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Re-cast or nah: Marvel regains rights to use Daredevil

        The rights to the character Daredevil have reverted back to Marvel from Netflix. Netflix still reserves the right to make a fourth season if they choose but that doesn’t look very likely. Fans have gotten this information and some took to petitions to get the show runner Charlie Cox back in the horns. If you didn’t see the series or are unfamiliar with the character allow me to catch y’all up.

Daredevil is the brutal superhero vigilante that fights street level crime in Hell’s Kitchen, New York. As a boy, Mattew Murdock was blinded in a freak accident as a child where chemicals ended up in his eyes. He struggled with this but he soon found out the chemicals had a strange effect on him. Matthew’s senses were enhanced greatly. He gained a heightened sense of hearing, touch, smell and taste. Matt struggled with these powers and even more with communicating this to his father.
His father was a professional boxer that threw fights for a local mob boss. After not throwing a fight DD’s father “Battling Jack Murdock” was killed by the mobsters he was indebted to. Matt was taken to a convent orphanage where he stayed until he was adopted by a mysterious man named “Stick”.

Stick would help Matt develop and hone his abilities to a point where the world appears to him as a burning impressionistic imagery. “A world on fire.” as he put it on the show. As well as this, Stick taught Matt a rare blend of martial arts akin to ninjitsu which Matt himself blended forms Tae Kwon Do, Jiu Jitsu, and boxing as homage to his father. Stick had ulterior intentions for teaching Matt his skills and when it became clear that Matt wasn’t the person Stick needed to be, Stick left him in care of the nuns where Matt would finish out school and eventually head to college.

Matt would go on to enact brutal beat downs on criminals in the hell kitchen area while studying and practicing law during the day. The show starts with him and his best friend from law school, Foggy Nelson opening up their own law firm. If you haven’t seen the series, I recommend you do because it set the standard form most grim superhero action dramas. 

There were many staples this show has done visually to encapsulate the essence of what it is that makes Daredevil so special and separate from your typical costumed vigilante. While it wasn’t the first show to do it, my favorite was the continual shot fight sequence in season one. Daredevil approaches a dark apartment building and takes on 8 or 9 armed kidnappers in a narrow hallway. Hallway fights would show up in every subsequent marvel show on Netflix after this. Even though the moves were choreographed it was still very gritty and realistic. Daredevil isn’t Captain America or Spiderman, no. He’s a man who gets tired and winded. This fight showed that he’s effective but not invincible. 

The showrunner Charlie Cox is celebrated for his portrayal of Matt Murdock/Daredevil. So much so that when the show was first cancelled by Netflix, fans created a petition on that begs marvel studios into buying his contract out. The petition is called “Save Daredevil”. Cast members like Vincient D’Onofrio(Wilson Fisk/ Kingpin), Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page), and Jon Berthnal(Frank Castle/ The Punisher) have signed it. As well as some actors from MCU including Tom Hiddleston(Loki).

The show was a great time for comics and Charlie Cox has done amazing work. I mentioned both Jon Berthnal and Vincient D’Onofrio and their performances as Punisher and the Kingpin (respectively) have both received critical acclaim for their portrayals of their onscreen personas as well. Fans have said Berthnal’s portrayal of Frank Castle(The Punisher) is years ahead of the actors who came before him including Thomas Jane and Dolph Lundgren.

Personally, D’Onofrio’s performance as Wilson Fisk was his best performance as an actor. This man’s career spans damn near my entire life. Each role he has been in has been completely different from the last. D’Onofrio has a way of disappearing into the characters he plays, and his methodical and complete depiction of the great Kingpin is nothing less than stellar. 

In my opinion, Marvel would stand to make a lot of money if they keep their fan base happy should they allow these actors to continue to play their characters in the MCU. Berthnal, Cox, and D’Onofrio have all expressed a desire to reprise their role. Charlie Cox himself led the charge for the save Daredevil petition mentioned earlier. Now that the rights to the show have officially been returned to Marvel they can go on to reboot the show. Disney/Marvel can now create a version of the character that is completely different. 

The concept of when to recast and when not to recast is a touchy subject for the communities I frequent. I look at the late great actor Chadwick Boseman as an example of this. As we all know, we lost Boseman all too soon and his absence is one that will forever be felt throughout MCU and the Black Panther franchise. His portrayal of T’Challa is one that fans all over the world will remember for a long time. The Black Panther is my favorite movie in the MCU and he is my favorite superhero. I believe he should be re-casted. 

I know this is going to rub people the wrong way. I still believe it’s the right thing to do. I loved Boseman as T’Challa and I do not agree that his loss should be the end of T’Challa’s story. With the legacy he left and the statements he has made about how important he is, I don’t think Boseman would want that either. Yes, it’s true that Shuri does become the Black Panther in the comics. Yes, Michael B. Jordan was amazing as Killmonger and might have knocked it out the park as T’Challa if he was casted. Yes, Winston Duke is killing it as M’Baku. T’Challa still deserves to have his full story told, and there is a black actor out there worthy enough to finish what he started. To not put another black man to work, in my opinion is disrespectful to how hard Boseman worked on perfecting the work he did bringing T’Challa to life. This is the only circumstance I would accept recasting. If done with care, the next person playing T’Challa will bring something authentic to the role that will differ enough from Boseman that we will be able to rally around the new portrayal. 

With Cox, D’Onofrio, and Berthnal being alive (as well as Michael Coulter and Krysten Ritter, though I can take or leave Finn Jones) it seems foolish to lose such amazing talent and go into a different direction with these characters. Let them reprise their role if not for a new series, give them a movie on Disney+. Let them cameo in the NY based MCU movies as their characters. Don’t recast them and force folks to forget actors who are still capable of bringing peoples’ favorite characters to life. 

Do y’all agree or disagree? Would yall like to see Charlie Cox and company return as their characters in the MCU or would you want new actors for their roles? What about Black Panther? Let us know in the comments!


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