for Hire to factor in.

Daughters of the Dragon has already been set up with Colleen Wing as an Iron Fist and Misty Knight with her cybernetic arm, so a spinoff movieverse definitely won't be short of stories to tell. After all, the Netflix-verse consisted of long-form movies broken up into 10-13 episodes, so now, it'll be all about condensing these narratives into something a bit tighter, giving these vigilantes somewhere to breathe.

Now available on Netflix, Marvel’s Daredevil Season 3 stars Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Joanne Whalley as Sister Maggie, Wilson Bethel as Benjamin Poindexter, Jay Ali as Rahul “Ray” Nadeem, and Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk.

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