Here's How The "Daredevil" Disney+ Controversy Might Explain Why So Many Streaming Shows Get Canceled After The Second Season

The upcoming Disney+ Daredevil reboot, Daredevil: Born Again, has been called an "old Disney scam" by its former showrunner.

Former showrunner Steven DeKnight on the red carpet for a Daredevil event
Angela Weiss / Getty Images

For context, Daredevil on Netflix was the first Marvel Netflix series and starred Charlie Cox in the titular role. It ran for three seasons between 2015–2018.

A promo poster for Daredevil featuring Charlie Cox with beaten up knuckles
Netflix / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Both Charlie and Vincent D’Onofrio, who played Wilson Fisk/Kingpin in the Netflix version, have been confirmed for the Disney+ reboot. Jon Bernthal, who first appeared in Season 2 of Daredevil, will also be returning as Frank Castle/The Punisher. Not a ton is known about the series, which will have 18 episodes, especially as it looks like it will be indefinitely delayed amid the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

Daredevil and King Pin
Nicole Rivelli / © Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection

Yesterday, a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees — aka the union that covers lots of behind-the-scenes workers — tweeted about shows that are canceled after two seasons and claimed that IATSE base wages and conditions are based on how many "arbitrary" seasons a show has. He added, "Canceling shows before Season 3, rebooting shows, and all the nonsense is about undercutting workers."

Daredevil in court sitting next to a client
Barry Wetcher / Netflix / Courtesy: Everett Collection

"I worked on all of the Marvel Netflix shows which all were canceled in Season 2 or 3. Our contracts only give us full vacation pay (like 36 cents per hour worked or some shit) on Season 3 shows. Four years of work I never got a raise or vacation pay. Like $20,000," he continued.

Charlie Cox as Daredevil
Patrick Harbron / Netflix / Courtesy: Everett Collection

He then specifically called out the Daredevil reboot, alleging that it'll mean that the crew will be paid less than if it were Season 4 of the show. He tagged Steven DeKnight, who was showrunner of Season 1 of Daredevil.

Twitter: @t_NYC

Affirming that he did know what was happening, Steven replied, "It’s an old Disney scam where they slightly rename a series to reset contract terms back to first season. Needs to be addressed by all the guilds/unions and crushed!"

Twitter: @stevendeknight

He then clarified that while he was excited for Charlie and Vincent to reprise their roles, "to claim this is a complete reboot and you don't have to pay the original creatives is some corporate shenanigans, to say the least."

Screenshot of DeKnight's tweet
Steven DeKnight / Via Twitter: @RavensFilm

Steven further alleged that the pattern of shows being canceled after two seasons was fairly new to streaming: "This is why you see streamers like Netflix canceling shows that are by all measures popular after only 1 or 2 seasons. Very different metrics from the old days."

Twitter: @stevendeknight

And that any "deal points" he had from the original Daredevil series would no longer apply:

Twitter: @stevendeknight

Another former Daredevil showrunner, Erik Oleson, said in March that he does view the upcoming Disney+ series as Season 4 of the original, saying, "We used pieces of Born Again in our season. I still call [Daredevil: Born Again] Season 4, but they're trying to insist it isn't, so I'll go along with whatever they want to call it."

Erik Oleson sitting and speaking onstage
Craig Barritt / Getty Images for New York Comic Con

BuzzFeed has reached out to IATSE and Disney+ for comment.