UPDATE: Since the publication of this article 2 months ago, there has been tons of uncovered new info about the show. So to push your hype even further, we’ve decided to elaborate an already-elaborate article with even more information.
Get hyped! The Marvel/Netflix shows are already kicking into high gear with AKA Jessica Jones rounding up it’s amazing cast, finally starting production and Daredevil premiering in one fucking week. To prepare you guys for the forthcoming fearless Daredevil show, we’ve scoured the interwebz and compiled all there is to know about it; all the casting news, DeKnight’s Twitter Q&A’s, the NYCC Panel, rumors, and our own speculative trailer breakdown.
It’s a well known story amongst geeks: when Marvel was on the verge of bankruptcy decades ago, they desperately licensed several of their characters to film studios in the hopes of a future live adaptation. Daredevil was one of the properties that eventually made its way to 20th Century Fox.
Following the lackluster Ben Affleck film (which had elements I loved), 20th Century Fox decided to shelf the project for the meantime and talks of a possible reboot followed. Various creative teams were rumored to be attached to the reboot until it was announced that David Slade would be taking the director’s chair. Slade, who mentioned Josh Hartnett as a prime choice for Matt Murdock, soon dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
It wasn’t until 2012 when Fox desperately scrambled to find a replacement to Slade as the rights to Daredevil were due to expire (and return to Marvel Studios) on October of that year if they were unable to get the film into production. The studio then settled on Joe Carnahan and the reboot was seemingly on its way to fruition. Carnahan even posted an amazing sizzle reel of his own take on the character: a Serpico-esque crime thriller set in the 70s that is evidently inspired by Miller’s run.
A rumored deal was also happening behind the scenes. Marvel was said to have offered Fox an extension of development rights for Joe Carnahan’s Daredevil film in exchange for two of their most popular Fantastic Four characters, Galactus & Silver Surfer.
As evidenced by the way things are now, none of those came close to playing out. Which brings us to 2013: ‘Ol Hornhead is back with Marvel Studios (along with street colleagues Punisher, Blade & Ghost Rider) and is announced to be starring in his own Netflix produced show alongside Iron Fist, Luke Cage & Jessica Jones, culminating in a Defenders miniseries event. Fans all over the world got their minds blown including mine obviously.
Production for this show soon picked up and it was announced that Whedon-alumni Drew Goddard would be showrunning as well as writing and directing the pilot. Goddard then eventually stepped down after being offered the director’s chair for Sony’s Sinister Six. Spartacus showrunner Steven DeKnight took his place and the show has never been in better hands.
The Cast & Characters
May of 2014, Charlie Cox was announced to be playing Matt Murdock/Daredevil. Rosario Dawson – arguably the biggest name of all the cast – is cast in an undisclosed role, eventually revealed to be the Night Nurse. The role of Wilson Fisk is then given to Vincent D’Onofrio. A few days later, Elden Henson is cast as Franklin “Foggy” Nelson. By July, Karen Page is finally given an on-screen break in the form of True Blood star Deborah Ann Woll. The entirity of the cast is fully revealed at the 2014 New York Comic Con.
Charlie Cox as Daredevil
It’s a story Joe Quesada has been telling for the past few months; way before this series was developed, Joe Quesada calls Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb and tells him that he’s found their Daredevil. Loeb says something like “Well, we don’t have Daredevil yet.” “Yeah, but we’re getting him eventually and I’ve found the guy” Quesada says. That guy was Charlie Cox. Doesn’t mean much but it kinda tells you how close they’re sticking to their vision for this show.
Vincent D’Onofrio as The Kingpin
I’ve talked about this before so let me just repeat what I’ve said about D’Onofrio as Kingpin. Vincent D’Onofrio is one the best actors Marvel has bagged for a project of theirs. Call me biased or whatever but the man is scary talented with a very mesmerizing presence on screen. An actor of his gravitas gives this show the cinematic legitimacy it needs.
Not only that, but the Kingpin as a character opens a lot of doors in the MCU. He is a villain that is not limited to Daredevil alone. Him being the Kingpin of the entire New York crime syndicate enables the character to crossover with the other Marvel/Netflix properties. His influence may be felt throughout the Defenders series. Heck, now that Spider-Man is in the MCU they could maybe one day face off as well.
Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page
Daredevil 101: Contrary to popular belief, Matt Murdock’s true love isn’t the more popular Elektra Natchios but the often forgotten Karen Page. As a fan it is a huge relief to see Karen get her live action dues.
