After a tidal wave of positive critical and audience response (currently sitting at a cool 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), Marvel's premiere Netflix series Daredevil has been quickly renewed for a second season only a week and a half after its initial release. The story of the "Man Without Fear" will be continued sooner than originally planned, with a second batch of episodes now set to arrive for online streaming in 2016 -- presumably about a year from the time of writing -- exclusively through the Netflix platform.
Returning on the creative side of things are Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez, who will take over from Steven S. DeKnight as joint-showrunners, with Drew Goddard and Jeph Loeb joining them as executive producers.
With most of the central cast and characters expected to return, it begs the question: will Vincent D'Onofrio's splendidly monstrous Kingpin be amongst them? Is there a chance of seeing Bullseye and/or Elektra make their MCU debut? With several plot threads from Season 1 left unresolved -- and hints towards a possible Shadowland adaptation -- expect a continuation of the mythos surrounding The Hand, The Chaste and Black Sky, as well as more tie-ins to Iron Fist and the other Defenders.
Perhaps the most exciting part of this news is that Marvel's television branch is clearly open to reshuffling their properties around to provide the best possible output of these beloved characters and stories. With the recent rumours that Daredevil and the other members of the Defenders (Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist) are set to join their fellow MCU heroes on the big screen in the massive Avengers: Infinity War - Pt II in 2019, it seems that there are contractual and narrative schemes in place to allow for the true crossover potential of the shared universe model. With season 2 of Daredevil now expected to arrive in the spring of next year, one can't help but wonder: does this mean we may actually see Daredevil make an appearance in the May 2016 Captain America: Civil War?
Although it will technically be considered a Cap threequel, Civil War will be adapting a legendary comic-crossover event that saw the virtual entirety of the Marvel Universe come together in an ideological battle of epic proportions, hence the upcoming film being nicknamed "Avengers 3.8". Daredevil and Iron Fist both had important roles to play in the comic story, each with some really awesome character moments that are just too perfect to not be adapted on the big screen.
So why does any of this matter?
Daredevil's prompt renewal proves that the character is not being considered just a one-off by Marvel. The intention of a second season proves their faith in the brand, and now with the confidence bestowed by the overwhelming critical and fan response, they can blow the doors off this end of the MCU. Daredevil is a hot property, and Marvel will be looking to capitalize.
With Captain America: Civil War having just started filming this month, it stands to reason that Charlie Cox's Daredevil could at least make a cameo appearance. As we well know, Marvel has not shied away from filming additional footage or even last minute reshoots. It would be fairly simple to add a quick scene of Daredevil getting taken prisoner by Pro-Registration forces, even as part of a montage. To take it further, Matt Murdock could suit up alongside Steve Rodgers and the other Anti-Registration fighters in an extended role, fulfilling his comic legacy and joining the already expanded film cast! Plus with the coincidental spring 2016 release dates of Civil War and season 2 of Daredevil, a full-blown crossover could even be in the cards. This is where the beauty of a shared universe really manifests -- it all comes down to the creative choices Marvel wants to make with all of their related properties -- and if the rumours about Avengers: Infinity War - Pt II are anything to go by, the future for Marvel's Netflix characters looks bright.
The unprecedented success of Daredevil's suitably gritty first season and its speedy renewal will surely complicate the pre-existing four-year "loose" plan for Marvel's Netflix properties. However, the clamour for more of Matt Murdock and the dark and dizzyingly gorgeous world of Hell's Kitchen is loud and clear, and you can bet that the creative teams over at Marvel are hard at work tweaking the remaining scripts to ensure that all of the Netflix character storylines still end up converging for the Defenders team-up.
With Marvel's clear intent to continue to raise the bar and deliver high-quality entertainment in an increasingly diverse yet connected array of mediums, it's certainly a good time to be a comic-book fan.
Now, about that Punisher cameo...