Charlie Cox made an immediate impact in his arrival to Marvel Studios' MCU with his short but sweet appearance in 2021's Spider-Man: No Way Home. Following a successful three-year run leading the Netflix-housed Daredevil series, Cox's Matt Murdock finally made his first appearance in an MCU movie as he got to reprise his highly-celebrated Marvel role.
Before No Way Home's release, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed that Cox would come back into play for the franchise, hinting at the excitement that would soon come. That first true appearance in No Way Home may have only used about 70 seconds of screen time, but it was enough to send the MCU fandom into a frenzy over his comeback.
Considering how many other monumental moments came in the Spider-Man threequel, it's almost a minor miracle that the team behind the film introduced Daredevil to such great reception with so little screen time. As it turns out, according to a recent interview, it was a real challenge to make sure that this was done the right way.
No Way Home Writers on Scrapped Daredevil Moments
Speaking on The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith podcast, Spider-Man: No Way Home writer Erik Sommers discussed how he and co-writer Chris McKenna worked Charlie Cox's Daredevil into the movie. The conversation transcription comes from ComicBook.
With so many other characters to also touch on, the main point to focus on was what exactly the plot had room for regarding characters and story. Specifically, the two had to look at how the threequel's heroes and villains "service the story of Peter Parker and our Spider-Man" with the film being centered on the web-slinger. Sommers confirmed that there were "absolutely" other scenes featuring Cox's Daredevil that were considered for the movie:
"Absolutely. That was the challenge with this movie bringing all these other characters in. We love these characters, and you would love to see them do all kinds of stuff. But the question is, what is there room for? I could watch any of these characters we brought in just do a whole other movie by themselves or in some various combination, but we have to, ultimately, service the story of our Peter Parker and our Spider-Man."
Even considering how "tempting" it was to throw different characters together for interactions, Sommers and McKenna had to make sure everything in the plot was concise and focused. Sommers teased how many different things Matt Murdock could do in the threequel, but he admitted that they "always had to pull back on a lot of things" to make sure the threequel stayed locked in:
"No matter how tempting it is, we had so many ideas come up in the room of, 'Wouldn't it be cool if this guy does that, and these two meet and do that...?' There's just so many exciting permutations now that we're playing in this sandbox. But at the end of the day, there was only so much we could do, and we didn't want to do things that would distract from the story of our Peter and our Spider-Man. So absolutely, once we knew we were gonna have Matt Murdock, it's like, 'He could do this, he could do that, that would be so cool, wouldn't that be great?' But ultimately, we always had to pull back on a lot of things to just make sure we maintained our focus."
Countless Ideas for the MCU's Daredevil
After Marvel Studios officially gained control of the characters in the Netflix shows, fans immediately began fantasizing about how they could interact in the core MCU. This was particularly the case with Charlie Cox's Daredevil, who was mentioned in some of the earliest rumors and leaks surrounding Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Sommers and McKenna didn't reveal exactly what other ideas came to mind, but the possibilities were almost endless since Spidey and Daredevil are so connected in the comics. Additionally, with five Multiversal villains, a duo of Spider-Man variants, and a gaggle of supporting characters to touch on, they simply didn't have enough room in the runtime for more Matt Murdock.
In the end, No Way Home did its job on the Daredevil front by confirming his place in the overarching story and letting fans know he's here for the long haul. There are even rumors already pointing to Cox's Man Without Fear playing some kind of role in this year's She-Hulk, rumors which are closer to coming true after his short scene with Spider-Man.
Marvel and Sony navigated this return beautifully with so much other material that helped No Way Home move forward, setting Daredevil up for a thrilling future on the big and small screen. Where that will continue next is a mystery, but the foundations are now there for Cox to retake this role and run with it.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters worldwide.