RUMOR: Daredevil: Born Again Will Uphold Netflix Canon
If a new rumor is to be believed, Marvel Studios' upcoming Disney+ original series Daredevil: Born Again will officially cement Netflix's Daredevil as Marvel Cinematic Universe canon.
According to Marvel scooper CanWeGetSomeToast, Marvel Studios' upcoming Disney+ series Echo -- a spinoff of Hawkeye in which Daredevil is expected to feature prominently -- has something that will "point to [Netflix's] Daredevil (at least Season 1) being canon to the MCU." CanWeGetSomeToast followed up on their own report, writing, "Actually got some clarification on this. It points to ALL of Daredevil being canon to the MCU. Nice." Jack McBryan, co-founder of The Direct, corroborated CanWeGetSomeToast's report, as well as added some additional details pertaining to Daredevil: Born Again. "I have heard about a plot element in Born Again that directly refers to something that happened in Season 1 of Daredevil," McBryan wrote. "Not like a surface level general DD thing, but a very specific event that happened in Season 1. Things are looking good for the canon crowd."
Marvel-Netflix's Estranged Relationship With MCU Canon
The acclaimed Marvel's Daredevil originally premiered on Netflix in 2015 as the first in a lineup of street-level superhero series that would ostensibly be part of the larger MCU. Daredevil was followed on Netflix by Marvel's Jessica Jones, Marvel's Luke Cage, Marvel's Iron Fist and the crossover limited series Marvel's The Defenders. Daredevil also spawned a direct spinoff in the form of Marvel's The Punisher. However, Marvel Studios' main MCU films and Marvel Television's MCU-adjacent shows had something of a strained relationship continuity-wise, especially towards the end of Marvel Television's existence, leading fans to wonder if the small screen offerings were still considered canon.
Complicating matters was the fact that after Netflix canceled its entire lineup of Marvel shows in 2018 and 2019, the characters featured within them entered a state of legal limbo for about two years. What's more, Marvel Television productions -- Netflix or otherwise -- were never showcased alongside Marvel Studios' films as part of the MCU's various "Phases" to begin with. Marvel Studios, of course, eventually began producing its own MCU shows and specials for Disney+, which are showcased alongside the films and tie into them far more closely than the old Marvel Television shows did.
Daredevil Returns to/Joins the MCU
Nevertheless, Daredevil eventually entered the MCU proper, with Marvel's Daredevil lead Charlie Cox reprising his role as Matt Murdock in the film Spider-Man: No Way Home in December 2021. That same month, Cox's Daredevil co-star Vincent D'Onofrio reprised his role as the villainous Wilson Fisk/Kingpin in the MCU-set Disney+ series Hawkeye. Cox later suited up as the Man Without Fear for fellow MCU/Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law in 2022.
As previously alluded to, both Cox and D'Onofrio are reportedly slated to reprise their respective roles again in Echo, a spinoff of Hawkeye that is expected to premiere on Disney+ in either late 2023 or early 2024. Then, of course, Cox and D'Onofrio are confirmed to be leading the charge in Born Again, which is targeting a spring 2024 release. The Daredevil reboot series will also reportedly feature the return of fellow Marvel-Netflix alum Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle/the Punisher. Cox's Daredevil co-leads Deborah Ann Woll and Elden Henson, on the other hand, are conspicuously absent from Born Again's cast list. Additionally, the role of Vanessa Fisk has been recast.
All of this is to say that despite the return of Cox's Daredevil and D'Onofrio's Kingpin, the question of whether or not their Netflix series is still 100 percent canon has continued to linger, especially given perceived tweaks to the characters (e.g. Kingpin's power level) since their re-emergence. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has also made it clear that Born Again is the beginning of a brand-new story, rather than a direct continuation of Netflix's Daredevil. And while D'Onofrio has remained adamant that he's playing the same version of Kingpin he did on Netflix, Cox isn't so sure (though he plans to play the character exactly the same way regardless). Marvel Studios itself has also been hesitant to definitively state whether or not the Netflix's Daredevil is MCU canon. Given the new rumors, however, it seems as though fans may finally get the answer they've been waiting for before too long.
Marvel Studios' Daredevil: Born Again is currently slated to premiere on Disney+ in spring 2024.