Why You Didn't See More Matt Murdock in Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spider-Man screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers make the case explaining why Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) only cameos as a "really good lawyer" in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Cox reprises his Marvel's Daredevil role as the blind attorney from Hell's Kitchen, appearing as counsel for an outed Peter Parker (Tom Holland) framed for murdering Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) in the final moments of Far From Home. Murdock, who has his own secret identity moonlighting as the Man Without Fear, clears up Spider-Man's legal troubles — but closes the case before Multiversal supervillains threaten to destroy the fabric of reality. The villains are defeated and returned home with the help of Spider-Men (Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield) from other universes, but Daredevil doesn't show.

In a new interview on the podcast The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith, McKenna and Sommers said there was "absolutely" talk of having Cox's horn-headed superhero make more than a cameo in his return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

"That was the challenge with this movie: bringing all these other characters in," Sommers said. "We love these characters, and you would love to see them do all kinds of stuff, but the question is, what is there room for? I could watch any of these characters we brought in just do a whole other movie by themselves or in some various combination, but we have to, ultimately, service the story of our Peter Parker and our Spider-Man, no matter how tempting it is."

Along with reviving Cox's Matt Murdock for the first time since 2018, No Way Home blends three generations of Spider-Man movies when a spell cast by Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) unwittingly unleashes a Multiverse of returned villains. From the Raimi-verse, the Green Goblin (Spider-Man's Willem Dafoe), Doctor Octopus (Spider-Man 2's Alfred Molina), Sandman (Spider-Man 3's Thomas Haden Church); from the Webb-verse, The Lizard (The Amazing Spider-Man's Rhys Ifans) and Electro (The Amazing Spider-Man 2's Jamie Foxx). 

"We had so many ideas come up in the room of, 'Wouldn't it be cool if this guy does that, and these two meet and do that...?' There's just so many exciting permutations now that we're playing in this sandbox," Sommers said. "At the end of the day, there was only so much we could do. We didn't want to do things that would distract from the story of our Peter and our Spider-Man. So absolutely, once we knew we were gonna have Matt Murdock, it's like, 'He could do this, he could do that, that would be so cool, wouldn't that be great?'"

"But ultimately," Sommers added, "we always had to pull back on a lot of things to just make sure we maintained our focus." 

An exchange between Murdock and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) may have hinted at Cox's return in Disney+'s Armor Wars, and online rumors claim Murdock is on the docket to appear in Marvel's upcoming superhero legal comedy She-Hulk

Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing exclusively in theaters and will soon be available to own on digital