Headlines were recently made that all the former Netflix Marvel shows would be leaving the Big N permanently and arriving at a new residence, Disney+, on March 16. This includes the likes of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher. Needless to say, fans were equally excited and surprised.
For one, it’s exciting to have all of these characters under the same streaming umbrella—even if their general MCU canonicity is still up for debate. However, all of them have some pretty mature content in them.
There’s the extreme violence found in Daredevil and Punisher, PTSD from rape in Jessica Jones, and the spotlighted racial issues in Luke Cage. All of these are subject matters which are hard to see living on a Disney service.
One of the biggest stars of those shows, Charlie Cox, who played Matt Murdock, has now voiced his opinion of if he thinks his character can work in a more PG-friendly setting going forward if Disney desires it so.
Charlie Cox Reaches For the R
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Daredevil star Charlie Cox revealed that when the news was released about the Netflix shows hitting Disney+, he was texting friends from the show.
Cox’s main response to the headlines was a text saying “Born Again,” which Daredevil fans will know as an allusion to a famous comics run for the character:
“This was actually when this news that you talked about came out, I was texting with some of the guys from the show, and the text I wrote was, ’Born Again.’”
But another big question came up: will Marvel and Disney be able to pull off a light version of the character going forward that isn’t R-Rated? The actor says that “[he] wouldn’t underestimate them,” and that “[he] back[s] them to find a way to do [so]:”
“I wouldn’t put it past the folks at Marvel to be able to accomplish that. I’m such a fan of everything they’ve done so far, I wouldn’t underestimate them at all… so if they wanted to make a more PG version of Daredevil, I back them to find a way to do where it feels totally in keeping with everything we’ve done. And maybe there’s a little less blood, maybe there’s a little whatever, but I back them to do it.”
For the man under the suit, however, the “comics [that] work best” are those that “[live] in a darker space:”
“My feeling is that the comics work best. The Daredevil comics, for me, are more exciting, readable, relatable when they live in a darker space. Having said that like, and obviously, I’m thinking the Bendis/Maleev run is probably the best example of that.”
Capping his thoughts off, Cox made it clear how “it absolutely can work,” but just maybe not “as well… as Spider-Man does” under the same limitations.
“It absolutely can work, but I guess what you can’t deny is Daredevil is never going to work as well in a PG world as Spider-Man does. Do you know what I mean? That’s the point… I think that the age of the character, the Christian guilt, his history with women and stuff, it’s like it’s a little bit more mature, it has to be.”
The Mature Future of Disney+
Could Daredevil work in a PG-13 world? Absolutely. There’s no character who has to live solely inside an R-Rated bubble. After all, most of them end up crossing paths with the Avengers in the comics, and that group doesn’t really have much mature content to pull from.
R-Rated content has always been one of the biggest questions in regard to Marvel Studios’ future. With the many characters they now have control of and will be telling stories for, there are a few who seem to favor more mature storytelling.
Kevin Feige has even confirmed that the upcoming MCU Deadpool film will be R-Rated. However, those words were said a while ago, and while that could very well still be the intention, circumstances change.
The Netflix shows being able to live on Disney+, and not the mature dumping ground of Hulu is a big step. With those characters, and the likes of upcoming ones like Blade and Deadpool, the pressure to allow for those darker stories is increasing by the year.
Hopefully, Marvel Studios will be able to figure something out.