Fans of Marvel’s dearly departed Daredevil-led Defenders group of Netflix shows got simultaneously exciting and heartbreaking news today, with one of the shows’ most beloved stars confirming Marvel once considered a spin-off show for the characters Colleen Wing and Misty Knight. Of course, that was before Netflix began systematically canceling all the Defenders shows in 2018, making them the first victims of Marvel parent Disney’s decision to start its own, rival streaming service. Iron Fist was the first to go, which didn’t come as a complete shock given the series’ lukewarm reception among fans. But when the axe fell next on Luke Cage and even Daredevil itself, fans knew it was the end of an era. Netflix finished off the franchise by canceling fan favorites Jessica Jones and The Punisher, making it clear the streamer was getting out of the Marvel TV business ahead of the arrival of Disney+.
Now comes confirmation that a Daughters of the Dragon show was actually talked about by the folks at Marvel TV. ComicBookMovie.com spoke to Jessica Henwick, and the actress looked back wistfully at what might have been. “There had been very light discussions about Daughters of the Dragon happening,” Henwick revealed, “which I would have loved because working opposite Simone was such a dream, and I think she’s so talented and perfect for the role.” Missick has since moved on to the CBS legal drama All Rise, while Henwick has the movie Love and Monsters premiering this Friday and is slated for a major role in The Matrix 4.
The actress was philosophical about the missed opportunity. “I do remember some very vague discussions,” Henwick said, “but you keep your fingers crossed and never know what’s going to happen in this industry. I’m just glad I got to play such an incredible arc with Colleen, and I feel very happy that we ended on such a high note for her.” Indeed, the second season of Iron Fist ended with the tantalizing prospect of Colleen becoming the new Iron Fist in season three—a reflection of how popular Henwick’s portrayal had become.
But is it too late for Daughters of the Dragon? Fans are routinely speculating about incorporating Defenders characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—even actor Vincent D’Onofrio has mused about bringing his Daredevil villain Kingpin to the MCU’s third Spider-Man. But perhaps the best place for these characters to return would be on Hulu. After all, Disney owns Hulu, and that’s where the studio redirects its less family-friendly content. One thing that made the Netflix shows so unique was that they were grittier than the standard Disney-Marvel fare, with more explicit language, violence, and sex scenes than would pass muster on Disney+ (or Disney-owned ABC). So here’s hoping someone at Marvel will come to their senses and re-imagine the Defenders shows for Hulu. Daughters of the Dragon wouldn’t be a bad place to start.