Daredevil: Born Again will be wildly different from the Netflix series
The Disney+ reboot of the beloved Netflix superhero series will still be dark, but will likely be less gory and more MCU-y.
There appears to be a 180-degree tonal shift between Netflix’s version of Daredevil and Disney+’s version, or at least that’s what She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is leading fans to believe.
On Netflix, Matt Murdock spent less time in the courtroom and more time bleeding in grimy hallways. But on Disney+’s She-Hulk, he takes on a legal case involving the B-list superhero Frog-Man, employing his charisma in both court and the bedroom with Jennifer Walters.
Some fans were delighted to see Daredevil flirt and quip, while others were simply satisfied with the return of their beloved superhero after a five-year absence. But there is a concern that Daredevil might be getting too much of the MCU treatment. Will the character, who has some of the most haunting storylines ever inked for Marvel Comics, still be taken seriously? Or will the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen be relegated to a jester in a mustard-and-ketchup suit?
Actor Charlie Cox may have answered some of our most pressing questions about the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again reboot.
In an interview with NME Magazine, Cox said he’s excited about exploring a version of the character that audiences haven’t seen yet. “This has to be a reincarnation, it has to be different, otherwise why are we doing it?” he said. He also assured fans that, although his cameo in the penultimate episode of She-Hulk shows him being quick-witted and carefree rather than pummeling goons into pulp, Disney+ will still keep things “dark.”
“My opinion is this character works best when he’s geared towards a slightly more mature audience. My instinct is that on Disney+ it will be dark, but it probably won’t be gory... Let’s take the things that really worked, but can we broaden? Can we appeal to a slightly younger audience without losing what we’ve learned about what works?”
Disney+ could use courtroom drama to ensure things aren’t too sanguinary for the youths while still remaining intense enough to appeal to adult fans. Cox confirmed as much in another interview with GQ UK, where the actor said he’s “heavily focused” on researching the attorney aspect of his character, which went largely unexplored in his previous series.
More courtroom scenes would leave less time for Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) to bash heads in, but will Born Again be a legal drama in the way that She-Hulk: Attorney at Law dubiously claimed it was? Will Matt Murdock’s legal counsel be full of wisecracks? Diving more into Daredevil’s comic book past could give us a better idea of what a darker courtroom drama could look like.
Readers of Daredevil’s many comic books know that Matt Murdock has had consistently well-written, thought-provoking storylines throughout the decades. Rather than getting wrapped up in expansive super-team capers, he’s nearly always a noir, street-level crime fighter. He’s not as flashy as Iron Man or Captain America, but he’s consistently compelling and surprisingly funny.
The Netflix show decided to do away with Daredevil’s occasional silliness, likely to fit consumer tastes at a time dominated by Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. The man can tell jokes, although the worst thing that could happen to Daredevil’s on-screen legacy would be to give him the Thor treatment and turn him into a quipping himbo. Still, his comic past proves that Daredevil can explore his dark side while still finding time to crack a few jokes. We don’t need all bleakness or all zaniness — Disney+ can and should find a balance, and keep his stories confined to a smaller scale when doing so.
Cox noted in his NME interview that shooting starts in February 2023, so it will be a while until fans see him either use his signature billy clubs to choke enemies out, or just taunt his foes with a fresh set of zingers. Hopefully there will be a good mix of both.
Daredevil: Born Again prowls Disney+ sometime in Spring 2024.