The cast of Defenders

It's Official — Netflix's Marvel Shows Are Coming To Disney+

Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and the rest of the crew have a new streaming home.

by Ani Bundel
Originally Published: 

The history of Marvel Comics leasing the rights to its various characters and the different agreements with various studios over the decades could easily fill a book. But the company’s decision to start the Marvel Cinematic Universe and produce its own films and TV series has thrown those decisions into stark relief, especially as the studio tries to regain what it gave away. In 2019, Marvel’s parent company, Disney, had a merger with Fox that brought a good chunk back to the fold. Now, Netflix’s Marvel shows are also coming home to stream on Disney+. But, as is always the case, there’s a bit of a catch.

When the MCU first launched, it was envisioned as a big-screen project run by the feature film department under Marvel Studios. TV was seen as a lesser format and run by a different division, Marvel TV. Marvel TV’s offerings ranged from the standard broadcast procedural series like Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to the edgy Defenders shows on Netflix to differentiate itself from its big-screen brethren.

Like Marvel TV’s flagship series, Daredevil, the interconnected Defenders shows were “Rated M for Mature.” All six were violent; Daredevil featured religious themes, Jessica Jones showed superhero shenanigans that broke the bed. It’s a far cry from WandaVision’s chaste sitcom bedroom or Hawkeye’s exploding arrows that somehow never draw blood.

So when Netflix quietly revealed Disney had repurchased the rights to the Defenders series and the shows would be exiting the service come March 2022, eyebrows went up. Disney+ has been marketed as a walled garden, a place where kids and teens can watch without parents worrying what they might find. There was some debate if the Defenders shows would go to Hulu, also owned by Disney, and characterized by series like Love Victor, deemed “too mature for Disney+.”


But apparently, Marvel isn’t going to bifurcate its offerings across different streaming services again. The Defenders shows — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and the crossover series Defenders are coming to Disney+ to sit beside Loki and The Falcon & The Winter Soldier. (Also coming over from Netflix, the aforementioned Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which landed there via ABC’s Netflix deal.) But with their arrival, new parental controls will come, and everyone will need to update their settings.

The Disney announcement reads:

When opening Disney+ for the first time on or after March 16, all subscribers in the U.S. will be prompted to update their Parental Controls. This includes the option to select content ratings restrictions for each profile as well as to add a PIN to lock profiles. Those that choose to keep their settings the same will continue to enjoy Disney+ as they always have within a TV-14 content rating environment, with the option to make changes at any time under Profile settings.

Hopefully, these changes will go smoothly for subscribers. As for what it portends for future Marvel shows like Moon Knight (not yet rated) and others, perhaps the MCU won’t be entirely so bloodless from now on.

All six series in the Marvel Defenders franchise and all seven seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will arrive on Disney+ on March 16, the same day as the new parental controls settings will go into effect.

Don’t have Disney+ yet? You can sign up here.

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