Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures are currently enjoying the worldwide theatrical release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which has become the biggest blockbuster event of the year. Already boasting the second-best opening weekend at the domestic box office in history, the MCU fandom is collectively freaking out over how the game is changing behind the web-slinger.
WARNING: The rest of this article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Although plenty of shocking reveals came later in the movie with Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire making their comebacks as Spider-Man, they weren't the only major surprises No Way Home delivered. One of the film's early moments revealed a character who fans have wanted to see in the MCU for years when Charlie Cox officially made his canon debut as Matt Murdock.
While Cox's scene only showed him as a lawyer and not in his Daredevil persona, this moment alone is something fans have waited to see for most of the last few years. However, looking at who knew about this inclusion behind the scenes, it appears that this moment has been in the works for quite a long time.
Jessica Henwick on Charlie Cox's Return as Daredevil
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Iron Fist star Jessica Henwick revealed that she knew about Charlie Cox's casting as Matt Murdock in Spider-Man: No Way Home some time ago. While Henwick didn't give an exact timeline of when she found out the news, she definitively said "Yes, I already knew" when asked about her awareness of this casting as well as Vincent D'Onofrio's in Hawkeye as Wilson Fisk.
Henwick was also in talks for a role in September's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, although her devotion to Colleen Wing from Iron Fist was part of the reason she didn't take it. Not being sure if Colleen would ever be in line for a comeback like Cox and D'Onofrio's, Henwick didn't feel ready to "(put) Colleen to bed" by taking another MCU role.
It was here where she revealed that Cox knew about his own opportunity to return "years ago," indicating that Marvel Studios was in talks with Cox to return in 2018/2019, way before rumors of his MCU return started to surface:
"That definitely did come up in the discussion. If I did [Shang-Chi], I would effectively be putting Colleen to bed. It wasn’t the main factor, but it definitely came up in conversation. I love Colleen. She changed my life. Of course, if I was given the opportunity to revisit her, I would, but I just don’t know how likely that is. Charlie knew about that opportunity years ago. He already knew it was happening. I think I would have heard by now if there were any plans with Colleen."
When presented with the idea of Colleen becoming the new Iron Fist, which was teased at the end of Season 2, Henwick is open to that possibility even though she loves that she "gave her a happy ending" too:
"That would be cool! If it was the right moment, the right project, for sure. I love Colleen. But we’ll see. I gave her a happy ending. She’s happily living in New York with Misty [Simone Missick]. They’re running their own business together. So she’s good where she is as well."
Daredevil Kept Secret Long Before No Way Home's Release
Charlie Cox's casting in Spider-Man: No Way Home came as one of the earliest leaked rumors surrounding this massive movie in March 2020, back when the chances of Netflix characters appearing in the MCU appeared slim at best. After countless denials from Cox, even blatantly pointing out that fans didn't see his forearm in a trailer, he can finally enjoy this casting without repercussions.
As it turns out, according to Jessica Henwick, Marvel had been working out how to make this happen for quite some time, which made it even more exciting that both Cox and D'Onofrio debuted within days of each other. Now that these two have opened the door to more Netflix characters coming back into the fray, the question that now persists is how the trend will continue into future projects.
Daredevil is already rumored to play a somewhat big role in 2022's She-Hulk, which is much more plausible now that he's officially joined the MCU via No Way Home. With hints that Kingpin could come back in Alaqua Cox's solo Echo series along with other MCU entries in the future, this should only be the start of Marvel Studios' use of the formerly Netflix-owned heroes.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is officially playing in theaters worldwide.