Although the canon status of the Marvel Netflix shows is still fairly unclear, characters from the highly acclaimed Daredevil series have recently made the jump to the MCU, popping up in other characters' adventures. Both Matt Murdock, the secret identity of the Man Without Fear, and the Kingpin, his archenemy, have made recent appearances in MCU projects, showing up in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Hawkeye respectively.
A recent update to an official character bio even seemed to confirm that the Matt Murdock seen in No Way Home was the very same that had gone on to become the "Devil of Hell's Kitchen" in the Netflix series, but this connection was quickly removed. Even those at Marvel seem unaware of the canonicity of the series within the MCU, with a costume designer on Hawkeye commenting that he's still unsure if the character's televised past is considered part of the MCU proper.
Further complicating matters, Daredevil is set to return to the small screen in a new series on Disney+, the new home for all of the Netflix Marvel shows. Very little is known about this upcoming show, including whether it will serve as a soft reboot of the Netflix seasons or a sort of direct sequel. As such, fans are unsure if the new series will adopt the same gritty tone of the Netflix show or forge a new identity more in line with the rest of the MCU.
However, recent comments by someone with experience with both Marvel comics and the MCU world seem to indicate that the latter is a real possibility...
A Lighter Approach to Daredevil?
Speaking to Murphy's Multiverse, Sana Amanat, Director of Content and Character Development at Marvel Comics and producer on the upcoming Ms. Marvel series, commented on the possible lighter tone of the recently announced Daredevil revival. Amanat, an editor on the Mark Waid Daredevil run, responded to a question about the new series adopting the more breezy spirit of his work, noting that she "wouldn’t be surprised if they did something like that in the MCU."
"I don’t see why not! Mark Waid’s run was pretty seminal. We’ve never seen that kind of story and I love the spin on that and it was such an unexpected take on the character. In the same way, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did something like that in the MCU. Why not? We like to take risks and this is the fun part of exploring multiple stories. So maybe."
What to Expect From Daredevil’s Return
With a foot in both the live-action and comic book worlds, Amanat offers a unique insight into the ways Marvel approaches adapting material for the MCU. As such, her comments seem to indicate an interest on the part of Marvel to adopt a somewhat lighter tone for the upcoming Daredevil series, possibly even pulling from the Mark Waid run that she herself edited.
This approach, taking inspiration directly from a specific comic run, isn't new to the MCU. Hawkeye pulled significantly from the Matt Fraction and David Aja run on the character and Ms. Marvel looks to be heavily inspired by the character's comic book debut.
Even if the Waid run itself isn't directly adapted, the idea of taking a lighter approach to the character is still a very real possibility. The MCU has yet to reach the gritty highs of the Netflix shows, with even the recent Moon Knight series, one touted as being darker and more violent, cutting back on the sheer gore. Additionally, considering the backlash Disney received for simply moving the old Netflix seasons over to Disney+, it makes sense that Marvel may be looking to tone down the darkness that defined the character's previous live-action exploits.
In looking for a new, less brutal spin on the character, the Waid run may prove the perfect source of inspiration, refashioning the character as one more light-hearted and adventurous and less consumed by guilt and pain. However, Marvel is also likely aware of the deep love many fans hold for the more mature take on the character offered up by the three Netflix seasons.
While the question of tone looms large over this upcoming show, fans desperate for an answer likely won't get one for quite a while. However, they can at least find solace in the fact that the character is headed back to the small screen, even if this might be in a slightly different form.