One Marvel Studios executive explained his feelings regarding the ever-controversial canon status of Netflix’s Daredevil show within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel Television developed the Daredevil series with the intention that it was set in the world of the MCU’s Avengers, capitalizing on the franchise’s rampant success during the 2010s. The show’s first season included various references and nods to characters (like Captain America) and events (like the ‘Battle of New York’ from the first Avengers movie) from the MCU.
However, Marvel Television had always been a separate entity from Marvel Studios (the company behind every MCU movie), and so, despite both groups being under Marvel ownership, they didn’t work together on integrating Marvel’s Netflix shows within MCU movies (and vice versa).
This has led fans to question and debate about whether or not Netflix’s Daredevil and its various sister series are truly canon to the events of the MCU. Marvel has at times hinted at Daredevil’s events taking place on the MCU’s Sacred Timeline, but an official confirmation has never been given.
Marvel Exec on Daredevil’s MCU Canon Status
Speaking with Screen Rant, Marvel Studios Head of Streaming, Television, and Animation Brad Winderbaum shared his feelings on the Netflix Daredevil show’s place in MCU canon – a topic other MCU personnel have avoided.
When asked if everything that happened in the Netflix series is on the MCU’s Sacred Timeline, Winderbaum admitted the studio has been “a little bit cagey” on the subject, noting that Netflix and Marvel Studios were both aware of what the other was doing at the time:
“So I can say that we’ve been, up until this point, we’ve been a little bit cagey about what’s Sacred Timeline, what’s not Sacred Timeline. That was born of, frankly, a period at the studio where we were like, ‘We have to stick the landing with Avengers.’ It was another part of the company developing the Netflix stuff, we were aware of what they were doing, they were aware of what we were doing, but… it was a lot.”
Calling it “a lot to balance,” Winderbaum expressed confidence that the Daredevil show on Netflix “is part of the Sacred Timeline,” although he limited it to his perspective:
“It was a lot to balance anyway, but now that some time has passed, now that we see actually how well integrated the stories are, I think that I, personally, Brad Winderbaum, would be confident in saying it is part of the Sacred Timeline.”
Will Daredevil’s Canon Status Be Officially Confirmed?
Even with Daredevil set to make his third official appearance in the surefire canon MCU with his inclusion in Echo, there’s no telling if or when his Netflix shows will truly be considered MCU canon.
Some of Daredevil’s own MCU appearances have cast doubt on that notion, with She-Hulk: Attorney at Law indicating that Daredevil was still a total mystery in the world as if nobody knew anything about his adventures on Netflix.
In April 2023, Daredevil showrunner Erik Oleson noted that Marvel Studios insists on calling Daredevil: Born Again a Season 1 story instead of Season 4, which appears to be the consensus feeling amongst the show’s crew.
And with returning stars like Cox still unable to fully commit to the idea of Daredevil fitting in with the rest of the MCU, the question will remain officially unanswered until further notice.
Daredevil is streaming on Netflix and Disney+. Charlie Cox will reprise his role as Daredevil in Echo on Disney+ and Hulu on Tuesday, January 9, while Daredevil: Born Again is delayed until 2025.