One of Marvel's premiere superheroes who finally got the spotlight he deserved through the critically acclaimed Netflix series, is now in limbo.
There are not many superheroes as unique and layered as a blind lawyer by day, crime fighter by night, Matt Murdock a.k.a. "Daredevil: The Man Without Fear". After being a staple character in Marvel Comics for several decades, Daredevil received his first shot at big screen recognition in 2003 with actor Ben Affleck as the title character.
The film performed fairly well at the box office with a $179 million worldwide gross, but ultimately failing to resonate with critics and audiences. Following the critical failure of Ben Affleck's "Daredevil" and its spin-off "Elektra" starring Affleck's then-wife Jennifer Garner, the character was put on the shelf for years until the film rights eventually lapsed back to Marvel/Disney from 20th Century Fox.
Rather than receiving another film, "Daredevil" was instead shipped to the television side of Marvel, and the rest is history. Netflix's "Daredevil" became an almost overnight success with its acting, fight choreography, complex storylines, and faithfulness to the source material. But just as the show had premiered its acclaimed third season, "Daredevil" was prematurely canceled with no guarantee of renewal on any other streaming service or network.
Daredevil offers a different side to the Marvel Universe in that he is an everyday man with a disability who has enhanced senses, fighting street crime in Hell's Kitchen. There may not be a place for "The Man Without Fear" in Marvel's already stacked (though currently not officially announced) slate following "Avengers Endgame", especially with more superheroes like the X-Men and Fantastic Four now back in the fold.
Not only that, but it would be difficult to mesh the grounded nature of Daredevil's character with the more family-friendly Marvel Studios films. However, in the Marvel films, there has not been any need for a lawyer that represents superheroes. Considering all the destruction and damage the heroes cause, they may need one soon. Matt Murdock can be easy in to explore that aspect of the character the Netflix series was not able to utilize to its full extent.
A Marvel mainstay character that would be a natural fit to bring Daredevil into the larger Marvel world is another famous New York defender: Spider-Man (Tom Holland). Spider-Man and Daredevil have had a close relationship in the comics for years, sharing a common foe in crime boss Wilson Fisk/The Kingpin, as well as being ordinary men doing what they can for their city.
It's great seeing Spidey team up with The Avengers in the films for the first time, but it'd be even better to see Tom Holland's young naive version of the character side by side with another grounded hero in New York who has a little more hard edge that can show him show off the things like corrupt cops, drug trafficking, and gang wars that take place in the city, while The Avengers deal with aliens.
He's not bulletproof, he can't climb walls, and he doesn't have enhanced strength. Murdock is just a blind man doing his very best in a world of superpowers and super beings. Aside from Spider-Man and Ant-Man, Marvel Studios has not really touched on the street level aspect of the superhero world. That is what makes Daredevil's team-ups with heroes like The Avengers in the comics so memorable.
He is an everyday man fighting adversaries that massively outclass him.
Daredevil has always been one of my favorite superheroes from Marvel or DC, so I'm hopeful that the character will return in some way, shape, or form in live action.