Daredevil's Greatest Moments & Team-Ups Can't Be In The MCU
All this means that so many of Daredevil's core character arcs and most popular team-ups are off-limits for the MCU. For example, in the comics, the Man Without Fear teams up a lot with Spider-Man; the two heroes know one another's secret identities, and have bonded over their shared need to protect their loved ones. Meanwhile, Black Widow and Daredevil have shared an on-again-off-again relationship for years, with Natasha proving central to some of Daredevil's most beloved arcs (including Guardian Devil, which is being loosely integrated into Daredevil season 3). But in the MCU, the divide between Marvel Television and Marvel Studios means that Matt Murdock can't meet either.
That also means Daredevil's secondary characters are ruled out of the movies as well. As popular as Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin may be (and as much as D'Onofrio himself may wish otherwise), he's never going to appear in a Spider-Man movie. We now know that the next season of Daredevil will finally introduce Bullseye; as exciting as that may be for Daredevil fans, it likewise means the master-assassin is a character Marvel Studios will never develop. That's particularly disappointing given recent reports that they're working on a Dark Avengers script; in the comics, Bullseye was a member of the Dark Avengers, taking up the identity of Hawkeye.
This is why Daredevil (and his rogues' gallery) is so unlucky; he's a hero who could hold his own on the big screen, and indeed who could easily be adapted to fit perfectly alongside the gods and magicians of Marvel movies. But, because of behind-the-scenes conflict, he was relegated and subsequently trapped in Netflix.
Is Daredevil's Show Good Enough To Justify Missing Out On The Movies?
All this leaves us faced with one frustrating question; as good as it is, is the Daredevil Marvel Netflix series worth it? Or is the big-screen loss of Daredevil and his secondary characters too significant? It's perhaps best answered by considering just why Kevin Feige handed these characters over to Marvel Television in the first place.
Marvel Studios don't believe in repeating stories that have been brought to the big screen before. That's why they didn't do another Hulk or Spider-Man origin story; it's why Tom Holland's Spider-Man is so different to the Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield iterations, and why they haven't used characters like Doctor Octopus or Green Goblin in the MCU movies so far. When Marvel Studios finally regained the rights to the Daredevil franchise back in 2013, we can safely presume that Feige felt he couldn't produce anything fresh enough to turn into a film. Daredevil and Elektra had already been done, after all, as had Daredevil versus Kingpin and even Bullseye. All the core concepts had already been used up, to some degree, by previous efforts.
The Marvel Netflix show is markedly different to 2003's Daredevil film. Its episodic format means it takes a long-form approach to storytelling, with a far deeper degree of character-work than you could ever see in a single movie. This has transformed the relationship between Daredevil and his friends and foes, adding much depth to their every interaction. By now, after two seasons, the bitter feud between Daredevil and Kingpin has become charged with an emotional intensity that would be all-but-impossible in a two-hour film. Crucially, all this has been complemented by a brutal and violent take on the franchise, one that distinguishes Daredevil from the MCU movies. Feige's decision to pass on Daredevil has allowed the creation of something fresh and unique.
But here's the catch; since 2013, things have changed at Marvel Studios. In 2015, Marvel made an unprecedented deal with Sony Pictures that allowed them to bring Spider-Man into the MCU. As we've already noted that both Daredevil and Kingpin have strong ties to Spider-Man in the comics; this would allow Marvel Studios to do something fresh and original with both characters, certainly very different to Fox's 2003 film. Unfortunately, by the time this possibility could be raised, it was too late.
So which scenario is better: the stunning and popular Daredevil Marvel Netflix show, or the idea of new big-screen versions of Daredevil and Kingpin mixing it up with the likes of Spider-Man and Black Widow? Fans may wish they could get both, but this is the curse of the Daredevil franchise. Like the morality at the forefront of the character's stories, right and wrong are blurred. Given that Daredevil served as the launchpad for the entire range of Marvel Netflix shows, there is certainly some good; it's just a shame Matt Murdock himself had to make a sacrifice for it.