With the news that Marvel have all but officially confirmed that a new series of Daredevil is on the way, I am nothing short of thrilled, not at all surprised, and only a little bit wary. According to Variety.com, NBC drama writers Matt Corman and Chris Ord are set to write and executive produce a new Daredevil series for Disney plus. Reps for Marvel and both Corman and Ord have yet to comment, making this news an ‘unofficial’ announcement. However, with the previous news that a Daredevil reboot was listed as an upcoming project in Production Weekly, and given the appearances of Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin in mainstream MCU projects, the news comes as little surprise.
Given the grand, cinematic finale to 10 years of films that was Avengers: Endgame, it seems Marvel are going in new directions as they attempt to keep their golden MCU goose afloat. For the most part, these new directions have paid off. The more visceral, psychological tone of the Moon Knight series, and the darker, much more violent nature of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has been something which I and other fans alike have substantially appreciated. Topped with the fact all of Marvel’s darker, grittier Netflix shows have moved over to Disney plus, there is indication that Marvel is looking to focus on some more gritty, street-level stories and characters. Creating a new Daredevil series would certainly benefit the MCU in this way. Amongst Marvel’s street-level vigilantes, Daredevil certainly ranks as one of their most popular. It would be interesting to see some real vigilantism and crime occurring in the MCU, which would provide refreshing respite from all the cosmic multiverse madness. This would help to ground the MCU in reality much more, and give it an edge which many argue it has been lacking in recent years.
Netflix’s Daredevil series is possibly one of the best things Marvel has produced in recent years, and it wasn’t even truly acknowledged by the wider MCU until recently. As previously mentioned, the biggest allusion to more Daredevil content was the appearance of its two key players in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Hawkeye, but the second biggest was Marvel’s announcement of an Echo Disney plus series. Echo/Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) appeared in Hawkeye as an antagonist; the leader of the Tracksuit Mafia, overseen by D’Onofrio’s Kingpin. Echo made her first comic book appearance in David Mack’s Daredevil: Parts of a Hole in which her alter ego, Maya, falls in love with Matt Murdock, but Echo has a blood lust for Daredevil. Much of the plot involving Echo and Kingpin in Hawkeye was directly inspired by this storyline, from their uneasy father-daughter relationship to the ambiguous ending of the Kingpin’s fate at Echo’s hand. The fact that much of Hawkeye was inspired by a Daredevil comic, introducing two key players in Daredevil’s world, it wouldn’t surprise me if Charlie Cox made his first official MCU appearance as the Man Without Fear in the Echo series. Perhaps this would lead on to explore his relationship with Echo in the series, or in any future Daredevil content. Furthermore, given that in Parts of a Hole Kingpin survives the assassination attempt on his life at Echo’s hand, I can only hope they follow they same route in future MCU projects and give us the portentous reunion between Daredevil and Kingpin.
As excited as I am at the potential for more content of my favourite Marvel character, I can’t help but be wary of how Marvel will go about producing said content. Whilst I have thoroughly enjoyed Marvel’s recent exploration into darker tones, I still feel as if they are clinging on to that comical, light-hearted MCU formula which is what has kept general audiences coming back. For example, I appreciated Moon Knight‘s acknowledgement of darker themes such as mental disorders, childhood trauma and abuse, as well as an ominous-themed vigilante who isn’t afraid to get his hands bloody. However, this was constantly counter-balanced with light-heartedness and humour, giving me the impression Marvel were afraid to go all out, dark, ‘Netflix-level’ of grit with it’s story. Now, I am not saying this is bad thing – I loved Moon Knight’s bumbling, British alter ego Steven Grant, and generally the MCU’s trademark humour always brings some enjoyment. However, what made Netflix’s Daredevil series so good was the fact it was able to fully embrace the darker, bloodier tone of its comic book roots. It wasn’t afraid to show us how far Daredevil or Wilson Fisk are willing to go to ‘protect’ their city from each other. So, given that this potential new Daredevil series will be officially part of the MCU, the concern lies in the fact Marvel may make it too light-hearted for it’s own good. There is essentially no humour at all in the Netflix series, and if Marvel decide to coat it’s new Daredevil series in the MCU’s trademark light-heartedness and humour, fans won’t be too pleased.
One thing I would like to see from an official MCU-connected Daredevil series is how the events of the films have affected the lives of the characters. Perhaps Kingpin regained his power in New York as a result of the blip? Perhaps even where the characters were when Thanos’ infamous snap happens. I’ve always pictured Matt, Karen and Foggy together; Foggy and Karen disappear and because Matt is blind he cannot comprehend what has just happened. He doesn’t hear any heartbeat or breathing, just nothing. This would provide us with yet another scene of characters getting dusted, which would interconnect the MCU even more to show that even the Netflix characters couldn’t escape the snap. The Netflix series left the potential for a fourth season with antagonist Poindexter (aka Bullseye) awakening from surgery after being paralysed by Fisk. I would love to see Wilson Bethel reprise his role as one of Daredevil’s most recurring antagonists, but knowing the MCU, they’d probably recreate Bullseye’s iconic blue and white suit from the comics. This would be interesting if they provided appropriate context rather than making it a way of forcing representation from the comics (like Colin Farrell’s corny tattoo of a bullseye on his forehead in the 2003 Daredevil movie!). Somehow I find it unlikely a new Daredevil series will quite match the level of violence and grit of the Netflix series, but I have faith Marvel will respect the character’s comic book roots and provide us with a new story to sink our teeth into. At the very least, this new series will hopefully have a darker tone than most of the wider MCU. Here’s to the MCU’s dark and violent future!