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There’s been a burning question on Marvel fans’ minds for quite some time now: is the Matt Murdoch portrayed in Netflix’s Daredevil part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? After all, the attack on New York that took place in The Avengers and Tony Stark himself are alluded to in the series. Then again, the Marvel Netflix shows have always appeared to be their own separate thing from the MCU, with no attempt to have any crossovers between the two.
Added to the confusion is that after Daredevil star Charlie Cox claimed a while back he's not been approached to reprise his role as the Man Without Fear in any Marvel movies, MCU head honcho Kevin Feige has stated that, were the hero of Hell’s Kitchen to appear on the big screen, Cox would be the man to play him (but again, emphasis on if he were to appear on the big screen). Cox also denied rumors that he can be found in the trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home, though rumors persist that he will appear in the upcoming Spider-Man film.
So, never mind if Cox is in the upcoming Spider-Man movie; we’ll all know the answer to that question in just a little over a week. The real question is: is Daredevil from the streaming series MCU canon?
Well, the series' former showrunner has weighed in, aaaaaaand...heck if he knows.
In response to a fan asking on Twitter: “are we to take your original Daredevil and the rest of Defenders as part of the MCU, or is this like Amy [sic] on The Osbournes where we blur it out of all family photos?” Steven DeKnight responded: “No idea!”
Well, okay, then. Here’s to more speculation and fan theories until Feige puts us out of our collective misery.
Cox speculated in October on how Daredevil could be incorporated into the MCU with or without him. “I imagine it would be kind of like, the upgraded version, or something like that,” Cox said, adding: “If there was an opportunity for me to come back as Daredevil, however that would look like, I imagine it would be a reimagining of the character and the show.” Earlier this month, Feige told CinemaBlend: “If you were to see Daredevil in upcoming things, Charlie Cox, yes, would be the actor playing Daredevil," before adding: "Where we see that, how we see that, when we see that, remains to be seen."
The truth is, if Feige & Co. were to fold the Defenders into the MCU, it wouldn’t be that difficult (or at least, there's a path). It all just depends on if that’s something the folks at Marvel Studios want to make happen. Until then, Cox's Daredevil will continue to be akin to Aimee Osbourne: the family member we all know exists, but isn't appearing in the main series.
Spider-Man: No Way Home arrives in theaters Dec. 17. Whether Daredevil appears in it, or in some other future Marvel movie, remains to be seen.