Karen first starts out as a secretary for Matt and Foggy and her character eventually develops into Matt Murdock’s first love interest in the comics. Due to the nature of Murdock’s secret life, their relationship starts out rocky and ends up disastrous on all fronts. Karen is notoriously responsible for setting the events of Born Again in motion, which results in the discovery of Daredevil’s real identity by Wilson Fisk.
Whether her character does the same to Matt in the show is yet to be seen but Deborah Ann Woll summed up Karen Page perfectly back in NYCC; she doesn’t get into trouble. She IS trouble.
Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson
I don’t know much about Elden Henson except for the fact that he was in Mighty Ducks but for whatever reason, I’m glad he’s playing Foggy. There’s just something about his charm that jives so well with Foggy’s character.
Franklin “Foggy” Nelson is probably the biggest constant in the chaotic life of Matt Murdock. No matter who he faces or deals with, Foggy is always there for Matt. They are the Sam and Frodo of the Marvel Universe – with the added element of you know, being normal sized. I’m really excited to see what Elden is going to bring to the most important supporting character of Matt Murdock’s life.
Scott Glenn as Stick
Stick is an enigma in the life of Matt Murdock. A mysterious blind ninja in the guise of a janitor, who also happens to be the leader of a good guy ninja cult called the Chaste. He trains a recently blinded Matt Murdock in the hopes of having him lead the Chaste in the war against the Hand (an order of evil mystical ninjas) one day. I’m really hoping that Stick’s presence in this show slowly seeds the ninja occult elements we’re all hoping to see in future seasons. Eyewitness reports even mention a fight between Daredevil and “a ninja with a kyoketsu-shoge knife on a chain.”
Ayelet Zurer as Vanessa Fisk
Kal El’s mom is playing the wife of the Kingpin. It’s been a while since we’ve had/seen a love interest for a major villain in a comic book adaptation. It’s a very uncommon trait for a villain to have a sense of vulnerability but it always gives us an interesting look into the complexity of a character. That is why it’s all the more exciting to see the life of Wilson Fisk play out.
Vanessa Fisk is the troubled wife of Wilson Fisk. She is burdened with the fact that her husband is one of the most powerful criminals in the world and is deeply conflicted with her own sense of morality. That sense of morality is slowly blurred throughout her life which eventually leads to her tragic fall in the comics.
Bob Gunton as The Owl
Man I love the Owl. A second rate crime lord who has such a strong affinity for owls that he experiments on himself to have traits resembling them. He is one of few remaining villains from Daredevil’s very campy past and has transitioned smoothly into one of Daredevil’s constant threats in the modern age.
We actually get a tiny glimpse of him surrounded by his goons in the trailer. Judging by how he sort of looks from behind, he seems to be a normal pudgy guy and is devoid from all the physical elements of an owl; although the owl traits could have just been watered down. His role in this series is really anyone’s guess. He could be a leader of a rival syndicate that teams up with Fisk to deal with Daredevil or he could be an underboss to Fisk.
Vondie Curtis-Hall as Ben Urich
Ben Urich is a determined, no-nonsense investigative journalist who allies himself with Daredevil (whose identity he eventually deduces). Ben Urich has made numerous efforts in taking down the Kingpin’s empire through pen and ink. He embodies all that is respectable in the media and he has values that – what I think – make a good investigative journalist. He is a hero/vigilante in his own right.
Rosario Dawson as the Night Nurse
Undoubtedly the most recognizable name and face among the cast, Rosario Dawson’s role was initially shrouded in secrecy. Everyone all assumed she was Elektra so it came as a surprise when she was announced as Claire Temple, who once went by the name of Night Nurse.
I’ve talked in detail before about who the Night Nurse exactly is and how she could fit in the bigger scheme of things. She is essentially the go-to person for vigilantes like Daredevil when they need medical help. Emphasis on vigilantes, people such as Luke Cage, Iron Fist & Jessica Jones. That role could very well make her the connective tissue of the entire Defenders saga.
Toby Leonard Moore as Wesley
Wesley has been described as Wilson Fisk’s right-hand man. Judging from the teasers, the character seems to be the man in-charge with Fisk’s day to day operations, which leads us to assume that Wilson Fisk in the show may be as an enigmatic figure as Daredevil is. As far as comic connections go, there is a character named Wesley in Daredevil: Born Again so this role may very well be named after that.
There were also last minute casting confirmations for characters like Madame Gao, Turk, Melvin Potter, Vladimir, Anatoly and Nobu – to be played by Wai Ching Ho, Rob Morgan, Matt Gerald, Nikolai Nikolaeff, Gideon Emery and Peter Shinkoda respectively. With the exception of Turk and Melvin Potter, all these character are hinted to be mobsters looking to make a name for their own. You can in fact see these characters in this shot in the teaser standing with Leland Owlsley.
