The Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps getting bigger, and increasingly far less cinematic. Marvel’s first foray into television with Agents of SHIELD has been solid enough, if unspectacular in the ratings while taking a fair bit of time to hit its creative stride. Mini-series Agent Carter has received plenty of plaudits but failed to gain much traction in terms of viewers. Now comes Daredevil, over on Netflix.
Netflix is a far better fit for Marvel. They’re no longer tied to an outmoded US ratings system but instead have access to a worldwide audience on this global content viewing platform. This is the future of television and the sooner broadcasters realise that, perhaps the better. With the conventional broadcast model, effectively they are competing against themselves for timeslots that soon won’t matter. If everyone just shifts online, shows will have the chance to find an audience throughout the world, so perhaps even the most niche programming can find an audience, and most people will tolerate those all important adverts if they have access to content at a time that’s convenient. Have we digressed?
Anyway, Daredevil is a pretty big name in the Marvel universe and it was a big win for the company to win the rights back from Fox after they failed to produce a new project based on the character. It might be surprising then that they are creating a TV show with the character, or perhaps that they didn’t lead the TV universe with the man without fear. However this all plays into a much larger strategy on Netflix.
These shows will form a universe within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Daredevil set to joined by Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and The Iron Fist each with their own 13 episode seasons, before they all team up to take on a larger foe in The Defenders. These are not the epic tales of The Avengers but the street level battles fought by non-billionaire vigilantes.
Charlie Cox stars as Matt Murdock and all episodes will be available for download on 10 April 2015.