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How Charlie Cox's Daredevil could fit in the MCU movies

Netflix's Daredevil was sadly one of many Marvel original series — along with Iron FistLuke CageJessica Jones, and The Punisher — scrubbed from the streaming service between 2018 and 2019. The announcement that Disney+ would feature new original Marvel series had some fans hopeful their favorite Netflix superheroes could just change streaming services, but details of the deal between Netflix and Marvel revealed that Marvel wouldn't be allowed to feature any of the shows' characters in new series or films until 2020 at the earliest. If recent rumors are to be believed, however, at least one of the Netflix crew has a future on the big screen. 

Early in 2019, Charlie Cox — who stars as Daredevil in Netflix's Daredevil and The Defenders — made it clear in an interview that he still wanted to play Daredevil. In more recent months, rumors have been brewing that Cox is going to get his chance to return as the savior of Hell's Kitchen, this time maybe in the movies. 

Which begs the question of how exactly the Man Without Fear would fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From what we've seen of the hero on the Netflix series, this isn't the kind of guy who would be very helpful ambushing Thanos on Titan or fighting an army of killer robots in the skies above Sokovia. Still, we have some ideas about exactly how Charlie Cox's Daredevil could fit perfectly into the MCU. 

Charlie Cox's Daredevil could continue his war against the mob

Vincent D'Onofrio's portrayal of Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin, is one of the best reasons to watch Netflix's Daredevil. D'Onofrio's Kingpin is equal parts brutal, calculating, charismatic, and unhinged. As much as any actor Marvel has hired for any role, D'Onofrio seems to be precisely where he's supposed to be and doing exactly what he's supposed to be doing when he inhabits the soul of NYC's cruelest crime lord. 

At the same time, we don't really have a villain like Wilson Fisk in the MCU's films. Up until now, the villains of the MCU have been sorcerers, gods, and interstellar warlords. The most modest of the MCU villains dethrone kings and ambush jets transporting the Avengers' gear. We don't get villains who are as utterly possible as Wilson Fisk — a crime boss whose most wondrous technological achievement is a secretly armored business suit that helps him withstand Daredevil's attacks in the first season. 

Bringing Daredevil and Kingpin into the MCU films would finally give us a look at the kind of real crime and political corruption Wilson Fisk trucks in, without magical stones or interstellar armies to back him up. Of course, if it does happen, and somehow we don't also see the return of Rob Morgan as the petty crook/informant Turk? Then, we riot. Or, at least, we'll compose some strongly worded emails. 

He could herald the return of the Defenders

If Charlie Cox's Daredevil makes a successful jump from big to small screen, it could be what opens the door for the other Marvel Netflix stars. Luke Cage and Iron Fist ended with viewers being tantalized with future storylines, while Jessica Jones had enough warning to conclude the hero's story on a more complete note. Regardless, chances the other Marvel Netflix heroes could get their own time in the spotlight would boost if a Daredevil solo movie succeeds. 

Of course, there's the question of whether or not the other actors would return. Mike Colter expressed interest and concern while promoting the CBS series Evil. Speaking at a panel, Colter said he had plenty of questions about what the plans were for Luke Cage had there been a third season and that he "would need to see where [Cage] was going." We haven't heard much from Iron Fist star Finn Jones though there were reports he would be appearing in future Marvel series in spite of Iron Fist's cancellation. In June 2019, Krysten Ritter told TVLine she didn't think she'd play Jessica Jones again, saying, "I feel like I've played her, you know?" Meanwhile Jon Bernthal hasn't said either way about reprising the role of Frank Castle, aka the Punisher, but during a panel at Fan Fest Chicago, Bernthal did refer to falling in love with the vigilante, so at the very least, we have a definite maybe.  

Daredevil could be a mentor to Spider-Man

Daredevil and Spider-Man aren't always the best of pals in the comics, but it isn't rare for them to have each other's back. They both tend to be more on the "street level" side of things in the comics. Actually, the pair share a number of villains, particularly when it comes to NYC mobsters. While Kingpin is often more closely associated with Daredevil, he first appears in 1967's Amazing Spider-Man #50. Spidey's clashes with Kingpin aren't quite as frequent as they used to be, but they don't ignore each other either. 

