By now, you’ve likely heard that Daredevil is going to have more time on the small screen. Yep, Marvel is bringing back Daredevil for Disney+. But why now, after the first Netflix Daredevil series was canceled in 2019? Is the show going to be a continuation, or is this a brand-new project?
Let’s go over everything we know so far about the new Daredevil series happening for Disney+!
Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil
Originally created by Drew Goddard for Netflix, Daredevil was the first of Marvel’s Netflix TV series. The show starred Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who fights crime as the masked vigilante Daredevil by night.
This is not the first live-action adaptation we have seen of Daredevil. Back in 2003 – aka the pre-MCU days – Ben Affleck starred as the blind lawyer who fights for justice in the courtroom by day, and in the streets as a masked vigilante by night. To say the film garnered mixed reviews is to put it nicely. It’s definitely one of the worst pre-MCU comic book movies.
Netflix’s Daredevil is leaps and bounds above that. In fact, you could say it was one of the best Marvel TV shows out there.
Unfortunately for fans, the Marvel Netflix series were canceled by 2019. Despite boosting viewership for the streaming giant, Marvel’s parent company Disney had been working on their own branded streaming service. And while the Marvel Netflix shows were branded as “Netflix Originals” to viewers, they were actually just licensed out to the streaming service from Disney.
With the launch of Disney+, they no longer needed Netflix – who was now their direct competition. Streaming wars in full effect! And understandably, Disney was ready to move their popular Marvel properties away from the competition.
There was a catch, though, and it’s why we didn’t see Daredevil and other Marvel Netflix series on Disney+ for a while.
Although Disney holds the rights to Marvel, there was a contract in place that prevented any of Netflix’s Marvel stuff from appearing elsewhere. That meant the shows, and even the characters themselves. The contract kept this all in place for at least two years after the series’ cancellations.
For those two years, shows like Jessica Jones, The Defenders, and, of course, Daredevil, were still available on Netflix. And these characters could not appear in any non-Netflix projects during this time, even though Disney technically owns them.
Daredevil Actors Have Reprised Their Roles in MCU Projects
Those two years have been up, though. Fans were finally able to catch Charlie Cox reprising his role as Matt Murdock when he showed up in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Not only is this important because it marks the end of Netflix’s contract, but it also officially brings Murdock/Daredevil into the MCU.
Cox’s portrayal of Daredevil isn’t the only post-Netflix cameo. Vincent D’Onofrio came back as Kingpin, too. D’Onofrio reprised his acclaimed role in the Marvel TV series Hawkeye. This made D’Onofrio’s Kingpin officially part of the MCU, too.
Disney bringing back both of these actors from the Netflix series started spawning tons of rumors. Why would Disney bother dropping these characters back into new projects, if they weren’t planning to use them in a new project? After all, they could have just used another character or created a new one entirely.
All of sudden, fans were excited again. With Cox and D’Onofrio back in play, surely we would see more Daredevil.
As it turns out, all that speculation was rooted in some truth.
Netflix’s Marvel Series Have Moved to Disney+
Before we dive into the deets on what we know about the new Daredevil series, I should mention that Daredevil (along with other Marvel Netflix series) is now streaming on Disney+.
After that contract expired and the rights reverted back to Marvel’s parent company, the good ol’ House of Mouse, they took full advantage. The Marvel Netflix shows took a darker tone than the strictly Disney and Marvel projects, so many assumed that once they went back to Disney, they would actually send them over to Hulu. (Hulu is owned by Disney, for anyone that hasn’t figured that out yet.) That’s because Disney has notoriously kept Disney+ full of sunshine and rainbows. Well, it’s at least pretty much kid-friendly.
Daredevil, The Defenders, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Punisher all feature R-rated content. The darker, more adult tone and content from the Netflix side of Marvel shows made it easy to assume they wouldn’t end up on Disney+. But surprise! Disney decided they wanted to keep all that Marvel show goodness to themselves. Not only did they opt to put it on their own branded streaming service, but they rolled out new parental controls to go with it.
No, I’m serious. Disney straight up introduced parental controls on Disney+ just so they could bring those series to the streaming service. Parents were super angry for like, five minutes before they found something else to complain about.
The New Daredevil Series
Okay, so on to the good stuff. Daredevil seasons 1 through 3 are currently on Disney+ for you to watch right now at this very moment.
BUT… If you’re ready for more Matt Murdock fighting in the courtroom by day and Daredevil fighting crime in the streets by night, then get hyped! It’s not just a rumor: The new Daredevil show for Disney+ is really happening. The Man Without Fear is about to get more screen time!
The new series is reportedly already in the early stages of development. Matt Corman and Chris Ord from Covert Affairs are set to write and executive produce the new Daredevil project.
It is currently unclear whether Charlie Cox is returning to play Murdock/Daredevil. However, I think it’s safe to assume at this point that he will. We already saw him reprise the role for Spider-Man: No Way Home. That, paired with the fact that Cox is a fan favorite, makes the choice a no-brainer. It would seem absurd for Disney not to bring him into this project, as well.
Okay, But Is the New Daredevil a Reboot?
What can we expect from the new Daredevil project? Well, unlike some other recent projects, it looks like the new Daredevil might not be so new after all. In fact, Disney might be gearing up to produce a continuation of the previous series.
Most of the speculation is pointing to a continuation rather than a reboot. After all, the new project will be produced for Disney+, where the first three seasons have just taken up residence. Continuing the series, rather than trying to redo it, seems like the logical choice. According to The Hollywood Reporter, inside sources claim that Daredevil will be “the first of the Netflix Marvel shows to get a new but continued series.”
Season 3 of Daredevil left plenty open to be explored, but any storylines are completely unknown at this point. We’re kind of just stabbing in the dark, here. However, if those inside sources are correct, the new Daredevil project should pick up right where season three left off.
Will Daredevil Stay Dark?
As I already mentioned, the Marvel series on Netflix had a notably darker tone and more adult-oriented content. This isn’t exactly what Disney has been known for. In fact, many projects have been relegated to Disney’s other companies (all under the same umbrella) to help keep that Disney image squeaky clean.
Don’t believe me? Touchstone Pictures was a film distribution label that was created and owned by the Walt Disney Company. Its sole purpose was to exist as a separate movie label for more adult content. They brought us movies like Splash, Pretty Woman, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Armageddon.
It’s still all Disney, though.
However, with Disney’s rollout of parental controls on Disney+, it looks like the House of Mouse might be serious about keeping the more mature content. After all, why would they bother putting in all that effort (and money) if they didn’t have a bigger goal? It’s probably safe to assume that the new season of Daredevil will stay mostly on-brand.
When and Where We Can Watch Daredevil
The new Daredevil project is undoubtedly coming to Disney+. They already have the parental controls set up, and they have already added the first three seasons of the series.
When we think about an expected debut, though, it starts to get a little foggy. So far, Disney, Marvel, Matt Corman, Chris Ord, and even Charlie Cox have all stayed mum. Without official statements, we’re kind of just assuming at this point.
In any case, it is safe to assume that the show is in the beginning phases of development. We know that Corman and Ord have been brought in to write and executive produce, but there hasn’t been any word on anything else.
This leaves us looking at a likely debut in 2024. While it is possible we may see season four of Daredevil hit Disney+ in 2023, that feels like a long shot. Especially when you consider how many projects Disney already has going on at the moment.
It will be interesting to see if Daredevil opens the floodgates for more of Netflix’s Marvel series. All of the other shows have been moved to Disney+ alongside Daredevil, so it doesn’t seem too far-fetched. I, for one, would be over the moon to see Krysten Ritter return for another season of Jessica Jones.