Even though it seemed like something destined to happen, there’s something still slightly shocking about Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Marvel Television’s other Defenders series exiting their source of origin at Netflix. That series sextet — which also includes Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher and The Defenders — is indeed joining Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as new additions to Disney+’s library alongside an MCU library that includes everything from Iron Man to Hawkeye (in which a certain Daredevil star returned). And guess what? It sounds like fans don’t need to worry about those more mature series being edited for content.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Daredevil & Co. would end up at Hulu or Disney+, given the series’ rather violent and triggering content isn’t usually synonymous with the family-geared Disney-specific branding. But that’s where they’ll soon be, as the company announced the aforementioned seven series will be available to stream anew starting on March 16. In the same announcement, no doubt to quell the worries of anyone hoping that Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk didn’t lose his hyper-violent edge, the company also announced updates to their parental control system, with all subscribers in the U.S. set to be prompted by the service to make changes if desired.
Let’s take a look at how Michael Paull, President of Disney Streaming, specifically stated things in the announcement:
Now, I am aware that at no point in that does Michael Paull say “Don’t worry, Kingpin is still going to smoosh a guy’s head off with a car door.” But there are definitely some easy assumptions to be made here.
There’s no real reason why Disney+ would implement parental control updates unless there would be a worthwhile reason for parents to need to change permissions regarding Marvel content. Everything about David Tennant’s Kilgrave in Jessica Jones Season 1 could be put in the “worthwhile reason” suggestion box, and I have to think the two are at least somewhat related.
Changes to parental controls are the easiest way for Disney+ to welcome The Defenders and its members to a throng of subscribers who will no doubt stream those shows, and without having to do any controversial edits that send those subscribers to social media to spread complaints about not seeing enough frames of Frank Castle kicking a dude’s kneecap off before shooting him in the face. If people don’t want to watch such things, it seems as if Disney might be setting things up where certain scenes are cut out for younger viewers, while others remain intact. Or maybe The Punisher just won’t be available for viewing for anyone under a certain age.
Plus, beyond The Punisher’s most brutal moments, it’s not like Marvel TV’s output was on par with darker Netflix fare like Texas Chainsaw Massacre or You. There are obviously elements that are a hell of a lot more intense than your average episode of Chip ‘n’ Dale: Park Life, but it wouldn’t take a mountainous shift in morality for Disney+ to find room for more adult fare within its offerings. And if things go smoothly with these shows, one can only hope that the evolution can continue.
Fans aren’t the only ones who will be celebrating this news, either. Luke Cage creator Cheo Hodari Coker posted some optimism of his own on Twitter, as guarded as it may be, and also makes a good point.
Luke Cage featured some of the best tracks of any Marvel series to date on any platform, so the biggest tragedy of all would be if Disney somehow allowed the gunplay and bloodshed, but didn’t cough up the rights to Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Charles Bradley.
So while things could always change, it looks like Marvel fans can take comfort in knowing Disney+ will be a welcoming home for all of its non-original superhero content. Be sure to check out Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, The Defenders, The Punisher, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when they make their D+ streaming debut on March 16. In the meantime, head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what other big debuts are on the horizon.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.