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‘Shadow and Bone’ Canceled at Netflix After 2 Seasons Following Strike Cutbacks

Shadow and Bone cancelation? 150
Dávid Lukács/Netflix

Shadow and Bone is one of five shows canceled by Netflix following of the end of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

The fantasy series, which was based on the Shadow and Bone trilogy and Six of Crows duology, was axed after two seasons on the streaming site. Deadline was first to report the news on Wednesday, November 15.

The outlet noted that Netflix also canceled Glamourous, Agent Elvis, Farzar and Captain Fall, all of which only had one season before being cut from the roster.

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Shadow and Bone premiered in 2021 and followed orphan Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) as she learned to harness the Grisha power that summons sunlight. During her journey, Alina was determined to bring down the Shadow Fold while fighting off Kirigan (Ben Barnes) a.k.a. Darkling.

At the end of season 1, the heroes believe they’ve successfully thwarted Kirigan. However, the last moments of the finale teased that he had learned to command the volcra, which are undead creatures.

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“He’s the most powerful [person] in the universe, manipulates the darkness and is feared by other people because he’s employing this politics of fear to push his agenda,” Barnes, 42, exclusively told Us Weekly of his character in April 2021. “I’ve played boy with sword, going to rescue damsel and defeat the dragon. I played that in the fantasy world, but not this. But then what really interests me is the idea that every person has the capacity to be everything.”

The cast finished filming season 2 in June 2022, but it wasn’t until March that it made its way to Netflix. Shadow and Bone’s second season didn’t have as much success as its first installment, according to Deadline. The outlet reported that while the fantasy drama spent five weeks in the weekly Top 10 for English-language series on Netflix it never reached No. 1.

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Dávid Lukács/Netflix

Had Shadow and Bone been renewed, it would have likely been delayed production wise due to the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes in Hollywood.

The WGA strike ended in September after nearly five months of picketing. “We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional — with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership,” the negotiating committee for the WGA wrote in an email to its members at the time, noting they had reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

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The SAG-AFTRA strike, however, didn’t conclude until November. While the WGA ratified their contract this fall, the SAG union is still in tentative agreements with AMPTP to better protect its members from AI technology, receive better streaming residuals and increase wages for actors.

At the time of publication, there was no mention of whether Shadow and Bones’ rumored spinoff for Six of Crows has been greenlit or cut by Netflix. Shadow and Bone showrunner Eric Heisserer revealed to Entertainment Weekly in March that he was quietly working to develop the spinoff.

“One of the reasons, not all of them, that I got the privilege of working with Daegan Fryklind as co-showrunner in season 2 is that I was busy with the writers’ room for Six of Crows. We are ready to launch that as its own story,” Heisserer said at the time. “The eight-episode scripts are phenomenal and I’m really proud of my team for those.” Netflix has not commented on the possible new series.