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Netflix May Not Lose ‘The Defenders’ to Disney’s Streaming Service

Marvel Disney Streaming Netflix Defenders
Marvel / Netflix

The announcement of Disney’s inevitable streaming service raised a number of questions on the TV side, including whether Marvel series would follow their movie counterparts in leaving Netflix. The six Defenders series now seem likely to remain in their original home, however, according to comments from Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.

Disney’s confirmation of a 2019 streaming service included both a live-action Star Wars TV series and future Marvel TV projects, leading many to wonder if Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders and The Punisher might leave Netfilx. Marvel has already made clear that its movie lineup will relocate to the untitled Disney streaming service, but Netflix boss Ted Sarandos implied at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference that the same would not be true for the Marvel series (via The Hollywood Reporter):

‘They’ve created some really killer brands,’ said Sarandos, but he also pointed out that Disney does not control all of the Marvel IP. ‘It’s not that exclusive … Netflix has The Defenders.’

The Marvel movie and TV split has always been notably messy, but none of the Netflix series seem like tonal matches for Disney-branded content regardless. It’s also worth noting that future plans for the series have not been made public beyond Iron Fist Season 2, which itself is likely to premiere in 2019. Marvel’s Runaways also recently premiered on Hulu (in which Disney owns a partial stake), to say nothing of Freeform’s Cloak and Dagger or the unattached New Warriors, and Disney might risk the shows’ viewership by changing networks midstream.

We’ll likely hear more on the Marvel TV component of Disney’s streaming service in the coming year, but consider The Defenders safe for now.

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