Netflix cancelled Daredevil last month, a move which shocked many as the series was coming off of a highly successful third season and the show’s writers were already busy laying out the fourth season. There was the question of just why Netflix would do this to a popular series, but rumours quickly began swirling that it was in fact Marvel, and not Netflix, who had actually ordered the cancellation.
Amy Rutberg, who has played Marci Stahl on all three seasons of Daredevil in addition to The Defenders, spoke with Inverse to say the decision to cancel Daredevil was purely Netflix’s. “My contacts at Marvel were very surprised,” Rutberg said. “Any of the rumors that it was a Marvel decision are wrong, I think it was purely a Netflix decision. That comes from personal conversations with people high up at Marvel. They were surprised.” The actress added that production on season four was rumoured to be kicking off as early as February 2019. “It’s a little unusual to be that far ahead in the planning and cancel the show, which makes me think Netflix was laboring over whether or not to cancel it. My guess was it was not an easy decision,” Rutberg said.
The actress wasn’t about to reveal what direction the fourth season would have have gone, only to say that most of the cast had assumed that the show would run a total of five seasons. She also confirmed that Marvel’s contract with Netflix includes a clause which prevents the characters of Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist from appearing in any non-Netflix series or film for at least two years after the cancellation of the series. “There is this very real contract with Netflix,” she said. “I had heard 18 months, maybe it’s 2 years. I suppose it’s possible that Marvel could buy them out, but I have not heard so much as a whisper.” Marvel has hinted that audiences could “look forward to more adventures with the Man without Fear in the future,” but it remains to be seen what form those adventures would take.