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While only a minute or so long, the Matt Murdock cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home (now playing) continues to reveal its production secrets to the public. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter about his long-awaited Marvel return, actor Charlie Cox admitted that the scene in which Matt advises Peter Parker (Tom Holland) on his Mysterio-related legal troubles was supposed to feature a nod to the 2003 Daredevil film starring Ben Affleck and Jon Favreau.
In particular, the little Easter egg would have featured a meta acknowledgement of the fact that Favreau — who also appears in this scene as Happy Hogan — played Foggy Nelson all those years ago.
“I don’t think they used it, but we added a little Easter egg where [Happy] goes, ‘Yeah, I’m a little foggy on how that happened’ or something,” Cox recalled. “That was a cool moment for me to meet him and chat about all that stuff."
The call to return as Murdock came from on high (aka Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige) last June. “It was a pretty surreal moment, I’m not going to lie,” Cox said. “Bear in mind that it’s been a few years. And I was pretty convinced it was over. Kevin said, ‘We’ve got some ideas, but I wanted to make sure that you, in principle, are interested.’ And I was like, ‘I’m very interested.’ And then I didn’t hear from anyone for two months. And I got to the point where I wondered if I dreamt it.”
Despite playing the character across three seasons of Daredevil and the Defenders miniseries on Netflix, Cox still felt the weight of what this momentous guest appearance would mean for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its devoted fans. "I didn’t worry too much about it," he added, "but I was still pretty nervous on the day, which I haven’t been for a while."
He continued: “It’s a big moment, not just for me, but for the character. I felt a real sense of responsibility. If that scene works, if it’s cool, if it seems in place, then the sky’s the limit where this could go. And it would be great for me, naturally, but it would be great for Matt. I feel attached to him, even though that sounds a bit strange.”
At first though, the actor wasn't too sure about director Jon Watts' vision for the big moment, which doesn't begin with any dialogue. Instead, it cleverly opens on a shot of Matt's walking stick in the foreground before the visually-impaired attorney sits down at the table with Peter, Happy, and May (Marisa Tomei). “I was a bit embarrassed, like, ‘Are you sure?’ I was going with the flow, but thinking, ‘I hope it’s not a letdown.’ But I got a lot of texts from friends who were at the premiere or saw it opening weekend, who told me there was a cool vocal reaction when that scene came on. It’s a strange feeling, but I am so grateful."
So where does the character go from here? Cox is ready to play this character for a long, long time, but only knows "a little bit — not a huge amount — but a little bit" about the future of The Man Without Fear in the MCU. "I am imagining, I am hoping, that our worlds will collide again because the stuff we’ve done in the past was tremendous fun to do, and he’s such an incredible actor," he concluded. "We have to start every conversation with, ‘What do you know?’ because you have to be careful. It’s really exciting."
If you haven't yet taken in the glory of Cox's Marvel return, Spider-Man: No Way Home is still playing in theaters everywhere.
Also of note, there have been some reports of Daredevil and the other Marvel shows leaving Netflix on Tuesday, March 1. However, SYFY WIRE has not been able to corroborate the claims of such a message appearing before episodes of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, or Punisher. It could just be a technical error on the streamer's end. If not, it's a major shock for shows fans assumed were Netflix exclusives indefinitely. SYFY WIRE has reached out to Netflix for clarification.