In a surprise to few, Freeform has cancelled the live-action Marvel TV series Cloak & Dagger after two seasons. The show launched in 2018 to fairly positive reviews, but ratings for Season 2 dropped nearly 40% when the series returned earlier this year. The series starred Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph as two very different teenagers who are mysteriously linked to one another via superpowers.
“We are so proud of Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger and the trailblazing stories this series told,” Freeform said in a statement to Deadline, which broke the news of the cancellation. “We are also grateful to our incredible talent Oliva Holt and Aubrey Joseph for bringing these beloved characters to life, and showrunner Joe Pokaski for his vision. We’d like to thank our partners at Marvel Television for a wonderful two seasons and are we are hopeful that we can find another project together.”
More strikingly, however, the Cloak & Dagger cancellation comes on the heels of the news that the entire Marvel TV division is being reworked, with head honcho Jeph Loeb stepping aside to make way for a new regime that’s more creatively in line with Marvel Studios president (and now Marvel Chief Creative Officer) Kevin Feige.
Indeed, pretty much all of the previous Marvel TV output is being brushed aside. The Marvel Netflix shows like Daredevil and Luke Cage started being cancelled last year one by one; ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is heading into its final season; even Hulu just recently opted not to move forward with a planned Ghost Rider spinoff based on the character’s appearance on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
All of these Marvel TV shows had trouble aligning themselves with the continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since the MCU was governed by Feige and the Marvel Studios film team, which had nothing to do creatively with what Loeb and his team were doing on the small screen. That’s now changing with the advent of Disney+, which will launch several Marvel Studios-run limited series featuring MCU actors reprising their movie roles, like Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier.
Now, with Loeb exiting Marvel TV and Feige being promoted to Marvel CCO, it appears the vision for Marvel Television is being aligned more with the MCU, and the existing Marvel TV world is being snapped away. The only remaining live-action Marvel TV series are Hulu’s upcoming Helstrom and the currently running Runaways, the latter of which launches its third season in December. Will it, too, be cancelled shortly thereafter? I would not be surprised.