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Are The Netflix Marvel Shows In The MCU? Even Daredevil's Former Showrunner Seems Confused

charlie cox daredevil netflix
(Image credit: Marvel)

Ahhh, Marvel. You’ve given us so much: supervillains we can hate, heroes we can root for, Big Bads we can look at and say, “Well, he’s kinda got a point…,” and through it all we’ve watched the many movies and shows given to us with a fervent glee, eagerly awaiting the next project. But, now, the MCU is opening up the Marvel Multiverse to fans, and with the recent announcement that Charlie Cox will continue to be the one to portray Matt Murdock / Daredevil whenever the opportunity next arises, many fans now have a major question. Are the Netflix Marvel shows in the MCU? Unfortunately, it sounds like even Daredevil’s former showrunner is confused.

Daredevil kicked off Marvel’s TV offerings on Netflix, and ran for three seasons before being cancelled a little over a month after the third season debuted, leading fans everywhere to hope that we’d be able to see Charlie Cox take on the role again. With Kevin Feige’s confirmation that Cox will be the only man to don the devil-horned suit for the MCU, though, does that mean that the events of all the Netflix shows took place in the official MCU? A fan recently asked that question to Daredevil's Season 1 showrunner, Steven DeKnight, on Twitter, but he sounds just as confused as the rest of us:

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Well. That’s a simple enough answer, isn’t it? Steven DeKnight has no clue about whether or not the Netflix shows he helped to get off the ground are considered MCU canon or not, but there are probably a couple of reasons for that. Not only do the folks at Marvel tend leave the creatives behind their many shows and movies in the dark until they absolutely have to fill them in on larger plans, but DeKnight left the show (pretty much amicably) over creative differences. And, seeing as how he wasn't intimately involved with the series for two seasons by the time it was cancelled, it makes sense that he'd be in the dark about something like this. 

As I’m sure you will recall, Daredevil was far from alone on Netflix when it came to Marvel offerings on the streamer. It wasn’t long before Jessica Jones, Luke Cake, The Defenders, The Punisher, and Iron Fist (I know this debuted before Defenders, OK? Just...don’t get me started on Iron Fist.) came along, and gave us a much grittier look at Marvel’s heroes than what we’d gotten so far in the movies, or other television shows. If Charlie Cox is still Daredevil, what does that mean for the rest of these heroes, their allies, and villains like Vincent D’Onofrio’s beloved Kingpin?

Until this year’s Marvel shows on Disney+, there was an amount of separation between the movies and the series that confused many fans. Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter could be influenced by the big screen adventures, but not the other way around. The same was pretty much true as we saw it on the Netflix series, with the Battle of New York from The Avengers being referenced here and there, because all of the shows took place in that city.

With Kevin Feige being his typical, Marvel-cagey self and not being ready to divulge the company’s explicit plans for Charlie Cox’s Daredevil just yet, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not he’ll be alone when it comes to actors / characters from the Nextlix shows coming into the MCU proper. 

Many fans still think we saw Cox’s arms (and the rest of his midsection) in a trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home. That’s certainly possible, but seeing as how that movie will introduce us to the multiverse in a big way, it’s also possible that the Matt Murdock in that movie will not be the one who was involved in three seasons of atmospherically lit hallway fights and courtroom battles. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on December 17, but you can see what else comes out soon with our guide to Marvel Phase 4 movies and list of upcoming Marvel TV shows

Adrienne Jones

Bachelor Nation, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.