Could Disney be scrapping another fan-favorite Marvel franchise plan?
Phase 5 Marvel Has Fans Tuning Out
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has moved past the days of Captain America, Iron Man, and Black Panther. As the bleeding franchise meanders to Phase 5, many who once cried at the site of Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark saving the world from Thanos have written off the increasingly diversified line-up of new-age superheroes.
Although the likes of Captain Marvel were around during the height of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: End Game (2019), a barrage of new heroes, many of which don’t fit the winning mold of Marvel days past, are bursting their way on screen, but some of these mighty heroes might be facing a scrub from future Marvel productions.
Since 2019, the MCU has been an unwrapped mess, with storylines featuring multiverses, a Secret Invasion of Skrulls, and twerking Hulk characters. Amid it all, we’ve met a few new heroes like Ms Marvel, Moon Knight, and America Chavez, who fell flat with many Marvel fans.
Accompanied by old favorites like Nick Fury, Scarlet Witch, and the Amazing Spider-Man, these new additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe have felt entirely different compared to what Marvel fans are used to.
New films in the Marvel Universe have failed in comparison to the golden days of the original Avengers as Kevin Fiege digs deep in the bag of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for content. Although familiar faces like Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chris Pratt as Star-Lord are doing their part to keep the franchise afloat, there certainly is a pending feeling of dread and doom around the MCU.
Old Favorites Blast Into the MCU
Maybe it’s for this reason that crossovers have begun in the Marvel world. Disney’s recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox has allowed Marvel Studios to utilize a much more diverse cast of Marvel Comics characters, adding the likes of the X-Men, Daredevil, and even the Fantastic Four to the MCU timeline.
Although this has been enough to keep Marvel fans engaged, the missing A+ ingredients of Iron Man and Captain America, at least Chris Evans as Cap, have been noticed by many who feel that the Disney+ era of Marvel is losing steam quickly. Add on issues surrounding Jonathan Majors continuing as the next high-level threat in the MCU, and you’ve got all the ingredients for disaster.
In addition to the Loki (2023) star may not be continuing with Marvel Studios, the hits haven’t stopped for Fiege and company, as recent productions like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania (2023) have added an extra level of stress on the MCU and its performance and direction from fans.
However, there was some hope for MCU fans moving forward as big character names and promises from Kevin Fiege regarding future projects have gleaned on the horizon. However, according to Inside the Magic, some big franchise plans may be jeopardized.
Daredevil Makes His Marvel Cinematic Universe Debut
2021 saw Marvel Studios release the third installment of everyone’s favorite friendly neighbor, Spider-Man. Reprising his role, Tom Holland returned as the beloved Peter Parker, a formidable staple in Marvel’s catalog. What Marvel fans didn’t know is that he was swinging back onto the scene with former Spider-bros Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield.
Somewhere between ancient curses and jokes about Gwen Stacy, the official MCU introduction of a fan-favored character from the older days of Marvel productions was lost in all the excitement surrounding three Spider-Men on screen. In a less-than-memorable scene, Charlie Cox returned to his famed role as Matt Murdock, better known to Marvel fans as Daredevil.
Although not the star power of Iron Man or Captain America, Daredevil has been a beloved character since his induction in Marvel Comics and his 2015 series run on Netflix, highlighting Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin, and Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle (Punisher).
The excitement around making Daredevil canon in the MCU created maddening expectations, leading to disappointment as fans watched their beloved character further introduced, having a one-night stand with Jennifer Walters as She-Hulk: Attorney at Law debuted on Disney+ in 2022.
Still, amongst promises of a new reboot for Daredevil, Marvel fans looked towards the future, that is, until some signs began to point in a different direction for what Fiege initially called Daredevil: Reborn.
Is Daredevil Reborn Still Happening at Marvel?
Disney and Marvel seem to be taking a step back from a promised brand-new creation in favor of continuing the story of Daredevil from his Netflix series. Instead of presenting the character in a brand-new way, according to Inside the Magic, “noticeable changes in the show’s dynamics have worried fans about the direction the show seemed to be heading in. Notable adjustments in casting, including Sandrine Holt taking on the role of Vanessa Fisk instead of the original actress Ayelet Zurer, prompted apprehension within the Marvel fan community.”
Although Feige had previously promised that the induction of Daredevil to the MCU would “explore the long-standing conflict between Daredevil and Wilson Fisk, with Jon Bernthal reprising his role as the antihero Frank Castle, also known as Punisher,” according to Inside the Magic, fans are beginning to worry that Disney and Feige are taking a different approach, instead building to a fourth season of the popular Netflix series.
This concern becomes more of a realistic observation when we consider that recently, The Hollywood Reporter published an article explaining that Kevin Feige and Marvel had trashed the original Born Again script despite reports that filming had already begun.
It seems that potentially, on the heels of the Disney+ release of Echo (2023), Daredevil’s storyline may have been reworked from a reboot in favor of expanding on the story of the hero outside of the MCU.
Time will tell, but as fans have clamored for characters such as Punisher to be added to the MCU for some time, the potential shift by creative teams at Marvel is worrisome. However, as comic fans are aware, there are other avenues in which Castle and other popular characters who’ve had dealing with Daredevil can be introduced as new lifeblood into the waining MCU. At least we still have Thunderbolts to look forward to.