Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is dropping hints that the company will bring Daredevil back into the Cinematic Universe — and not just any Daredevil. Speaking to CinemaBlend, Feige said that Disney seems attached to Charlie Cox, who most recently portrayed Hell’s Kitchen Savior from 2015-2018 in the Netflix series Daredevil and the team up vehicle, The Defenders.
If the audience “were to see Daredevil in upcoming things, Charlie Cox, yes, would be the actor playing Daredevil. Where we see that, how we see that, when we see that, remains to be seen,” Feige said.
That’s obviously an endorsement of Cox, but ... not a confirmation that the character will appear in any upcoming movies or TV shows, leaving Daredevil’s actual place place in the MCU less certain. Cox, who has been vocal about his excitement on returning to the mega-franchise, has also conveyed that uncertainty, telling Forbes back in September that he had no idea if there was any potential future for the role, saying that if there was a chance he didn’t “want to say anything that would jeopardize those chances.”
The chances for The Man Without Fear to appear in a Disney Plus property do seem to be rising. While it would make little sense for lawyer-by-day, vigilante-by-night suddenly appear in a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, the rumored re-introduction of Daredevil star Vincent D’onofrio’s Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin on Hawkeye and its spinoff, Echo. While the Kingpin is an underworld boss with many fingers in many pies, it’s hard to imagine the character being separated for too long from his historic arch-enemy Daredevil.
The upcoming She-Hulk series, starring a character who has spurred with Matt Murdock, seems like one opportunity for a revival of the Daredevil as well. Then there are the persistent rumors Cox is popping up in Spider-Man: No Way Home, despite the movie reportedly being stuffed to the brim with other Spider-Mans.
Feige’s enigmatic quote and the Kingpin rumors point to a long-standing question for Marvel: What to do with it’s Netflix characters? Over five years, from 2015-2019, Marvel put six shows on the streaming service: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher. These shows varied wildly in terms of critical success — the first season of Jessica Jones was met with high praise, while the first season of Iron Fist was met with ... not praise. And when The Defenders meant to unite the New York City-centric characters like The Avengers did with Thor and Iron Man, the results were much less memorable.
Ultimately, even at their high points, the Netflix-Marvel shows struggled to compete with the MCU movies. During a sequence near the end of Avengers: Endgame, when seemingly every hero in the known universe is summoned to fight Thanos, Marvel opted to leave the Netflix characters out of the mix. Explaining why, Endgame co-writer Stephen McFeely asked the New York Times if made sense to assume theater-goers “have bought a subscription to Netflix and watched those shows enough so that when they see them, they’re going to go ‘yay?’”
The Netflix-verse officially ended after the second season of The Punisher debuted in January 2019. It wasn’t a surprise to anyone paying attention to the battles over streaming content, considering that Disney had announced as far back as 2017 that its own service would be providing exclusive Marvel content. The end of 2019 delivered on that promise with the creation of Disney Plus.
But the Netflix shows remain where they started, further edging the Defenders to the periphery of the MCU. One thing keeping Cox from the background, though, has been his active fan base. While the #SaveDaredevil campaign might not kept the show alive, it has certainly remained vocal in wanting to keep Cox around. The online reaction to Feige’s positive mention was one of celebration.
There’s no word about the how and when of Daredevil’s next appearance — it could be a quick cameo buried deep on a late episode of Hawkeye. But for now, the confirmation of one Daredevil within the MCU will have to be enough.