Why Daredevil's Charlie Cox Thought That It Was Too Late For Him To Play A Superhero

matt murdock in the the defenders

For actors who have dreams of portraying comic book superheroes (and supervillains), the upcoming slate for such projects is ever-expanding, and Netflix's current crop of Marvel series would seem like the perfect scenario for steady work in the field of costumed ass-kicking. But before all that came around, future Daredevil star Charlie Cox actually thought it was too late for him to jump into the superhero world, largely due to his age and his famous friends. In Cox's words:

When I was in my 20s and I was an actor in London, I'd come out to Los Angeles and try to get work. Some of my dear friends, who were all trying to look for jobs, ended up being superheroes. I was mates with Andrew Garfield, Tom Hiddleston, Henry Cavill, and a ton of these guys who all ended up becoming these superheroes. When I hit 30, I thought, 'Well, that ship has sailed, and I won't get that opportunity.' And so, it was a wonderful surprise to learn that there was a character who they were interested in me for.

After two seasons of Daredevil and eight episodes of The Defenders, it's probably hard for fans of Netflix's Marvel-verse to picture anyone else but Charlie Cox jumping between the bespectacled Matt Murdock and the cowled Daredevil, especially since the show has done such a great job with both the comic mythology and the action sequences. It really feels like the most grounded version of the character that we could possibly get, though I do realize that opinion may be swayed by the only other live-action take on the character to go mainstream in recent history, namely the much-maligned 2003 feature that even Ben Affleck has washed his hands of.

Now, we all know that Hollywood has been labeled a place where younger performers are often given precedence even over more established and fan-favorite actors, so it's not altogether weird that Charlie Cox thought that turning 30 was the point of no return when it came to landing a spandex-clad role. Even with a constantly growing number of projects out there offering up superhero characters that need actors to play them, that doesn't exactly guarantee that anyone outside of their 20s would get any part. Especially on the movie side, where extended breaks between features means that an actor signing up for a trilogy will be 7-9 years older than they were when first signing up.

Thankfully, though, Netflix doesn't have to deal with that in such an extreme way, since its Marvel heroes show up more regularly. Charlie Cox signed on for Daredevil back in 2014, when he was 31 years old, and he's portrayed Matt Murdock in a full series in each of the next three years, with Daredevil Season 3 presumably set to debut on the streaming service at some point in 2018. And I don't know about you guys, but I'm perfectly fine with a tortured character who's haunted by his past to be old enough to actually have a past to be haunted by.

Unfortunately, even beyond anything age-related, we likely won't be seeing Charlie Cox's Daredevil meeting up with The Avengers on the big screen, so he won't ever get to go all superhero on mate Tom Hiddlston's Loki. Since Henry Cavill's Superman is part of an entirely different comic book universe, that team-up won't happen either. And then, Andrew Garfield's take on Spider-Man has already come and gone, so unless Netflix is able to revamp that iteration of the webslinger, Cox probably won't share screentime with any of the people whose successes had initially caused him to lose faith. And the Man Without Fear must always have faith.

In his interview with Collider, Charlie Cox unfortunately wasn't able to share anything major about where that faith will be going in Season 3, which will likely hit upon a certain comic book arc that was teased in The Defenders' final moments. (Possibly with a particular villain being introduced.) He also talked about how amazing it was to work with Sigourney Weaver, a hero of his. As fans of hers ourselves, as well as of Vincent D'Onofrio, we certainly hope that Marvel and Netflix continue to shoot for the actors that are best for the parts being created, rather than attempting to cast people based solely on age.

The Defenders is currently available to stream in its entirety on Netflix, with Daredevil Season 3 set to go into production in October. For all the shows currently heading to the small screen, check out our fall premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.