Daredevil‘s cancellation is still being processed by a lot of the fan community who are disappointed about how the series was finally coming together, only to be dropped like a dirty diaper.
It sucks that it took the cancellation of Daredevil that to really become aware of how many people are going to be screwed over by Disney/Marvel attempting to combat the already streaming juggernauts of Hulu and Netflix through their own Disney+ service. We were so willing to accept that, “yeah Luke Cage and Iron Fist weren’t that good so that makes sense,” and we ignored that the way in which Marvel handled this put a lot of people out of work.
In an interview with i09‘s Beth Elderkin, Daredevil writer Tamara Becher-Wilkinson, who wrote “Karen,” talked a little about what happened in the writer’s room. “The storyline for season four had already been drafted and pitched to Netflix, and the writers were waiting for the seemingly inevitable news that they would get renewed.”
Becher-Wilkinson explains in the interview that she was in the middle of creating a new writing schedule for season four when the news came down that the show had been canceled.
“[Showrunner Erik Oleson] got a call asking him to go down to see the Marvel executives, and I jokingly went ‘Ooooooooh,’ like a third grader does when someone gets called to a principal’s office,” Becher-Wilkinson says in the interview. “Then, he waited for everybody to gather back in the writers’ room and he said, ‘Netflix has decided not to move forward with season four.’ And that’s all I remember, you know. I kind of missed the details because I was, like, so surprised.”
This, of course, was a huge shock, because pretty everyone across the interwebs was praising the show’s third season as a return to form. I enjoyed it sans Bullseye/Dex, because I can only take so much man pain, but having Vincent D’Onofrio back in form as the Kingpin and his weirdly beautiful relationship with Vanessa back on screen, I was hooked. Even taking into account the season’s flaws, it was a solid season of “television” so naturally, no one thought it was going to fail.
“The reviews were so overwhelmingly positive that I thought there was no way they would cancel it,” she explains. “I don’t know how well it does on Netflix or anything like that…[but] it was surprising to me they would cancel something that was so well received. I thought it was too big to fail.”
For years it has been implied that Marvel Studios co-prez Kevin Feige was not really a fan of the Netflix shows, hence their loose ties to the main cinematic universe. Perhaps this was always going to be the end result of the shows once Disney+, the upcoming Disney streaming series, became a reality.
Yet it’s still hard because for all the mixed responses the Netflix MCU has garnered, for a moment it was a huge part of our discourse and conversations as fans. If you’d have told me when Daredevil first came out that the Arrowverse would last longer than this human level-Marvel series, I would have lol’d, yet now it makes eerily a lot of sense.
The Arrowverse, despite its massive flaws (justice for Laurel), has always tried to be fun, including a lot of elements from the comics even when it could be seen as silly. It has grown to become more inclusive in terms of POC, and it has the biggest LGBTQ staple of characters on network television.
Marvel hasn’t come anywhere close to that, even with the few queer characters that do exist and Luke Cage/Black Panther. When it comes to television, DC is leading the charge and hopefully, Disney/Marvel is taking notes. Still, I’m still sad for the writers who worked hard to build something, only to have it pulled out from under them like Charlie Brown.
“Everyone who’s ever worked on [Daredevil], they’ve built something really special. And the way [the Marvel/Netflix shows] interacted with each other, it was really cool and unique [and] that didn’t exist anywhere else on TV,” Becher-Wilkinson said. “Sure, there are other superhero shows, but there weren’t other superhero shows like the shows that Marvel put onto Netflix. And it’s sad to think that all the episodes that exist now, that’s all there’s ever going to be.”
(via i09, image: David Lee/Netflix)
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