In the MCU, Daredevil could fill the important role of Peter Parker's mentor. From what we've seen of how he initially reacts to working alongside other heroes in The Defenders, it's likely that Matt Murdock would initially see Spider-Man as nothing but an annoyance, but his mind could change, particularly if he sees Parker as a loose cannon who needs to be reined in. Speaking from a purely physical point of view, Daredevil doesn't have a lot on Spider-Man. But Murdock has seen a darker, crueler side of crime and crime-fighting that Peter Parker doesn't know about. He's also got at least one thing in common with Peter that Tony Stark didn't. Like Peter, the murder of Matt's father is part of what informs his choice to become Daredevil. As a result, while he might find the wall-crawler annoying at first, Matt might ultimately take Peter much more seriously than Tony ever did. 

He could explore the legal side of the MCU

Matt Murdock's professional status quo has seen its share of shake-ups over the years. He's left criminal defense behind to become a prosecutor, and in the current Daredevil volume, he's left the practice of law behind to work as a parole officer. Regardless, his work as a defense attorney remains his most well-known profession. And considering his double life, it's perhaps the most ironic. Few other superheroes willingly set foot in a courtroom, much less doing so to stop someone from going to jail. 

Charlie Cox's portrayal of Matt Murdock could give us a look at something we haven't seen before in the MCU, or really anywhere on film — the unique challenges of practicing law in a world of superheroes. How do you prosecute criminals who were found webbed to light poles? How do you defend people who give themselves nefarious sounding code names and knock jets out of the sky? Writer Kurt Busiek dealt with the issue in his creator-owned comic Astro City: Local Heroes, scripting a story in which a killer gets acquitted because his lawyer argues that in a world where superheroes regularly come back to life, there's no way to prove his client's alleged victim is even dead. 

Bringing Daredevil to the films of the MCU could give Marvel the opportunity to explore similar legal conundrums only possible in the world Stan Lee and Jack Kirby made.

Daredevil could be a lawyer for superheroes

Just smashed half of Johannesburg, but it wasn't your fault? Were you falsely accused of a crime while having your secret identity outed by J. Jonah Jameson? Is the government making you wear an ankle monitor just for turning yourself into a giant and tossing War Machine around like a broken action figure? Who you gonna call?

Better call Matt Murdock!

Over the years, Matt Murdock has shown up in most of the prominent court cases involving superheroes. In 2016's The Accused #1, for example, it's Murdock who prosecutes the murder trial against Hawkeye after the archer kills Bruce Banner. Decades earlier in 1972's Incredible Hulk #153, it's Murdock who defends the monster against a state-sanctioned execution. He's defended White Tiger and the Human Torch, and he went head to head with She-Hulk — this time as prosecutor — in a wrongful death claim against Steve Rogers.

The notion of Matt Murdock being a lawyer to the MCU's growing superhero population could be the perfect way to introduce the Man Without Fear to the films. As we've seen, the Avengers and their buddies have had their share of legal problems. Hawkeye and Ant-Man have both faced house arrest, and we still haven't learned exactly what happened to the Sokovia Accords after Avengers: Infinity War. Now that the threat of Thanos has ended in the MCU, maybe Marvel's heroes will need a good lawyer. 

He could be the MCU's new underdog

Sometimes there's just no way to win, and the only thing you can do is go down swinging. It's a sentiment embodied by no Marvel hero better than Daredevil. 

Physically speaking, Charlie Cox's Daredevil isn't a match for any of the Avengers. Even Avengers without super powers like Black Widow and Hawkeye deal with their enemies with an effortlessness that borders on impossibility. Part of what makes Netflix's Daredevil series so great is that at the end of the day, Matt Murdock is just like his boxer father. He's a brawler, and he takes his hits as much as he dishes them out. Part of what makes the one-shot hallway scene in Daredevil's first season an instant classic is how hard Matt has to work to defeat his perfectly human, unenhanced foes. 

That's a big part of what makes Daredevil so powerful in the comics and on the screen — his fallibility and the fact that he doesn't always win. One of his most well-remembered early stories is 1965's Daredevil #7, when he tries everything he can to stop the powerful Sub-Mariner, but Namor is just too strong. After Daredevil collapses, Namor says that none of the many superheroes he's fought are as courageous as Daredevil, who he calls "the most vulnerable of all." A similar fate befalls Matt in 1980's Daredevil #163 when he tries and fails to stop a rampaging Hulk and winds up in the emergency room as a result. 

