The success of Netflix and Marvel’s Daredevil not only proved the MCU can – and is fully willing to – explore the darker, grittier corners of its comic book lore, but also relieved the titular character of his onscreen stigma following the contentious 2003 film. Simply put, the show managed to make the Man Without Fear a cool, formidable, and fearsome hero once again – one who could realistically (in context, of course) stand side by side with Earth’s Mightiest.
And that seems to be the plan, at least, somewhere down the long mulit-Phase pipeline. Kevin Feige has confirmed talks regarding weaving Daredevil and his fellow Defenders into the cinematic universe; though the earliest audiences would see them is Avengers: Infinity War (heavy, heavy emphasis on earliest). And despite Charlie Cox voicing interest in a standalone Daredevil movie, the hero will most likely remain on the small screen until any potential cross-screen appearances do occur. But that doesn’t mean other characters from the Daredevil universe won’t transcend the small screen.
While speaking at the 2015 TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour, Daredevil season one showrunner Steve DeKnight revealed that pending MCU plans initially influenced the naming of Rosario Dawson’s character, Claire Temple. Although she was originally supposed to play Linda Carter, a.k.a. Night Nurse, Marvel’s plans for Carter to appear on the big screen complicated matters.
“The feature side had plans for her down the road so that was the only time we ran into a conflict. So we just used another name.”
So while Claire Temple is not the Night Nurse – as speculated by fans and heavily alluded to throughout season one of the show – she is based on and inspired by the character; ipso facto she is a night nurse. That said, fans shouldn’t expect Rosario Dawson making her way to the silver screen anytime soon – at least, not for a Marvel film (though she has been confirmed for season two, and potentially other Netflix series). As for the real heroine and those aforementioned “plans” down the road, they could lead to none other than Doctor Strange.
Those familiar with Night Nurse’s run in the comics know she originally had her own 4-issue title in the 1970s, a series unusually devoid of any superheroes or fantastical elements. It was during Brian Michael Bendis’ run on Daredevil in 2004 that Linda Carter was first tied to the mainstream Marvel Universe and actually took on the codename Night Nurse. More recently, though, Carter teamed with Doctor Strange in the five-issue miniseries Doctor Strange: The Oath (Dec. 2006 – April 2007). By the end of the series, Carter and Strange had entered into a relationship.
As such, it’s entirely possible Carter will appear alongside Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme in the forthcoming film – and we may already know who will play her. Earlier this month it was rumored that Marvel had approached Rachel McAdams to play the female lead in Doctor Strange; McAdams, herself, recently confirmed those rumors.
While Night Nurse is arguably better suited to the world of Marvel’s ‘street-level’ heroes, it may prove more dynamic to pair Doctor Strange with a mortal love interest of an incredibly different ability and caliber, as opposed to a fellow magic-wielder such as Clea or Morgana Blessing. Either way, whichever character Marvel does choose as the female lead, one would hope she does not merely serve as a love interest.
Daredevil is currently available on Netflix. Jessica Jones premieres in Fall 2015, followed by Luke Cage and Daredevil season 2 in 2016.
Ant-Man is currently playing in theaters; Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange– November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man reboot – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Black Panther – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019.