Fans Slam Marvel’s Latest Decision to Axe ‘Daredevil’ Cast

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daredevil charlie cox

Credit: Marvel Studios/Netflix

The announcement by Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige of a brand-new, 18-episode Daredevil series  San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) 2022. Continuing on in some ways from Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) much-loved and critically adored Netflix Marvel show, Drew Goddard-helmed Daredevil (2015), after The Walt Disney Company’s venture into the world of streaming. The new iteration of Daredevil will now be exclusive to Disney+, and titled Daredevil: Born Again.

Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil
Credit: Marvel Studios

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First, fans were treated to Matt Murdock/Daredevil’s (Charlie Cox) theatrical debut in Spider-Man: No Way Home (2022), helping out one Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) with legal troubles. Most recently, however, blind lawyer-slash-vigilante Matt Murdock/Daredevil has enjoyed a more substantial appearance in an episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022) — absolutely one of the most highly anticipated crossovers for Marvel fans who love the original Netflix Daredevil show.

What is Kevin Feige’s plan for Daredevil?

Daredevil (L) and Jennifer Walters (R)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Kevin Feige has seriously ambitious plans for the the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen in the MCU moving forward. He’s made clear distinctions between the “supernatural” and “cosmic-level” groups of superheroes, and has indicated that there’s another key group — the “street-level” team. Charlie Cox’s Daredevil/Matt Murdock has been highlighted to lead the “street-level” heroes, alongside Tom Holland’s Spider-Man/Peter Parker. His story was meant to be expanded in Born Again with a story involving Jon Bernthal’s Punisher/Frank Castle and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin/Wilson Fisk — but now that story might no longer be what fans had hoped for.

What happened to the Daredevil: Born Again cast?

Daredevil Season 3 Foggy Nelson Holding Up New Napkin Reading Nelson Murdock and Page
Credit: Marvel Studios / Netflix

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Now, fans hot off the latest Daredevil appearance in She-Hulk, are beginning to question Daredevil’s future in the MCU — and the future of his best friends in the original TV show, Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) and Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) — whom last we heard, had set up a brand-new law firm of their own in Hell’s Kitchen, New York with Matt Murdock, called Nelson, Murdock and Page. The Daredevil: Born Again casting has been the subject of much debate recently, as the announcement that beloved characters Karen Page and Foggy Nelson would not likely be returning to Born Again has caused ripples in fan spaces.

Why is Marvel in trouble for their Daredevil: Born Again decision?

Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock (left) and Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page (right)
Credit: Marvel Studios

The absence of Karen and Foggy means a lot more for the MCU as a whole — it’s not really about two characters being missing from one television series. In fact, the implication is that Marvel is deliberately choosing to focus less on “non-powered” individuals, and more on the big and bold “powered” superheroes. The stories and character development of Karen Page the paralegal-turned-investigative journalist, and best friend forever Foggy Nelson has always been central to the original 2015 Daredevil series, with the central conflict of the entire series be Matt Murdock’s struggle against true justice and the law. They may not have been superheroes, but they were importantly equals to Daredevil — and frankly, heroes in their own right.

As insider @CanWeGetToast comments on the MCU’s growing issue stating that “if everyone in the movie is extraordinary, it becomes ordinary”:

This thread became even MORE relevant after the news of Karen and Foggy’s apparent absence from #DaredevilBornAgain.

TLDR: Non powered side characters are IMPORTANT. “If everyone in the movie is extraordinary, it becomes ordinary.“

Quote tweeted is Gail Simone’s original tweet, complaining about the fact that “relatable” characters are being consistently removed from stories about superheroes:

Okay, here is a theory that has some holes in it, but here we go. One of my biggest complaints about modern superhero stories is, especially from some newer writers, that they have downplayed the role of non-powered, relatable background characters. 1/

Continuing, Simone adds:

If a book is just Spider-Man vs. Carnage and that’s it, how long does that keep a reader’s attention? We know Spider-Man isn’t going to die, he is unlikely to lose. The stakes need to come from somewhere.
(continued) For DECADES, much of the drama of Superman came from the cast of the Daily Planet. Spider-Man had his most devoted following when Aunt May and MJ and Harry were prominent. It gave context, it gave a reason for Spider-Man to care.

It’s a definite issue, as superheroes are merely people at the heart of things. By removing relatability, Marvel is removing a level of “humanness” (even if the characters are not strictly “human”) from the movies and characters. At the heart of it, Iron Man was only a ever single, human man cloaked in technology of his own making. And it doesn’t bode well for MCU’s future, if the preoccupation with “bigger and better” turns into “everything becomes the same”. As Syndrome from Disney’s own The Incredibles (2003) states — “when everyone’s Super… no one will be”.

What do you think about Daredevil’s axed cast? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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