"Unfortunately, Marvel's Luke Cage will not return for a third season", a joint statement issued by Marvel and Netflix said. Its first season was bolstered by strong performances from Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Simone Missick (Misty Knight), Rosario Dawson (Claire Temple), and Mahershala Ali (Cottonmouth).
Just one week ago, Netflix surprised us all by canceling Iron Fist after a much-improved second season. It eventually escalated to behind-the-scenes turmoil in the past two days and demands for changes in creative regime. Its cancellation is also a massive blow for representation, as Luke Cage was easily the most inclusive of all of Marvel's Netflix shows.
Colter debuted as Cage on Netflix's Jessica Jones before getting his own series. Neither Marvel nor Netflix were willing to bend, and it ultimately led to the show's premature cancellation.
The series' second season soundtrack treated hip-hop fans to new music from rap icon Rakim. Back in 2013, the streamer paid top dollar for the series, that they don't even own so cutting Luke Cage loose was a shifting bottom line call.
Rumors have persisted that perhaps "Iron Fist" and now "Luke Cage" could be resurrected as part of the upcoming Disney streaming service that will launch in 2019 but that hasn't been determined yet.
Some of the scripts for the next season of Luke Cage had already been turned in to Netflix, and apparently the streaming service wasn't impressed with what they had been given so far.
The interpolation of classic rap music is nothing new for the Luke Cage series, last season each episode was named after Gang Starr songs.
Either way, Marvel's TV efforts - though starting out immaculately with Daredevil and Jessica Jones - now appear so much weaker.