Movie Reviews

Let’s Be Honest. Is There Any Real Reason Not To #SaveDaredevil? | Column from the Editor

As Netflix’s moratorium on their critically-acclaimed “Daredevil” show has come to a close, Marvel is now free to adapt the character as they please, and the #SaveDaredevil hashtag has picked up steam, as hundreds of thousands of fans want Marvel to continue on in some form with the same cast, whether this be a “Daredevil” Season 4 on Hulu or Disney Plus, or integrating them in other MCU properties.

Let’s be honest, what is the real alternative to giving fans what they want? Netflix’s Daredevil was a breakout show that consistently got better, and arguably had the best live action versions of Matt Murdock/Daredevil in Charlie Cox and the definitive live action version of Kingpin in Vincent D’Onofrio. It also introduced the best live action version of The Punisher by casting Joe Bernthal, who would later be so popular he’d get his own show. And it had an excellent supporting cast. To top it off, “Daredevil” was written to be loosely compatible with the MCU, though the films didn’t necessarily reciprocate the favor, forcing Marvel Television to write around the films rather than the two coordinating around each other.

What would Marvel gain by declaring Daredevil — and all the Netflix shows attached to it — non-canon, and starting over? Who would play Matt Murdock, and would Marvel have any reasonable hopes that they would be better than Charlie Cox? I honestly don’t think anybody can be a better Kingpin than D’Onofrio; sometimes an actor just nails a role so hard that their portrayal is considered the definitive version of that character, and D’Onofrio has earned that distinction.

For the sake of argument, let’s say Marvel decides to reboot Daredevil for either a future film or television show, both of which would anger fans and would be more costly than continuing the story with the existing cast. They recast everyone, and their choices are OK. The film/show is average for the MCU, and most likely would be burdened by being an origin story. Do you think this version of Daredevil has the potential to be greater than the Cox/D’Onofrio Netflix version? I sincerely don’t think it would be, because topping the Cox/D’Onofrio “Daredevil” show would be a tall order.

I think it’s far more likely that Marvel makes a soft reboot of “Daredevil” with its existing cast, especially if they cross over to the film universe, in a way in which all of his Netflix adventures still happened, but Cox’s version of the character can still be introduced to new audiences.

There just seems to be more at-risk and less to gain to reboot “Daredevil” than to continue on with the people they already have. It’s a great example of something you shouldn’t try to fix unless it’s broken.

Maybe I’m wrong, and Marvel has some great alternative than saving the current “Daredevil” cast. But right now, I’m at a loss as to why they would. The best I can come up with are vague corporate non-answers like they need to reboot “Daredevil” to be more “on brand” or that they don’t want to confuse audiences. But the fact of the matter is, when you have an acclaimed show like “Daredevil” on your hands, you don’t let technicalities or market research kill it; you fight for it. And if you don’t, you’re likely to produce an inferior product.

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