Daredevil chronicles the life of Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), aka the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, a charming, blinded-in-childhood defense attorney by day and a gruesome but principled crime-fighting vigilante by night. Murdock’s priorities, his Catholic faith, and his strict refusal to kill or cause the death of his enemies no matter what they are guilty of (though he is certainly capable of doing so), as well as his unflinching need to do whatever is necessary to deliver his city’s worst criminals to the hands of Lady Justice, are constantly in conflict. He wrestles, and sometimes boxes, with his inner demons and worldly enemies in a desperate struggle to maintain a balance between the two identities.
So is his desire to live a decent life with his best friend and growing love interest and his inability to give up his vigilante life or allow his advanced powers of sense to go to waste. The dark, mythic streets of New York City and relatable political conflicts and religious dissonance are the lifeblood of the series. They are so unique to the MCU as a whole.
As Daredevil and co. head to Disney + to start a new chapter. Let’s look at what this move could mean.
Why Fans Love Daredevil
Daredevil offers the MCU something special, something unequaled by any other film or show in the universe. It continues to be one of Disney’s most successful and substantive stories, seeing a powerful spike in viewership following the beloved Charlie Cox’s surprise cameo as Peter Parker’s Defense Attorney in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Fans could not be more excited by the prospect of more Daredevil after its devastating cancellation, but what is unique about Daredevil is that it is cool almost in spite of being Marvel. Thanks to its production at Netflix under the now disbanded label Marvel TV, Daredevil’s Netflix home gave it the freedom and space it needed to be raw, rough, and tumble, deeply philosophical and ragged, and, well, human. It was brilliant that the still-developing Marvel opted at the time to create more adult, edgier content under the Netflix banner.
At its core, Daredevil is a show about three people – Matt Murdock and his friends, Foggy Nelson and Karen Page. They have made mistakes, are striving to cope with their often debilitating personal problems, haunts and sins, as much as they are with the societal and political circumstances in which they live. It’s not flashy, it’s not glamorous, and not even always heroic. It’s real. And it’s awesome. Daredevil’s grittiness gave it an intimacy and humanity that fans urgently hope is preserved going forward, despite its new home on Disney + and uncertain creative future.
Daredevil gave viewers something they could see in the characters and the story just as strongly as they could see it in themselves every day: the relentless need to take whatever you have, wherever you are, and do better.
What is Disney Going to Do With Daredevil Now?
Disney has various options for the character going forward. Cox himself has stated that something else is coming to fans’ screens for Daredevil, which could be interpreted as, we can merely expect to see more Daredevil, or that we are going to see the character in an entirely new way. Or both! Cox has also expressed that he would love to team up with other cinematically established Marvel heroes and characters, similar to how he did briefly with Peter Parker.
Furthermore, there is no word yet about whether Elden Henson and Deborah Ann Woll, who play Matt’s friends Foggy and Karen, respectively, will also be reprising their engaging and influential roles in future Daredevil projects. We will probably see Vincent D’Onofrio return to his critically acclaimed performance as Kingpin, Murdock’s antithesis and primary antagonist, after his appearance on Marvel’s Hawkeye. Such a reunion between complicated heroism and complex villainy, chaotic good and lawful evil, is enough to send chills down any fan’s spine.
In the iconic season 3 finale, Daredevil proclaimed that Kingpin, despite how badly Murdock wanted to break his code and kill Fisk, does not get to destroy Daredevil’s identity as a merciful prosecutor. This ended a long-torturous point of contention in Murdock’s psyche that perhaps some people just cannot be redeemed. This pinned an empowering and vital philosophical point to the board for viewers, that in our own lives, though we may face incredible adversity, it does not get to define us. Tragedy and evil do not get to dismantle who we are and what we stand for if we choose to resist.
Disney could continue the story by turning Daredevil into a new movie franchise and simply find a way to avoid being accountable to the PG-13 rating that binds so many Marvel films. Under a PG13 rating, it’s doubtful that Daredevil would be able to deal in the same NYC blood, faith, and justice that the original series touts so gloriously. It could also be extended on Disney + in the spirit of the highly anticipated Moon Knight, which has preliminarily received a TV14 rating. Based on the trailer, it will house some more adult content than shows like Loki or Hawkeye. It just is not likely that the latter is the course of action Disney will take based on Cox’s more cinema-centric recent remarks.
Why Fans Are Worried About Daredevil’s Future
Was it exhilarating to scream alongside all the other devoted Daredevil fans in the theater last December? It sure was. Would it be even more awesome to see Daredevil chatting it up with Thor or Wanda and fighting some advanced aliens in outer space? Maybe, but it seems quite a bit less formative, evocative, and profound than seeing an average man in extraordinary circumstances. Murdock pounds the New York City pavement, doing everything he can to build friendships and relationships while sacrificing everything to help his neighbor when nobody else will.
The official trailer for the upcoming sci-fi drama starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Naomie Harris is out.
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