Details Emerge Around The Behind The Scenes Drama That Led To Luke Cage’s Cancellation
Last Friday (October 19), Luke Cage was canceled following just two seasons. The news was met with dismay by many, including fans of comic books, the Marvel universe, and Hip-Hop. The same day that Netflix unveiled Season 2 of its Hip-Hop Evolution docu-series, the studio and streaming platform pulled the plug on its bulletproof superhero. It was the latest act in a series of cuts, reducing Netflix’s Marvel programming by 40%.
New information has been published surrounding the cancellation. Deadline reports that the actor playing the title character, Mike Colter, was under contract by Netflix for a third season as well as other members of a cast that includes Simone Missick, Theo Rossi, Rosario Dawson, and Alfre Woodard. Series creator and showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker had been taking notes from both Marvel and Netflix surrounding Season 2 of Luke Cage and applying them to episodic scripts in development.
The article by Dominic Patten and Nellie Andreeva pulls information from unnamed sources that suggest Luke Cage‘s season 3 hopes died in the middle of last week. “The pink slipping of Luke Cage was ultimately a combo of the age old Hollywood ‘creative differences’ and the inability for the parties involved to reach a deal on how to move forward, according to sources. With a season springing from the conclusion of the June 22-launched Season 2 plotted out months ago, detailed drafts for the first half of the 10-episode projected third season were delivered to Marvel and Netflix this week.”
The fact that there were 10 episodes planned was reportedly an issue onto itself. The decision marked a three-episode reduction from Season 1 and 2. “It eventually escalated to behind-the-scenes turmoil in the past two days and demands for changes in creative regime,” states Deadline. On October 1, 2016, Netflix experienced a rare two-hour outage. While the platform never specified what occurred, many, including Deadline and Coker speculated that it was related to the launch of Season 1.
Changing showrunners on Netflix’s Marvel series has become somewhat of a trend. Jessica Jones and Iron Fist saw top personnel shifts. Meanwhile, Daredevil has experienced a different person in that leadership position in each of its seasons.
Meanwhile, the report points out that five years after Netflix’s partnership with Marvel, Luke Cage is among its most expensive original programs. Since 2013, Netflix has launched a multitude of series, making the competition all the stiffer for a costly show that the platform does not even own.
The article also downplays the likelihood that Luke Cage would find its new home on the upcoming Disney streaming platform, despite the company’s ownership of Marvel.
Over the weekend, Coker thanked the cast, crew, writers, Marvel, Netflix, and the fans, among others. He also praised Hip-Hop Evolution, which debuted the same weekend.