Daredevil: Born Again is Officially Replicating the MCU's Worst Trend
Is less more? We’re about to find out.
Daredevil: Born Again is supposed to be a quite literal rebirth of street-level MCU action. After the hit Netflix series ended in 2018, the Disney+ reboot looks to replicate its critically acclaimed feel while also officially bringing the hero into the modern MCU fold.
Unfortunately, one of the MCU’s most disappointing trends will carry over into this new series, so Daredevil isn’t quite getting a fresh start.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, one of the casualties of Daredevil: Born Again’s recent retooling was its episode count. Back in 2022, Marvel announced the series would have 18 episodes, a huge number considering every other MCU Disney+ series had five to nine episodes.
Now, Born Again has been cut down to 13 episodes. That’s in line with its Netflix days, and it’s still almost three times the count of Marvel’s other Spotlight series, Echo. Still, it’s not as much Daredevil as fans were expecting, making it hard to see this as anything but a disappointment. Episode counts getting shorter and shorter has been the dominant trend of the streaming era, as the 20+ episode counts from broadcast television have increasingly become a thing of the past.
On streaming, brevity is a selling point: “Watch in a Weekend” is an entire subcategory on Netflix. By moving from a hefty 18 episodes to 13, it appears Disney+ is trying to find a balance between hardcore fans who watch the moment a new episode drops, and more casual fans who wait until all episodes are out and then binge the entire thing. But most of the MCU’s short shows have struggled to find their footing; without the length necessary to tell a deep story, they just spun their wheels until the requisite big fight.
Daredevil: Born Again has already had a tumultuous path to production; in October, the series was given a new direction as its directors and writers were cut and replaced. Now that work is officially underway, we can only hope that 13 episodes instead of 18 means a streamlined, efficient story, not a watered-down one. In the first draft, Daredevil’s iconic supersuit didn’t even appear until Episode 4, so maybe this new version gets off to a rollicking start. With the MCU’s television offerings growing increasingly shaky, let’s hope Born Again trimmed the fat without sacrificing what made its first run on Netflix so special.