In true Marvel Studios’ fashion, their latest project, She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, has continued to make news nearly a week beyond its finale streamed on Disney Plus. Most of that news has come from post-finale interviews and most of those have been focused on guest star Charlie Cox, whose appearance as both lawyer Matt Murdock and the costumed vigilante Daredevil in Episode 8 fully integrated his character into the MCU after a brief appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Cox has a lot of MCU in front of him, with a rumored appearance in Echo and an 18-episode series of his own, Daredevil: Born Again, set for 2024. With all that ahead of him, however, much of the focus remains on his past and whether or not this Matt Murdock is the same one introduced in Netflix’s Daredevil.
In the past Cox has been clear that whatever the case, Daredevil: Born Again will not serve as a continuation of the Netflix series, calling it a “whole new deal” and explaining that Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige sees it as Season 1 rather than Season 4. Cox has also expressed enthusiasm at the fact that his future in the MCU will allow for the opportunity “to potentially get to tell some of the stories over and over again.” These comments certainly leave room for this iteration of the character to be a multiversal variant rather than THE exact same character seen over three seasons of the Netflix series.
Interestingly enough, EW addressed this very topic in a recent interview by asking Cox if he was playing Daredevil “the same as in the Netflix series”
It should be and it is always the same character. The difference is just like with people, we morph and change and are very different based on what’s going on in our lives. The Matt Murdock from the Netflix show, that world and what was going on for Matt meant that most of the time we were living with a man who had a huge amount of pressure and strain and tonally the show was very dark and gritty and heavy. I don’t know what the new show will be like, but when I came over to do Spider-Man and She-Hulk, the tone is much more lighthearted and tongue in cheek and fun and witty and full of levity, so the hope was that Matt is able to fit into that world and participate in it without it being a different character, a different person.Charlie Cox
Pretty clear cut. Same character, same person. However, asked by THR if the character he will be playing in Daredevil: Born Again will be “the exact same character” as the one from the Netflix series, Cox’s response was a little different.
I honestly don’t know. I haven’t read any scripts yet, and we haven’t really talked at length about what this current iteration will be like. Just by the fact that they’re using me as an actor to play the part, it’s clear that there are going to be some consistencies and … some differences. We have an opportunity to at least take what worked really well and then also add some cool elements, ideas, concepts and themes that we weren’t able to do before. So it’s Daredevil, but upgraded.Charlie Cox
Given that Daredevil entered the MCU in the Multiverse Saga, the second statement seems to fall in line with what Marvel Studios has put on film so far in Phase 4. Plenty of examples exist of characters who are almost identical, but just a little different. And that statement also points out the creative freedom of choosing to portray Daredevil (and Kingpin or any other Netflix character for that matter) as a Variant. As Cox says, they would have the “opportunity to at least take what worked really well” while also having the freedom to change parts of the story they didn’t like. A well-placed Nexus Event essentially makes Matt Murdock the same character at his core but allows Marvel Studios to retell stories (as Cox indicates they are willing to do) in a way that fits their shared narrative rather than having to force the Netflix stories into it.
Fans of the Netflix series may not love it, but Cox said it himself: “it’s Daredevil, but upgraded.” Ultimately it’s clear that Cox isn’t even sure himself what’s happening and the truth is that the longer he and fans are kept in the dark, the better it is for Marvel Studios because it allows them to do what they do best: keep interest in their characters and project alive even when there’s nothing new to see.