Interestingly enough, Peter Shinkoda’s role was announced way back last year as a character named Hachiro. So it was a bit surprising for me to see him reannounced as a different character. Fan speculation dictates that he could possibly be playing a character connected to the Hand.
Matt Gerald as Gladiator
Gladiator in the comics is a villain-turned-good guy named Melvin Potter. A costume designer, he donned spinning razor blades on his forearms and went toe to to against Daredevil several times. Despite this fact, Potter had always been this conflicted villain who always wound up working for bad guys. Matt Murdock eventually helped Potter find his way back in life and the two have been confidants ever since. Fun fact: Matt Gerald has already appeared in the MCU as White Power Dave in the one-shot All Hail the King. You can check out our exclusive interview with Matt here.
Rob Morgan as Turk
Before Turk was announced, he was one of the characters that I thought was sorely missing from the show. Turk is a small but iconic character in the Daredevil mythos. A comic relief at times and a piece of shit criminal most of the time, the character has been around for all of Daredevil’s most difficult trials. Its cool to see the character come to life to say the least.
The NYCC Footage
We’ve broken down the teaser trailer on our own but we have yet to talk about how certain scenes from the teaser connect to what was shown last October at New York Comic Con. Certain scenes from the teaser were actually elaborated on at the Daredevil panel, so let’s talk about them with the help of NYCC reports from certain news trades. Mild spoilers ahead.
Karen goes to prison
According to IGN, one of the clips shown at the convention was a scene where Karen Page makes Matt and Foggy dinner at their law firm as a thank you for bailing her out of prison. Two interesting points in this scene (other than the fact that she went to jail) according to the trades: a hint at a love triangle among the three characters and Karen/Foggy’s obliviousness to Daredevil’s identity when they refer to him as a nut in a mask, which in the comics, both scenarios were prominent when Daredevil first began.
Now why is she in prison in the first place? It could be a lot of things. That scene in the trailer with the knife and the blood clearly implies that Karen may have gotten herself tangled in a murder, in which she may or may not have been framed. They weren’t kidding when they said that Karen brings trouble as evidenced by the next item. By the way, they also end up hiring her after this scene.
Karen gets ambushed in her apartment
This scene is said to begin with Karen entering her apartment during a rainy night only to realize that it has been broken into. She heads inside to grab a cellphone hidden in a vent when Kingpin’s right hand man Wesley shows up. Wesley gets violent with her in an attempt to get the cellphone when a nut in a mask appears out of nowhere to beat the shit out of him.
If I were a betting man, I’d say this scene is very much correlated to how or why she is sent to prison. Either way, this is the scene that they are clearly referring to in the aformentioned dinner scene.
So yeah, the fight between Wesley and Daredevil is then brought to the rainy streets after they fall down from Karen’s apartment window, which leads us to the next scene.
Daredevil has a flashback
Daredevil lands on the asphalt and is temporarily knocked out. We then get a very touching flashback scene elaborating on Matt’s relationship with his father, who tells him to hit the books, to grow up as a smart man and not one who thinks by force. Jack Murdock uses himself as an example and has Matt touch his bruised and beat up face. Jack tells him “Come on, Matty. Get to work,” and we then cut to the very last shot of the trailer.
It’s a curious thing to see a part of his backstory told through a flashback and I wonder if his entire backstory will be fleshed out the same way.
Daredevil meets the Night Nurse
This scene may very well be our first introduction to the person who could be the connective tissue of the entire Netflix shows. A beat up Daredevil is helped by Claire Temple after she finds him in a dumpster. To the dismay of Matt Murdock she unmasks him but tells him not to worry. She comments on the costume and Matt tells her that its a work in progress. When asked for more information, Murdock refuses to tell her and she instead tells him about an ex-boyfriend who kept a lot of secrets. She decides to call him Mike (which may be a callback to the very campy Mike Murdock story).
Wilson Fisk meets Vanessa Marianna
This is the only glimpse we have at Wilson Fisk and its been said to be set in the scene where he meets his future wife. Vanessa approaches Fisk as he quietly stares at the painting and asks Wilson if he is interested in purchasing, to which Wilson answers yes. She then asks him what he thinks of the painting. “It makes me feel alone”, Fisk says.
There is also another quick shot in the trailer where we are shown Matt Murdock, in what appears to be the same art gallery, noticing Fisk as he approaches. I’m wondering if this particular meeting scene between Wilson and Vanessa is a flashback, because if not it means that their relationship develops throughout the season and we may see them getting hitched eventually. It’s been mentioned a couple of times that this is an origin for the Kingpin just as it is for Daredevil, so it will be interesting to see if that origin truly begins once he’s married to Vanessa.
