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'Daredevil' TV rights officially return to Marvel: now what?

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‘Daredevil’ TV rights officially return to Marvel: now what?

The rights to Daredevil return to Marvel from Netflix, ending a 2-year moratorium on the character appearing in the MCU.

As of today, the rights to Daredevil have officially reverted from Netflix back to Marvel/Disney.

Despite the series being immensely popular (and really good), Netflix canceled Daredevil in 2018 after three seasons–primarily as part of an effort to focus on properties they have full ownership over. According to Bruce Haring at Deadline.com, the contract between Netflix and Disney prohibited the character’s use for two years. After that time, Daredevil’s film and television rights would also return to them.

So what will happen next?

Daredevil

Netflix

First off, it’s important to keep in mind that just because Marvel has the rights to Daredevil doesn’t mean they feel inclined to use the character in any of their upcoming projects. It’s also worth noting that if Marvel/Disney did want to bring back old Hornhead, it would likely be a reboot with a production team they put in place (even though the entire fourth season of the Netflix series was already planned out).

Paul Tassi at Forbes also noted a few other issues that would make Disney bringing back the series a more difficult task than most fans realize. Those issues include:

  • Most of the props and costumes have already been dismantled or auctioned for charity.
  • The show might be too R-rated for Disney+
  • Many of the actors have already moved on to other projects.

Thankfully, those last three items can be still be remedied.

Daredevil

Netflix

As far as the props and costumes are concerned, that’s nothing a chunk of Disney cash can’t replicate and/or replace. Considering how well-received the show was, Disney would likely be agreeable to making a relatively small investment in a show with a built-in audience.

Regrading the series’ R-rated tone, it could always be released on Hulu instead of the more family-oriented Disney+. Disney’s long-range plans already include a large expansion of their content on that particular streaming service. An MCU-adjacent series that pushes past the standard PG-13 rating would be a perfect fit there.

Then we come to the show’s cast, some of whom are just as passionate about saving Daredevil as the fans–including the Kingpin himself. Vincent D’Onofrio (arguably the busiest of the main cast right now) recently urged fans to sign a petition as part of the #SaveDaredevil campaign on social media.

Amy Rutberg, who portrayed Marci Stahl, also tweeted her support.

Deborah Ann Woll, who played Karen Page, has been open about her disappointment over Daredevil’s cancelation. Woll also revealed in an interview with Joe Quesada that she’s struggled to find roles since her last appearance as Karen Page–which absolutely blows my mind. The woman is a phenomenal actress who owns every scene she appears in.

Like her, I have no idea why Woll hasn’t been cast in more projects since her time on Daredevil and Punisher came to an end. If there’s a silver lining, however, it’s that she’d be available to reprise her role if the series is revived (that wouldn’t be the same at all without her).

'Daredevil' TV rights officially return to Marvel: now what?

The most important returning cast member would be Charlie Cox, who did a fantastic job portraying Matt Murdock/Daredevil. Although he’s not active on social media, Cox already threw his support behind the #SaveDaredevil campaign in a pre-COVID panel at ACE Comic Con, stating:

“I found out the other day there’s this petition, #SaveDarevil. You can sign it. Sign it!”

He’s also shown his support and fondness for the franchise in other ways. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Daredevil showrunner Erik Oleson tweeted a video of Cox donning his cowl before settling in to rewatch the series’ first season.

So does any of this translate to the Daredevil series we all know and love getting another chance? It might seem realistic to say no, but much lesser television series have been brought back thanks to fan campaigns. Considering all the support that #SaveDaredevil has, it’s certainly not crazy to hope it happens for this one.

If you’d like to join in on the campaign, go SaveDaredevil.com for updated information or follow the #SaveDaredevil hashtag on social media.

'Daredevil' TV rights officially return to Marvel: now what?

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