As every Marvel fan knows, it's not just in the big screen world of the Avengers and the MCU that characters from separate stories cross paths. The Netflix Marvel shows, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Punisher, were built on the promise that they'd eventually cross over. That started happening slowly and in smaller ways, like Luke Cage debuting originally in Jessica Jones Season 1. It all built up to The Defenders, and since then, it's been open season as far as crossovers go.
But in Daredevil Season 3, Matt Murdock will work alone. This season of Daredevil won't feature characters or other crossovers from other Netflix shows, and showrunner Erik Oleson has explained why.
"I did not do any crossovers in Season 3," Oleson told GameSpot during group interviews at New York Comic Con. "And that was a deliberate decision. I just wanted the real estate for the characters that we had already on the show."
"This season I very much wanted to get back to the core Daredevil characters and more fully flesh them out," he explained. "I did not want to distract the audience with fun, but ultimately distracting, drop-bys by some of the other characters in the universe."
According to Oleson, that's it: Those crossovers, while they can be fun, are ultimately distracting, and would have taken away from the story he wanted to tell. Based on the first six episodes, which we saw early, that story will get into deep development for the main Daredevil characters--Matt, Foggy, Karen, and Fisk--while introducing a handful of new ones, like the classic Daredevil villain Bullseye. And according to Oleson, it draws heavily on the comics.
"I really wanted to come back to the Daredevil comic," Oleson said. "I wanted to treat Season 3 as if it were my own run of the comics, in the way that Miller or Bendis or Smith or any of those guys were able to come in and do their run that honored what came before, and yet put their own stamp on each of the comics. I wanted to put my own stamp on the show."
He emphasized that he also wanted to flesh out the characters more. "I'm a firm believer that nobody is really a sidekick--that everybody is the hero of their own story," he said. "And I wanted to be able to go deeper into Foggy, go deeper into Karen, and really flesh out every member of the ensemble."
Where Iron Fist Season 2 (which has since been canceled) was compacted into 10 episodes, Daredevil Season 3 goes back to the 13 episodes that's typical for the Marvel Netflix shows. But Oleson swears that "none of them drag--none of them!" The showrunner said he wanted this season to feel like The Sopranos.
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"One of the early things that I told Marvel was that I wanted to aim tonally between Season 1 of [Daredevil], and The Sopranos," he said. "I wanted to bring that kind of storytelling model where you are telling the story from the inside--meaning from the experience of the characters, so that you are experiencing the story like Matt Murdock would, or like Karen Page would--you're not watching them from outside...My style is more character driven, everything is emotionally honest, and then you have these lightning bolt moments of Marvel where you're like, 'Oh that's right, we're watching this awesome show that has these amazing iconic moments and action sequences and that heightened reality!' But everybody is able to be real in the scenes, and as a result I'm bonding the audience and the characters, hopefully in an honest way."
All that said, Oleson made it clear that more crossovers will likely happen in the future, and in other Marvel Netflix shows coming up. "That's not to say that in the future that won't happen," he said. It's unclear whether connecting all these stories and characters is still a priority for Netflix and Marvel, as reception to Defenders was generally lukewarm at best. For now, it seems like we're just going to get one really kickass season of Daredevil.
Daredevil Season 3 hits Netflix October 19.