The landscape of comic book-based television and films was forever changed with the 2009 release of The Dark Knight. Directed by Christopher Nolan, this rendition of Batman was presented as a serious crime film, and it depicted iconic DC characters such as the Joker, Scarecrow, Harvey Two-Face, and the Caped Crusader himself as real people with genuine psychological problems rather than extravagant superheroes with CGI-generated powers. The motion picture from Warner Bros Studios became an intangible blueprint in the superhero genre and a cinematic masterpiece that seemingly inspired the making of the Arrowverse by the CW Television Network and the made-for-TV Marvelverse created by Netflix. The latter produced five originals that were cleverly interwoven with one another: Daredevil (2015-2018), Jessica Jones (2015-2019), Luke Cage (2016-2018), Iron Fist (2017-2018), a short-lived crossover series called The Defenders (2017) and The Punisher (2017-2019). Daredevil and Jessica Jones were the most critically acclaimed productions of the group. Still, as a whole, the eclectic assortment of talent helped make leading actors/actresses out of Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Kolter, and Jon Bernthal.
Unfortunately, Netflix canceled the entire superhero cinematic collective, leaving fans of these beloved shows on a proverbial cliffhanger as not one of the storylines concluded with an official series finale. Although Netflix produced the shows, the intellectual property belonged to Marvel. So, when Marvel's parent company, Dinsey, decided to launch its own streaming service (Disney+), executive producers for the international brand wanted the legal option of rebooting the shows on their own platform. Therefore they reclaimed the licensing. However, due to the stipulations of Netflix's previous contractual agreement with Marvel, Disney+ would not be permitted to relaunch (or implement) Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, or any of the characters made popular by the aforementioned actors/actresses for two years. In fact, Disney reportedly received a stern warning from Netflix's attorneys imploring them to abide by the time-restricted guidelines.
The heartbreaking split between Marvel and Netflix may have cast a bleak cloud over fans' hopes of having their favorite shows revived on a rival streaming service, but after four years of waiting in the dark, Disney finally announced that a Daredevil reboot was in the works and that Charlie Cox and Vincent Philip D'Onofrio would be reprising their roles as the Daredevil and one of his greatest rivals, Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin). Daredevil: Reborn will be published on Disney+ sometime during 2024 as a part of Marvel's "Phase 5." Given that Philip D'Onofrio previously appeared as Wilson Fisk in another Disney+ series called Hawekye (2021), this news wasn't all that unexpected. However, the recent announcement that Jon Bernthal will be returning to his role as The Punisher in the upcoming Daredevil reboot was a pleasant surprise because the 46-year-old actor stated in the past that he would only reprise his role with Disney+ if they did the character justice.
“So I was really grateful, respectful, and weary of the places where that role took me and the world in which I had to live in," Bernthal said last year during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "That being said, that’s where that character needs to be. It needs to be a level of darkness. I think if there’s any let up on that character, you do a disservice to the character, to every iteration of the character, to every comic book that’s come before, and to all of the unbelievable fans of the character. This character means so much to people in the military. So like I said before, it’s not about whether you do the character; it’s about whether you can do it right, and I’m only interested in doing it right.”
The final episode of Netflix's rendition of The Punisher saw Jon Bernthal's character executing his former "battle buddy," Billy Russo, in a bloody beat down. It will be interesting to see what kind of compromises will be made between Bernthal and the creators of Daredevil: Reborn because the actor previously indicated that he didn't want to "Disney-ify" The Punisher. This is understandable given Jon's show-stopping performance in Season 2 (episode 9) of Daredevil on Netflix when he fights his way out of prison during a gory scene full of flying fists and bruised faces. With Matt Corman and Chris Ord at the helm as the writers/producers for Daredevil: Reborn, filming for the project began this month in New York City. The future rollout plan is said to include 18 epic episodes.
In other news, Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones) and Mike Kolter (Luke Cage) shared a post together on Instagram Stories last month while they were in Los Angeles that playfully broached the idea of them rejoining the MCU. The two co-stars of The Defenders on Netflix have been spotted together on multiple occasions since last year, which has sparked speculation that they are gearing up to reunite on the small screen sometime soon. Nevertheless, Mike Colter has maintained his stance that while he's somewhat open to the idea of reprising his role as the fan-favorite antihero, Luke Cage, it isn't necessarily a priority for him as an actor.