Marvel/Netflix's Rumored Phase 2 Includes Punisher, Blade, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and More

Wednesday, 03 June 2015 - 9:46AM
Marvel
The Defenders
Daredevil
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 - 9:46AM
Marvel/Netflix's Rumored Phase 2 Includes Punisher, Blade, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and More
Marvel/Netflix's first outing was a rousing success, as Daredevil has enjoyed near-universal rave reviews and the highest ratings of any Netflix original series this season, even beating out tentpoles like House of Cards. As a result, fans are eagerly anticipating the further series that the two studios have already scheduled: AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders, while Marvel and Netflix are already planning a Phase II.

Beyond the confirmed second season of Daredevil, the rumored line-up for Netflix's Phase II includes standalone shows for secondary Marvel characters like Punisher, Blade, and Ghost Rider, as well as an Avengers crossover miniseries that would include Hawkeye and Black Widow. According to a detailed breakdown from Umberto Gonzalez's Heroic Hollywood:

The powers that be at Marvel have... been toying with the idea of adding characters like Punisher, Blade and Ghost Rider, but there are risks with each of those characters. Not only are they darker and more violent, but two of them require supernatural elements in order to tell their stories. The inclusion of these characters could send Netflix over to the goofy side, which is something they're very afraid of. Ghost Rider would also rely on CGI too much for the studio's taste.

It would also be difficult to incorporate the stories of these characters smoothly. Blade and Punisher are perceived to be rather one-note to carry a series on their own. The heavy level of violence is also perceived to be a risk. They want a "hard PG-13," instead of an R. And since none of the Defenders actively kill, throwing Punisher into the mix could be a challenge.


I would personally love to see a Punisher television series, although Marvel's hesitation does make sense from a branding perspective. Daredevil was much darker and more violent than Marvel's films, but Punisher is grim on a whole different level, and may go a little too far for the family-friendly studio. Still, I think the character is more than worthwhile, and Marvel should continue to flex its muscles and prove that it can do basically anything.

I'd be much less excited to see a Ghost Rider series, as they're right that the character can far too easily get incredibly cheesy, but I'd also hope that they're not being gun-shy about the character as a result of Nicholas Cage's disastrous 2007 film. If nothing else, Daredevil proved that they can overcome preconceived notions of a character based on terrible movies.

Aside from these standalone shows, Gonzalez claimed that Marvel/Netflix were also considering an Avengers crossover series that would serve as a "bridge" between Marvel's television shows and films, featuring characters such as Black Widow and Hawkeye. But this seems unlikely, as it would be a logistical nightmare, and recent rumors have suggested that Marvel isn't invested enough in their shows to make that "pipe dream" happen.

Finally, Gonzalez reported that there's a remote chance Benedict Cumberbatch will appear in the Defenders miniseries as Doctor Strange, and also addressed those recent rumors of leaked Elektra audition tapes for an appearance in Daredevil season two: "They're real. Elektra is coming."
Science Fiction
Comic Book TV Shows
Marvel
The Defenders
Daredevil