It seems like aeons ago that we were excitedly making our way through Daredevil season 3 on Netflix. The third block of episodes had taken a while to hit the streaming service, but had received both strong reviews and approval from fans, some of whom hadn’t been too enamoured with season 2. Netflix’s flagship Marvel show certainly didn’t seem to be going anywhere fast …until it was abruptly canceled in November, 2018, amongst all the other Marvel series the platform had been shovelling money into.
Daredevil star Charlie Cox was just as surprised as the rest of us when the show was nixed, as he’d been preparing to start work on season 4 oblivious to the machinations taking place between Netflix, Marvel and Disney, who were about to launch their own streaming service, Disney+.
“I mean, we all thought we were going,” Cox told Comicbook. “You know, I turned down jobs, ’cause I thought we were shooting and we were getting ready for it.”
Indeed, the actor says he still doesn’t really know the full details of what led to the Marvel purge at Netflix.
“I had a brief conversation with Erik and Jeph about what was planned and that kind of sucks, ’cause I was really excited, you know, as we all were,” he explained. “It was a real shock. I don’t know who’s to blame, just, you know, because sometimes, politics, stuff happens, I probably don’t to this day know what was going on behind the scenes.”
Now that Cox has some perspective on Daredevil‘s cancellation, he says there are some benefits to going out on a high, citing one of his favorite modern TV series, Damon Lindelof’s The Leftovers, “because the quality never drops.”
“It never drops because they did three seasons and they called it a day, which takes a lot of, I don’t know, courage, talent, I don’t know how that happens, because, you know, when something’s really good there’s always a hunger for it,” Cox said. “But, I like to think that we ended on a massive high. Some people, some friends of mine who are fans of the show, described season three as our best. And, you know, I’ll take that. I’d rather it be remembered as this great moment in time, that really kind of changed television, and you know, didn’t descend into kind of ridiculousness.”
Netflix had very little to say on the subject of Daredevil‘s cancellation, but when Marvel put out a statement that read “we look forward to more adventures with the Man without Fear in the future” after the series bit the dust, fans kept hoping there would be some news about a revival. As Cox recalls, he had already moved on to treading the boards on Broadway with Tom Hiddleston in the hit play Betrayal, but remained haunted by Daredevil’s fate.
“We always had a joke about how many “Save Daredevil” T-shirts that would be in the audience each night,” Cox said. “And, they’d often, these guys would come, and they’d often pick out the first two rows, and the curtain would go up. But, as the curtain would go up and I’d see a row of these red T-shirts, that say ‘Save Daredevil.'”
“I have to speak in the first scene, I have the first lines. So, I see these people come, these shirts appearing, and I’d suddenly be like, like trying not to laugh, ’cause it meant the world to me, and I know it means the world to everyone involved in that show.”
Daredevil season 4 had only been lightly sketched out, according to the actor, who had been planning out how to tackle Matt Murdock’s next challenge.
“I was looking forward to Wilson Bethel kind of getting to inhabit the character of Bullseye,” he mused. “Season 3 was kind of an origin story for the character and how Agent Poindexter becomes that character. So, I was looking forward to having a season where he really embodies the Bullseye persona and what that dynamic would be between Bullseye and Daredevil.”