Marvel fans were shocked last month by the news that Daredevil had been cancelled after three seasons, and it sounds like those working behind-the-scenes were just as surprised.
Amy Rutberg, who played Marci Stahl on Daredevil and The Defenders, recently told Inverse that she believes the cancellation was brought on by Netflix, as everyone she'd talked to on the Marvel side of things was taken off guard by the news.
“My contacts at Marvel were very surprised,” Rutberg revealed. “Any of the rumors that it was a Marvel decision are wrong, I think it was purely a Netflix decision. That comes from personal conversations with people high up at Marvel. They were surprised.”
Rutberg isn't the only Daredevil cast member to express this sort of sentiment, with stars Vincent D'onofrio and Charlie Cox both hinting that they'd assumed they'd return for another season.
"A lot of us really expected to keep going, and I certainly did," Cox revealed in a recent interview. "The truth is, I felt like we had a lot of stories to tell, and although I understand [the cancellation], I’m very saddened by that. It’s just how business works. But also, these characters mean a lot to people. It’s weird to think there’s a chance I won’t be playing Matt Murdock ever again. That’s a bizarre feeling, because that character has been such a huge part of my life for the last four and a half years."
As Daredevil's crew have hinted several times since the cancellation first happened, the fourth season was essentially planned out already, which certainly would support the sentiment that Marvel wasn't the one who ultimately made the decision.
“Marvel’s Daredevil will not return for a fourth season on Netflix,” Netflix said in a statement when the series was cancelled. “We are tremendously proud of the show’s last and final season and although it’s painful for the fans, we feel it best to close this chapter on a high note. We’re thankful to showrunner Erik Oleson, the show’s writers, stellar crew and incredible cast including Charlie Cox as Daredevil himself, and we’re grateful to the fans who have supported the show over the years. While the series on Netflix has ended, the three existing seasons will remain on the service for years to come, while the Daredevil character will live on in future projects for Marvel.”
As the initial report about the cancellation explained, the move "[came] amid strained relations" between Netflix and Marvel TV, which were reportedly kicked off by Luke Cage's surprise cancellation. The report also sites "creative differences" between the two companies, particularly through a financial standpoint. Considering how costly the Marvel shows are to make - and the fact that Netflix doesn't technically own the properties - the series have been expected to overperform in viewership. But considering the slew of new Netflix originals popping up in any given week, it sounds like that might not have been as feasible as it was when Daredevil first premiered in 2013.