The Finer Details
Now that we’ve elaborated on the characters and what was teased in the trailers, we can now move on to the details of the actual show. Through the information divulged in official interviews, hearsay, fan analysis and DeKnight’s twitter account, I’ve managed to compile all of them into this section. Here’s what we know about the show.
Colin Farrell and Jennifer Garner’s take on the roles left a bad taste in the mouth for the majority of fans and these characters were in all the wishlists to appear in the new series. Best guess: they’re saving two of the most lethal and iconic Daredevil foes to appear in a future season.
Now there’s a chance that those comments are meant to mislead us fans and surprise us along the way. Elektra was once Stick’s student so we may hear of her or see her in a flashback. But with the way they’ve been emphasizing on how self-contained this show is going to be and how much of it is about Fisk and Murdock, I wouldn’t get my hopes up.
The red suit will no doubt appear
In the recent TV spots, Claire Temple says what a lot of fans have been thinking “You’re costume sucks by the way,” to Matt Murdock who then replies, “Its a work in progress.” It should be no secret by now that Matt Murdock will don the red suit. We even saw a vague glimpse of it in the motion posters.
DeKnight confirms the ninja costume’s evolution throughout the series saying that Daredevil getting beat up a lot will leads him to improving his costume by adding more padding and updating it for protection. That of course eventually brings him to his red suit. Getting to the red suit is part of the fun, as what DeKnight says.
There’s been rumors going around that its Melvin Potter who ends up designing/creating for the red suit of Matt Murdock. Potter is said to be working for Fisk as an inventor, creating protective gear for the mob and whatnot. It would be an interesting turn of events and a great homage to the comics to see Melvin Potter switch teams with Matt Murdock and design the suit for him.
There will be an explanation why Hell’s Kitchen is like it was in the 70s/80s
When the show was announced, a lot of initial comments were directed at how Daredevil wouldn’t fit in the current state of Hell’s Kitchen. Yeah we get it, Hell’s Kitchen isn’t the Vice City it once was but in a universe where gods and monsters team up to fight an alien fleet, is that so hard to believe?
Marvel Television’s Emma Fleisher confirms that ramifications of the Chitauri invasion will indeed play a major part in the defeated state of Hell’s Kitchen. I for one think that the collateral damage resulting in the need for funds could cause all the major players in NY crime to make a play for power.
There will be ninjas
By definition, Daredevil is a ninja. In the comics, him and Elektra were groomed by Stick to one day fight alongside The Chaste in their neverending war against The Hand. It’s anyones guess on who that ninja kicking the shit out of Daredevil is. It could be Kirigi, villain newcomer Ikari or it could be just a random Hand ninja. Nevertheless, it’s so mindblowing to me as a fan that we’ll be getting a tiny taste of that aspct of Daredevil’s mythology in the MCU.
Daredevil is set in the now-ish
Bold speculation: this show is set post-NY invasion and pre-Age of Ultron. It specifically happens right before the events of The Winter Soldier. SHIELD is still happening and Tony has defeated Killian and is already setting up shop in New York with Banner.
A good chance for future seasons
Based on Daredevil’s popularity and brand recognition alone, a second season is very likely. He’s the most popular among the Defenders, he has the richest mythology and because the bar set by Batfleck was so low, this has a high guarantee for success.
DeKnight is a huge fan of Stilt-Man & Punisher
Daredevil is the perfect show for Punisher to have an appearance in. DeKnight makes his love for the character no secret and even mentions a pre-MCU Punisher War Zone script he did. I really hope all this Punisher talk on Twitter is DeKnight hinting that there may be a white skull to look out for.
Stilt-Man is the ultimate tie to Daredevil’s campy past. Being grounded and gritty is cool and all but Wilbur Day is the tongue-in-cheek fun campiness the MCU needs.
Easter eggs will be aplenty for casual and diehard fans
Can’t have a Marvel property without those juicy references to the larger universe and the easter eggs that come with it. The two ones that have blown my mind have to be that Crusher Creel connection and that Rand Corporation connection.
Crusher Creel as we all know appeared in Agents of SHIELD as Absorbing Man and Coulson even made a mention to his boxing career. If I were to guess that context of this egg is that it probably takes place before Creel gets his powers; a young brash Creel against an aging Jack Murdock. This could be the fight that Jack refuses to throw which leads to his death.
As pointed out by our friends at Reddit, the truck carrying the vat of chemicals which blinds Matt is clearly owned by Rand Oil & Chemicals. Comic fans would know to associate the name Rand with Danny Rand, the future Defender known as Iron Fist. This accident could lead to a courthouse scene wherein the Rand corporation is put on trial with Jeryn Hogarth as the Rand’s layer. Jeryn Hogarth of course is Danny Rand’s future closest confidant.
