Netflix VP original content Cindy Holland described Daredevil season 3 as being a "real return to form" during the company's executive session at the TCA press tour. She also explained that The Defenders is the reason why the show's third season has taken longer than normal to finish.
Daredevil season 1 earned near-universal praise when it debuted on Netflix in 2015, as did Jessica Jones' initial season later that year. However, ever since then, it's been a rockier road for the Netflix corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Daredevil season 2 and Luke Cage season 1 were overall well-received, yet criticized for having significant narrative flaws. Then came the mini-franchise's first real misstep with Iron Fist season 1, leading into The Defenders crossover event. Some felt the latter was hurt by its deep connections to the Danny Rand character and his mythology, which was still pretty rough around the edges back then.
Jessica Jones season 2 earned a similarly mixed reception when it premiered earlier this year. However, things have started to change since then on the Marvel/Netflix front. Luke Cage season 2 was better received than season 1 as a whole, and even managed to "fix" the Danny Rand character in many people's eyes. The marketing for Iron First season 2 already suggests the show will be substantially improved in every aspect when it returns (especially, the martial arts choreography) and Holland has assured the press - Deadline included - that Daredevil season 3 will be worth the wait as well.
As Holland explained to Deadline, Daredevil the show was literally shut down, so that Marvel and Netflix could funnel all their resources and time/effort into The Defenders instead. Here is the full explanation that she offered the outlet, concerning Daredevil season 3's delay:
"The biggest issue was the timing of production and launching of The Defenders because what that meant is we had to shut down all of the shows, so all the actors be available for The Defenders so it’s more function of that. There is no problem with this season, I think it’s fantastic, it’s real return to form in my view.”
Early signs indicate that Holland may prove to be right about Daredevil season 3. This season features a new showrunner in Erik Oleson, who has a strong background in the two genres that Daredevil occupies (crime procedural and superhero drama), thanks to his work on CBS' Unforgettable and The CW's Arrow. Season 3 also brings season 1 antagonist Wilson Fisk/Kingpin back into the spotlight, after Vincent D'Onofrio's beloved villain was reduced to a small supporting role during season 2. Last, as The Defenders' ending suggested, this new season will draw inspiration from one of the most celebrated Daredevil comic book series ever: Frank Miller's Born Again.
Iron First season 2 begins streaming through Netflix on Friday, September 7. We will let you know when Daredevil season 3 gets a premiere date.