Sometime last week, Netflix held a major press event in which they showed off all the original programming that is coming in recent months. Among the various announcements made were a bunch of new release dates for various programs, headlined by an announcement that Orange is the New Black is returning June 9th.

Now Netflix did not explicitly state that dates were given for every show that will come out between now and early June. It is notable that later release dates are not mentioned, even though a Super Bowl ad confirmed Stranger Things season 2 for a Halloween premiere. A simple look at the release docket leaves the impression that there isn’t a ton of space for another major show before June. Here’s a compilation of the shows releasing between now and June 9th (courtesy of Time Magazine):

  • Project MC2 (February 14)

  • Chef’s Table (February 17)

  • Buddy Thunderstruck (March 10)

  • Marvel’s Iron Fist (March 17)

  • Love (March 10)

  • Julie’s Greenroom (March 17)

  • Grace and Frankie (March 24)

  • Bill Nye Saves The World (April 21)

  • Girlboss (April 21)

  • Casting JonBenet (April 28)

  • Dear White People (April 28)

  • Anne (May 12)

  • House of Cards (May 30)

  • Orange Is The New Black (June 9)

So what does this mean for the MCU? It appears likely that The Defenders will not release until after this widow of releases, i.e. until mid-June at the earliest. If it were coming out before that date its hard to figure why they would not have included that date as part of this promotional push. Note that the House of Cards date was revealed about 17 weeks ahead, and the Orange is the New Black date is also about 17 weeks away, suggesting a pattern for Netflix’s major properties and promotion. The Defenders has always been described as coming out “Summer 2017,” but most entertainment industry definitions of summer begins in May and runs through August, when kids are out of school. (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a “summer release” on May 5th.)

This all could still be a misreading of the situation. Marvel does like to control their own hype machine, so they may be saving the release date information for their own special reveal. With production just now coming up it is also possible that Netflix simply isn’t quite sure when they will be finished with the VFX work. Still, late June or July is increasingly seeming probable. Anything later would push the usual definition of “summer” and would begin to crowd out The Punisher which is also promised to debut this year. Expect to hear an official date from Marvel or Netflix in the next month or two.

Source: Netflix