It’s no secret that the Netflix side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has never had close ties with the wider superhero franchise. Outside of mentioning things like Sokovia, Hammer tech and “the green guy,” these shows have felt like a separate, unconnected creative endeavor, which is slowly coming to a close. Iron Fist and Luke Cage were cancelled in October, and Daredevil was cancelled last week. It’s only a matter of time before Jessica Jones and The Punisher are iced as well.
It’s unclear what the future holds for the characters who populated these Netflix shows, but there’s already been speculation that they might be rebooted in order to fit properly within the MCU, whether that’s through movies or a series on the upcoming Disney+ service. If that is indeed what ends up happening, here are some of the heroes and villains I think should receive such treatment. Keep in mind that mentioning the following characters doesn’t necessarily mean that their TV portrayals were bad, it just means that new portrayals of them would be cool to see within the MCU proper.
Daredevil kicked off the Marvel Netflix slate in 2015, and it could be argued that his was the most solid of these shows. Sure Season 2 was rocky, but Season 1 and 3 both received critical acclaim, and Charlie Cox earned praise for his performance as Matt Murdock. Fortunately, the series wrapped up in a relatively close-ended way, so the door is open for The Man Without Fear to get another fresh start.
Not only does this provide an opportunity to give Daredevil a more comics-accurate suit, it also paves for him to finally interact with one of his closest allies: Spider-Man. It was cool seeing Matt Murdock team up with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist in The Defenders, but he’s particularly tight with Peter Parker. If Daredevil can’t get a new movie, then Marvel should at least find a way to pair a new interpretation of him with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.
Remember how I said that rebooting these characters didn’t necessarily mean their previous portrayal were bad. Well, that’s not the case with Iron Fist. Okay, so maybe some of you might consider ‘bad’ too strong a term, but Finn Jones’ time as Danny Rand definitely wasn’t met with warm reception. Jones’ Danny slightly improved in Iron Fist Season 2 and his Luke Cage guest spot, but overall, that performance was just one of the reasons why the Iron Fist TV series wasn’t a hit.
Iron Fist as a character can work, as he’s been able to endure in the comics for decades. He just needs different creative minds bringing him to life. Introducing a new Iron Fist would also coincide well with Shang-Chi starring in his own MCU movie. Perhaps in a sequel, Shang-Chi and Danny Rand could team up. Other benefits of bringing in a new Iron Fist include him actually wearing his superhero costume (he only wore the mask once in a flashback in the TV series) and, as I’ll talk more about in the next section, pairing him with Luke Cage as actual Heroes for Hire.
Mike Colter was a great Luke Cage, and the first half of Luke Cage Season 1 was some of Marvel’s best Netflix content. It was interesting seeing Luke, following the events of Jessica Jones Season 1, trying to live a quiet and normal life, only to be forced into the spotlight and use his powers to protect Harlem. But Luke Cage is deserving of a bigger playing field, and rather than portray him as a reluctant superhero, why not give us a version of the character who initially rents out his super strength and unbreakable skin?
As mentioned in the Iron Fist section, it would be great to see Luke Cage and Iron Fist in an actual Heroes for Hire dynamic, where they’re initially more interested in making money. Of course, both characters would eventually realize that they need to tread down the heroic path without concern for profit, and from there, Luke Cage can gradually evolve into the man who’s recruited to The Avengers and perhaps even lead the team someday.
Opinions will vary on who delivered the best performance in the Marvel Netflix shows, but Vincent D’Onofrio definitely turned a lot of heads for his turn as Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. Kingpin. One could even make an argument that D’Onofrio’s Kingpin the greatest villain of the entire MCU, so needless to say that whoever succeeds him in the role would have a lot riding on them. Still, this would be worth pursuing.
There are two main reasons why Kingpin is deserving of a reboot within the MCU. One, with the right kind of practical or digital effects, we could get a Kingpin who looks almost as massive as how he’s presented in the comics, although probably not as large as the house-like Wilson Fisk from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Second, like Daredevil, Kingpin has a long history with Spider-Man. In fact, he was fighting the Web-Slinger before the Man Without Fear. Whether Kingpin serves as the main villain of a Spider-Man story or an opening threat, the time has come to see these two cross paths in live action.
While Elodie Yung’s portrayal of Elektra Natchios was an improvement over Jennifer Garner’s, there was still something about the character that felt off during our time with her in Daredevil Season 2 and The Defenders. Her sexually-charged relationship with Matt Murdock was fun to watch, but because so much time was spent on her being used as a tool for The Hand, it never felt like Elektra was explored to her full potential. Why not rectify that with a new version?
If Daredevil gets rebooted within the MCU, then Elektra needs to follow, too. Along with giving her a costume that more closely resembles what she wears in the comics, this new Elektra should be distanced from her predecessor by not having ties to The Hand. Instead, perhaps she’s instead brought in as one of the Kingpin’s top assassins, but once her relationship with Matt Murdock starts to flourish, she tries to leave her life of killing behind.
Bullseye was one of the pleasant surprises of Daredevil Season 3. While he was never actually called Bullseye and didn’t wear his classic costume, Wilson Bethel’s Benjamin Poindexter was a surprisingly compelling character who was just as skilled a killer as his comic book counterpart and, thanks to an intriguing backstory, was more sympathetic than usually depicted.
If a different Bullseye for the MCU can retain that level of sympathy, then that’s great, but even if he’s the kind of scumbag we’re used to reading about, he’d still be a welcome addition. Like Elektra, Bullseye could easily be introduced as an assassin serving the Kingpin, or maybe to switch things up, he’s working for a different crime boss. Regardless of who’s paying Bullseye, he needs to wear something akin to his costume from the printed page. Cutting a target into your forehead just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Played by Simone Missick, Misty Knight was a welcome addition to the Marvel Netflix franchise, and I give the shows props for actually cutting off her arm and giving her a bionic replacement. Still, in this more grounded environment (relatively speaking), Misty never graduated from police officer to special hero. It was great for Luke and the gang to have an ally within the NYPD, but what about audiences being given a Misty who provides her services in the private sector?
In order to distinguish herself from Missick’s version, the new Misty Knight should be a private investigator, which would still be a useful way for her to cross paths with Luke Cage and Colleen Wing (more on her soon). Plus, if an increased budget is on the table, that allows for more to be done to Misty’s prosthetic arm. Think of something along the lines of Winter Soldier’s metal arm, but with added goodies like shooting energy blasts, generating repulsor fields and launching magnetic waves.
If Misty Knight gets rebooted within the MCU, then Colleen Wing needs to as well. Admittedly, Iron Fist Season 2 did end with Jessica Henwick’sColleen gaining the power of the Iron Fist and channeling it through her sword to fight crime in New York City’s neighborhoods, so it would have been cool to see how that storyline turned out. Alas, that probably won’t happen, but just like everyone else on this list, that doesn’t mean Colleen shouldn’t get a second chance at live action glory.
Colleen Wing is formidable enough on her own, whether she’s a non-powered swordswoman or can channel her chi to physically enhance herself. But when she’s paired with Misty Knight, then you have an iconic Marvel duo: The Daughters of the Dragon. Colleen and Misty teamed up several times in the Marvel Netflix shows, but these never felt like Daughters moments. Numerous Marvel fans clamored for a Daughters of the Dragons spinoff in the Netflix-verse, so why not deliver such a product with new actors attached?
Which of these Marvel Netflix characters would you like to see rebooted within the MCU?