There’s a shot in one of the trailers that has Ben Urich mapping out the Kingpin’s organization. This shot in particular offers a lot of information about the show, particularly the names of his underbosses. You got confirmed connections with the Chinese and the Russian brothers Anatoly and Vladimir. But one of the more interesting names on that wall is Farnum. Now in Daredevil’s lore the name Farnum belongs to Frank Farnum, a DD villain named the Masked Marauder. Another cool nod to Daredevil’s obscure rogues.
Those are just some of the many connections we’ll get to see on the show. Other easter eggs that would be really awesome to see/hear referenced:
- DD supporting characters: Dakota North, Becky Blake, Rosalynd Sharpe, Maya Lopez
- DD villains: The Matador, Stilt-Man, The Jester, Mr. Fear, Tombstone, Typhoid Mary, Black Tarantula
- Daredevil’s yellow costume
- A reference to DD writers such as Frank Miller, Bendis, Mark Waid, Gene Colan and Bill Everett.
The creative team comes from acclaimed TV shows
Steven DeKnight, who has been responsible for the brutal awesomeness that is Spartacus, has worked with Whedon on Buffy, Dollhouse and Angel, is running and executive producing the show. Confirmed directors so far are Phil Abraham (who worked on the Sopranos), Farren Blackburn (who has done episodes for **Luther), Ernest Dickerson (who did several episodes of this small show called The Wire) and Steven DeKnight himself who directed the season finale.
Following his exit as showrunner, Drew Goddard has been credited as the writer for the show and remains as a consultant/executive producer. DeKnight also vouches for Goddard as the new Spider-Man director. It’s also been confirmed that Fargo cinematographer Matthew Lloyd will be working on the show as well. John Paesano, who did the score for The Maze Runner will be doing the score for the show.
Netflix confirms that the show is TV-MA
Or in DeKnight’s own description: PG-16-ish. You can’t have Daredevil without raw violence. This is the first MCU venture to actually imply this level of violence and grit and it’s about time. Cursing and sexually suggestive moments have been confirmed by DeKnight himself and the teaser makes it clear: there will be blood.
Too late for anything Spider-Man to be included
One of the perks of having the Spider-Man franchise in the MCU is that he brings along a couple of things that are closely tied to the street level side of things. The Daily Bugle is one of them and they are notoriously critical of the street vigilantes, while Editor-in-Chief Jonah Jameson is critical of Ben Urich for mingling with their kind. Granted, it doesn’t change much for the overall arc but this inclusion could have been the first move in incorporating the Spider-Man franchise in the MCU.
They reference The French Connection and Dog Day Afternoon as cinematic inspiration among others
Iconic crime dramas with all the shebangs: cops, crooks, drugs, and crimelords. Those mentioned films remind me of the classic films the Russo Brothers cited as inspiration for their political thriller The Winter Soldier: Three Days of the Condor, Marathon Man and The Parallax View. My point is, it’s a damn good thing to use those films as reference.
Daredevil will be offered in 4k
To those who will be watching it at this resolution, I’m envious of you and I hate you. This is such a strong emphasis on the cinematic quality and experience the show is going to deliver.
A Stan Lee cameo is imminent
It’ll be an immensely sad day when Stan Lee won’t be able to make his cameos anymore and all we’ll have at the end is a In Loving Memory of Stan Lee.
The reviews have been very positive
It’s everything Nolan’s Batman never had time to explore, everything Arrow wants to be without network boundaries, and exactly the street-level drama Marvel needs to complete its superhero world.” – Screencrush
Like the Frank Miller work it honors, Daredevil is ahead of its time. It’s the most mature comic book series to-date, rivaling the quality of Marvel Studios’ best feature films. It raises the bar for all other shows to come—and not just comic book derivatives. Daredevil is a series that strikes the perfect harmony between engrossing tale and high-stakes adventure, daring everyone to join it for the next era of serialized storytelling. – comicbook.com
From its succinct telling of the origin, to the dynamic character drama, to the stellar fluid action, and the underlying through narrative, the show is another home run for Marvel. – SuperHeroHype
To see more of the Twitter screencaps you can check them out here, here, here, here and here. We have two other Daredevil related articles out there: a trailer breakdown and a speculative analysis on our Netflix villains Kingpin & Purple Man.
So that’s pretty much all there is to know about Daredevil that is up to date. We’re only one fucking week away from the actual show and I hope this article amps up the already immense excitement us fans are feeling.