Between the arrival of Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock in Spider-Man: No Way Home and the much-ballyhooed transition of Netflix’s Daredevil TV series to Disney+ later this month, there’s been a lot of discussion about how the tortured, gritty Man Without Fear might be forced to change in the somewhat more family-friendly Marvel Cinematic Universe. But there’s one person who isn’t worried about the MCU era of Daredevil, and that’s star Charlie Cox.
Basically, Cox trusts Marvel Studios and its head honcho Kevin Feige to thread the needle between the darker tone of the original TV series and the lighter tone of the MCU. As the actor told ComicBook.com: “I wouldn’t put it past the folks at Marvel to be able to accomplish that. I’m such a fan of everything they’ve done so far, I wouldn’t underestimate them at all. So if they wanted to make a more PG version of Daredevil, I back them to find a way to do where it feels totally in keeping with everything we’ve done [on the show]. And maybe there’s a little less blood, maybe there’s a little whatever, but I back them to do it.”
Daredevil was rated TV-MA on Netflix for profanity and its copious amounts of violence, while Marvel’s Disney+ fare—Loki, Hawkeye, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, as well as the last few episodes of WandaVision—have all been rated TV-14 for their level of profanity and violence. If you’ve seen The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, you know these shows can still get plenty graphic with their violence, so it should take very, very little toning down of naughty words and visible blood to bring Daredevil and the other Netflix/Marvel TV series to Disney+ standards.
Cox knows what sets Daredevil apart isn’t how much blood is shown, it’s the maturity of the character and the tragedy of his stories: “I guess what you can’t deny is Daredevil is never going to work as well in a PG world as Spider-Man does. Do you know what I mean? That’s [Daredevil’s] point. I think that the age of the character, the Christian guilt, his history with women and stuff, it’s like it’s a little bit more mature, it has to be.”
I’d argue what also helps keep Daredevil more “mature” than his shield-flinging, web-slinging compatriots is that he’s long been considered one of Marvel’s “street-level” superheroes, fighting to protect the small section of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen as opposed to the entirety of the universe. Then again, Daredevil did stop a bunch of ninjas from extracting an elixir of immortality locked inside a dragon skeleton buried under Manhattan in Defenders, so this is hardly a hard and fast rule.
If you want to see what a new Daredevil TV series could look like on Disney+, you should probably watch Moon Knight, which debuts on March 30. The two heroes have long been considered equivalent in tone, drama, and tragedy, so if Marvel can make Moon Knight work, bringing back Daredevil should be a breeze. But before that, you can rewatch Daredevil, Defenders, and the other Netflix/Marvel shows when they come to Disney+ on March 16.
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