Daredevil Actors Not Returning For Disney Reboot, Will Fans Be Upset?
Deborah Ann Woll's Karen Page and Elden Hense's Foggy Nelson will not be a part of Daredevil: Born Again.
Jon Bernthal is reprising his role as The Punisher, a.k.a. Frank Castle, in the new Disney+ series, Daredevil: Born Again. Charlie Cox, who plays Daredevil himself, will obviously be there too, but some other familiar faces from what is known as Marvel’s “Netflix era” will not. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Deborah Ann Woll, who played Karen Page, and Elden Hense, who played Foggy Nelson, will not be making a comeback, but the joy over Bernthal’s return has overshadowed any laments over the missing characters.
Their names were not on the roll call for the Daredevil series, but we don’t yet know if their characters will be recast and played by other actors, or if they will be removed from the story altogether.
Born Again has plenty of other things to offer Daredevil fans, though, like 18 episodes instead of Marvel’s usual six- to nine episodes. It also contains many callbacks to the original comics, including the title, which is a reference to an important storyline in the comics published in 1986.
While Daredevil: Born Again will not follow that storyline exactly (it is reportedly “deviating from that plot,” but how much is as yet unknown), it may create a story that will resonate even more with fans. The original story didn’t contain The Punisher, but he is shaping up to be quite an important character in this iteration. The plot will still involve Daredevil dancing off against the Kingpin, however, so fans can count on that.
Daredevil: Born Again is a sequel series of sorts to Netflix’s Daredevil series that ran from 2013 to 2018. That series was different in that the characters from Marvel’s television series were not connected to the characters in the Marvel movies (as opposed to today, where everything is connected in a dizzying spider web of MCU material that requires you to watch hundreds of hours of content just to understand who the new villain is in the latest Ant-Man sequel).
Netflix canceled Daredevil and all its other Marvel series in 2019, just as Disney+ was gearing up to launch its competing platform. All of the characters from that series, including The Punisher, the grieving father/vigilante who got his own spin-off series from 2017-2019, were seemingly finished. The actors thought that was it for them in the Marvel franchise.
Now, though, Daredevil: Born Again is bringing many of them back. Marvel has even started interweaving the Netflix versions of these characters into their giant Marvel spider web, with Charlie Cox appearing as Daredevil in Spider-Man: No Way Home and She-Hulk, as well as other upcoming projects like Echo.
In 2021, Jon Bernthal spoke in an interview about the possibility of The Punisher joining the MCU, and his response back then was that he would be open to it… but only if the character kept the same darkness he had about him in the Netflix series. “I think if there’s any let up on that character, you do a disservice to the character, to every iteration of the character, to every comic book that’s come before, and to all of the unbelievable fans of the character,” he said.
He also added that the character means a lot to people who are in the military, like Frank Castle himself, and he would never want to disappoint them. “It’s not about whether you do the character,” he explained, “it’s about whether you can do it right, and I’m only interested in doing it right.”
Apparently, Daredevil: Born Again gets it right, because Bernthal and company are set to debut in the new series in spring of 2024, and from the looks of it, the actors missing from the new series won’t be missed too much.