Disney Doesn’t Want Marvel-Netflix Shows On Their Streaming Service


With the cancellation of Daredevil, it seems that the once close relationship between Netflix and Disney is coming to an end. For those paying attention to the industry, this won’t come as a huge surprise: Disney’s next big venture is Disney+, an extremely high profile streaming video service that will be going to head to head with Netflix in a race for subscribers. The service will feature shows like The Mandalorian, a large amount of Disney’s animated classics and several TV series boasting characters from the big screen MCU. With that in mind, it simply doesn’t make business sense for the Mouse House to continue a relationship with Netflix as it would be competing against its own IP.

But what of the existing shows already produced on Netflix? After all, Disney still owns the rights for the characters, so what’s stopping them from simply airing season 4 of Daredevil on their own service? Well, venerable TV critic Alan Sepinwall has taken to Twitter to pour water on the idea, saying:

The execs have already said they don’t want these shows on the Disney service. And even if they did, the nature of the contracts would make it virtually impossible. They’re done.

I should clarify. The Marvel shows for Disney+ are being produced by Marvel movie execs, who do not like or get along with the Marvel TV execs who made Dardevil et al. Technically, they COULD make a Luke Cage show a few years down the line. They just don’t want to.

And if they did, they’d be starting over from scratch creatively, like Sony ditching the Andrew Garfield movies for Tom Holland as Spider-Man.

This aligns with my understanding of the business partnership between Disney and Netflix. Although Disney retains ownership of the characters, the shows themselves are part-owned by Netflix due to them putting up some of the budget. This means that if the House of Mouse did want them for Disney+ (which they don’t), they’d have to fork out a lot of cash in order to buy out Netflix’s side of the deal.

In addition, it’s worth getting into the fractious relationship between Marvel Studios’ TV and movie arms. This essentially springs from a longtime feud between Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios and father of the MCU and Ike Perlmutter, Chairman and CEO of Marvel Entertainment. The two reportedly clashed on political grounds, with Feige eager to introduce a more obscure and diverse cast of heroes to the films (a philosophy that resulted in mega-hits like Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Panther), while Perlmutter argued for more traditional white, male heroes.

Feige was reportedly particularly disgusted that when discussing the replacement of Terrence Howard by Don Cheadle as James Rhodes in Iron Man 2, Perlmutter stated that black people “all look the same” – a comment which was soon followed by three African-American Marvel executives departing the company and seeking financial settlements.

The situation soon developed into a serious animosity, compounded by Feige’s liberal political leanings and Perlmutter’s involvement in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign (he’s now one of Trump’s closest advisors and rumored for a cabinet position). With Feige’s pet projects raking in billions at the box office, he clearly won the battle and Perlmutter was sidelined by Disney and put in charge of the less prestigious TV projects.

But the damage was done, with the rancor between the men becoming so poisonous that Feige vowed that Marvel Television would never crossover in any meaningful way with Marvel Studios movies as long as Perlmutter was around. So, with the Disney+ shows being produced under Feige’s umbrella, this is another big win for him in this long backstage war with Perlmutter.

But what will happen to the existing shows? Well, they’ll probably simply remain on Netflix for the foreseeable future. There may be a situation a few years down the line where Netflix will lose the rights to broadcast the characters, but without getting into the small print of contracts that aren’t publicly available, we simply can’t know for sure.

Source: Twitter