Netflix cancelled Marvel series Daredevil Thursday, leaving fans furious but hopeful Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) will make the leap to the big screen side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The blind lawyer-slash-vigilante could potentially appear alongside spy-turned-Avenger Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Murdock’s once lover and partner in the Marvel comic books, who will soon headline her first solo film under director Cate Shortland (Lore, Berlin Syndrome) and writer Jac Schaeffer (Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, The Hustle).
Disney-owned Marvel echoed that comment in its own statement released in the wake of the cancellation, saying it was looking forward to “more adventures with the Man without Fear in the future.”
Cox is contractually obligated to appear in movies if tapped, remarking at a Netflix event in 2016 he’s signed on for multiple years of Daredevil and since cancelled team-up limited series The Defenders as part of a package that includes “the opportunity to be involved in the movies.”
As reported by Deadline Friday, sources pegged a Marvel Studios-produced Daredevil movie as “unlikely,” while television industry insider and expert Alan Sepinwall argued the Marvel-Netflix shows are “done” for good and aren’t likely to be resurrected on Disney premiere streaming service Disney+ because “the nature of the contracts would make it virtually impossible.”
If Daredevil and the cancelled Iron Fist and Luke Cage were revived by Disney, Sepinwall argued, the series would be “starting over from scratch creatively” under Disney.
It was Netflix, not Disney, who pulled the plug on the Marvel-Netflix shows, and Cox’s comments on his contractual duties suggests Marvel Studios could use that iteration of the character in the movies, should they so choose.
Cox has lobbied for Daredevil teaming with Black Widow — either on the small screen or on the big screen — saying in May such a team up “would be cool.”
“But the thing is, I can’t speculate. Because when I speculate, someone then changes that into ‘oh, this is happening.’ And then I get a call from my boss being like, ‘Why are you telling people this?’” Cox said during a Q&A at Comicpalooza.
“But you know, there’s some pretty cool, iconic characters from the DD world that I’m hoping are gonna show up at some point, you know, if we continue to do the show. Yeah, we’ll see!”
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is open to the TV characters appearing in the movies, saying in 2016 such a crossover “all depends on timing.”
Avengers: Infinity War screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely considered including the Netflix heroes in the superhero crossover epic, but McFeely said having the small screen heroes appear would be little more than “a glorified cameo.”
“We're trying to honor the MCU movies and if we then further tell the audience, 'Oh, you should also have a good knowledge from this streaming service over here that you may or may not be subscribing to,’ that's really asking a lot,” McFeely told Collider. “We're already asking a lot.”
Daredevil first encountered Black Widow in 1971’s Daredevil #81, subsequently becoming romantically entangled and relocating to San Francisco in Daredevil #86 and #87.
Daredevil’s solo series was retitled Daredevil and the Black Widow starting at issue #92, carrying that team-up title until issue #107. Black Widow, feeling like a sidekick and wanting to resume her solo career, brought an end to the romance and her co-star status in 1975’s Daredevil #124.2comments
Black Widow and Daredevil’s lengthy comic book history makes the biggest argument for Murdock appearing in a potential future Black Widow sequel, but the character isn’t likely to be involved in Natasha’s first solo outing, rumored for release in 2020:
In July, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige told ComicBook.com he “[hasn’t] heard” rumors Daredevil would be appearing in Black Widow, and the film’s reported 2006 setting effectively precludes Daredevil, who wouldn’t become an active vigilante until 2015.