He could be a warrior on the mystic side of the MCU

Ironically, while Daredevil is usually regarded as a hero dealing with more down-to-Earth bad guys, he's often had one foot dipped in more mystical waters, particularly when it comes to his decades-old enemy, the Hand. The ninja clan never completely leaves Daredevil's life in the comics, and we see them in the first two seasons of Netflix's Daredevil

The mystical side of the MCU is still a relatively young part of the narrative, and Matt Murdock has already played an integral role in helping to create it, both in his series and in The Defenders. If corrupt politicians, mobsters, and dockside informants aren't enough to sell Marvel Studios on a Daredevil solo movie, maybe moving his story just a little bit closer to the world of Doctor Strange could help. Without the Sorcerer Supreme's mystical knowledge, abilities, or arsenal of magical objects, the Man Without Fear would need to overcome his challenges through tenacity and courage, rather than with sling rings and devil's bargains.

Daredevil could join the Avengers

Daredevil may seem a strange addition to the Avengers, particularly when it comes to the MCU. He's as much of a loner as any Marvel good guy you could think of, and his powers don't make him a match for the kinds of powerhouses the Avengers deal with on a regular basis. Daredevil might be able to take out a bunch of thugs who kidnap a child in the second episode of the first season of Daredevil, but it's tough to imagine him surviving a tussle with Thanos. If he was at the end of Age of Ultron, he probably would've died way earlier than Quicksilver, and even Loki could've made short work of him if he'd shown up in Germany with Captain America.

But as long as Daredevil avoids doing so in the comics, he eventually does join the Avengers. He even fights alongside them in the 2012 line-wide event Avengers vs. X-Men. And with so many of the original MCU Avengers either deceased, permanently injured, or leaving Earth behind by the end of Avengers: Endgame, any future for the film franchise will need a new team. Daredevil might not be able to lift mighty hammers or blast aliens with repulsor rays, but he could bring a more grounded sensibility and a fresh point of view to a new Avengers roster. 

He could be the new bridgekeeper in the MCU

It's a long shot, but in a recent line-wide comics event, Marvel gave another hint at what Daredevil might be capable of in the right situation: godhood. 

In the 2018-2019 event War of the Realms, the Dark Elf Malekith leads a ruthless army of frost giants, trolls, fire demons, and angels to Earth so he can conquer yet another world. While, for obvious reasons, Thor is the lead focus of the event, a surprising number of street-level heroes get involved. In particular, Daredevil becomes one of the pivotal soldiers in Earth's armies when he takes up the sword of Heimdall and is transformed from the Man Without Fear into the God Without Fear. The sword brings with it the omniscient senses of Heimdall, and with those powers, Daredevil helps to lead his allies across the realms and defeat Malekith's armies. Eventually, he's forced to give up the sword and relinquish his new abilities, though in War of the Realms: Omega #1, Heimdall shows his gratitude by giving Daredevil a pair of billy clubs fashioned from the World Tree, Yggdrasil. 

Are we saying that Charlie Cox's Daredevil will become the new bridgekeeper for the Bifrost? Yeah, probably not. But then again, Heimdall was the first named character to die in Avengers: Infinity War. His brief replacement, Skurge, dies in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. So if somehow Asgard were to be restored, the place would have a job opening. Just sayin' ...

Charlie Cox's Daredevil could relocate and rebrand

It could be that Marvel Studios doesn't want the grimmer, more brutal world of Daredevil in the movies. We've only had family-friendly fare in the films so far, after all, and giving us a movie franchise with a villain who likes to do things like crush a dude's skull by closing a car door on it over and over again might not fit with the MCU's demographic. If so, that doesn't necessarily mean the end for a MCU Daredevil. The comics have shown us the way. If the Man Without Fear wants to be marketable to a general audience, all he has to do is rebrand and relocate. 

In 2014's Daredevil #36, Matt Murdock is forced to admit under oath that he is, in fact, Daredevil. With disbarment threatened as punishment for his double life, Matt Murdock leaves Hell's Kitchen for San Francisco where he's still licensed to practice law. There, Matt lives a life that's much more carefree than what we've seen in recent years. Among other things, he eventually fights crime without a mask, and he has no problem admitting exactly who he is. 

We're not sure if fans of the Netflix series would be ready for such a hard left turn on the character. But if Daredevil does make the jump from small to big screen, some changes will be necessary. The West Coast route might not be the best, but if nothing else, it shows the Man Without Fear has potential to evolve.