The contractual status of the Defenders has never been made public, but the most commonly held belief is that the stars of the Netflix shows were tied to the streaming service and not the characters themselves, and once the entire lineup was canceled, there was a two-year hold in place that prevented Marvel Studios from rebooting Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and the Punisher until the options had expired.
We’re now fast closing in on the expiration date, with rumors subsequently making the rounds that Charlie Cox could find himself in talks to reprise his role as Matt Murdock in December, while next month marks the second anniversary of both Luke Cage and Iron Fist being pulled from the airwaves. Daredevil is clearly the priority, but with the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a state of rapid expansion, the rest of New York’s street level heroes won’t be too far behind.
Mike Colter isn’t expected to return as Harlem’s Guardian Angel, but we’ve nonetheless heard from our sources – the same ones that told us Ben Affleck is reprising his role as Batman in The Flash and Taskmaster would be the main villain in Black Widow – that Luke Cage may show up in Black Panther 2 played by a different actor. At least, that’s the plan right now.
Of course, everything surrounding the sequel is shrouded in uncertainty following the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, and it might end up being delayed significantly as a result. But we’re told that Harlem’s most famous son could find himself with a role in the film as apparently, part of the story will take place outside of Wakanda. How he could factor into things remains unclear, but Marvel seem to be on the cusp of regaining the rights to Luke Cage and appear to be intent on rebooting him as soon as possible – whether it ultimately happens in Black Panther 2 or not.