Before Disney bought Marvel Studios, the company had launched a slate of superhero shows on Netflix. Those included Daredevil, Punisher, and Jessica Jones among others. Those three shows in particular, were huge hits and eventually merged into one team-up universe called The Defenders. Daredevil got to season 3 before it ended and fans still want more in the form of Daredevil Season 4.
But with Disney’s acquisition of Marvel, the company was keen to get everything in-house, so all of Netflix’s Marvel superhero shows were shut down before Daredevil Season 4 could be made.
With Netflix’s Marvel division completely shut down, the fear was that the characters from those sometimes wonderful, sometimes maddening, shows were done with. Apparently, that is not the case. Plans are in the works to bring a few of those great characters from Netflix into the larger Marvel universe. Here’s what they’re doing…
Daredevil Season 4
So while the original Netflix Marvel superheroes won’t be coming back as a team, that doesn’t mean the actors who played those characters are done playing them. We first started hearing rumors a couple of weeks ago which indicated that Disney is considering bringing back Charlie Cox to play Daredevil in Daredevil Season 4. They’re also keen to get back Jon Bernthal to play Punisher and Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones for other Disney-owned projects. But there’s one huge obstacle in their way: Lawyers.
Though Marvel now has the rights to all these characters and the ability to do anything they want with them, they may not be able to hire the actors who portrayed them on their respective Netflix series’. Apparently the actors involved in these shows are technically still under contract to Netflix.
It’s a bizarre contract situation since those contracts are to appear on Netflix shows which Netflix no longer has the legal right to make, but at the same time the actors don’t have the legal right to go play those characters for someone else. That means Charlie Cox can’t be in Daredevil Season 4 for Marvel.
It’s something Marvel may be trying to sort out, but in the end they could end up with no choice but to recast if they want Daredevil Season 4 and that probably means no Daredevil Season 4.
CNET claims they’ve been talking to Kevin Mayer, the Disney executive in charge of Disney Plus. According to their report he told them that Disney Plus could possibly revive some of these Netflix characters, with an eye towards putting the on one of their streaming services.
Specifically the latest word is that Disney wants to revive the Netflix Daredevil series for season 4 and put it on Hulu. Yes, Disney owns Hulu in addition to Disney Plus. So why not put it on Disney Plus? Disney Plus caters more towards family programming and Daredevil isn’t particularly family friendly. It’s a PG-13 show at best and thus probably more geared towards the strictly adult audience of Hulu, if they bring it back for a season four.
The good news here is that if they can get past contract problems, the plan is for this to be a legit Daredevil season 4, with Charlie Cox back playing the Man Without Fear. Better still, they may give the show a bigger budget to really up the special effects into the realm of quality fans have come to expect from Disney’s Marvel products. Other Avengers staples might make cameos, especially Nick Fury, as a way to integrate the Netflix Defenders universe into the rest of the MCU.
Unfortunately because of other contract issues with Netflix this was not actually something they were even allowed to do until 2020. That probably explains why the shows were just cancelled instead of being moved directly over to Hulu or Disney Plus for Daredevil Season 4 without this gap.
The New Defenders
When it comes to Netflix’s Defenders, which sadly ended up being fairly disappointing, there is a plan in place for it too. Looks like Marvel intends to bring the Defenders to Disney Plus, though the team you will see won’t be the team from the Netflix series.
Marvel plans to create the new Defenders line-up closer to the source material, bringing in heroes such as Doctor Strange, Hulk, and Namor the Sub-Mariner, all of whom were part of the original line-up. They may also be bringing into the group Daredevil and/or Jessica Jones.
Of course, this brings into the question of Benedict Cumberbatch’s status. He is on the hook for one more Doctor Strange movie then his contract is over. The thought is that Cumberbatch will stick around long enough through the first season of the series to bring the Defenders together. As more details emerge, we’ll get them to you.