Spoiler Warning: This post contains spoilers for season 2 of Daredevil. If you have not finished the series, turn away now.
After waiting almost a year, the follow up season for Daredevil hit last week and has received nearly equal the amount of praise as the first season got. You may be like me and are anxiously awaiting for a third season, but with Netflix and Marvel currently working on Luke Cage, which just wrapped production on its first season, and Iron Fist, which enters production in mid-Aoril, they’ve got their hands full. That does not even include the looming The Defenders mini-series, the already announced second season for Jessica Jones, or any number of other new properties or spin-offs for characters like the Punisher that they are interested in making.
As we wait for a third season renewal, and likely wait for two years to see it even air, everyone involved with the show have been partaking in plenty of interviews regarding the second season. Variety had the chance to talk to showrunners Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie about a lot of the different aspects of the season.
One of the new “villains” to the show was Matt’s old girlfriend Elektra. Her presence brought about plenty of conflicting emotions for our hero, and it was not easy for him to always say no. Petrie explains that both her reemergence in Matt’s life, alongside the introduction of Frank Castle, tested the character in new ways.
Petrie: We joke that we’ve got the best version of Betty and Veronica ever offered to storytellers: you’ve got Elektra, who’s a different kind of temptation. In addition to Frank Castle showing up and saying “I kill, you don’t, why don’t you?” and Matt having to deal with that, Elektra is also well known in the canon as a killer. For Matt, it’s kind of this temptation of every kind of freedom that he denies himself. So it’s sexual freedom; it’s emotional freedom; it’s freedom from society; freedom from constraints; freedom from the 10 Commandments; freedom from all of those things.
He’s a guy who really is chomping at the bit. He really does want to be free of those things and he binds himself deliberately and then here comes Elektra saying “wouldn’t you be a lot happier and wouldn’t it just be better for everybody if you just let yourself be free?” That’s very hard for Matt to say no to right away.
Punisher constantly pushing Matt’s moral boundaries was put on full display early on in the season with episode 2. As they exchanged verbal blows following their previous encounter, it was hard to choose who had the right mindset. If you responded that way, it is exactly how they wanted you to.
Ramirez: I think that’s part of the fun for us in writing that episode. That stuff on the rooftop, it felt like you don’t necessarily have to pick a side. You’re just here listening to two really smart, very driven people argue methodology.
I think in terms of how that influence from the Punisher will affect Matt going forward toward the end of the season and the future was incredibly important to us. First and foremost, even beyond just being excited to use the Punisher and have him in our storyline, it was also really exciting because I felt like we can use him as a tool to sharpen Matt and get Matt into this other place, just in terms of where the Punisher helps us get Matt by the end of the season and what we can drag him through — we can watch Matt evolve and harden or soften by the end of the season, that was always really important to us.
He goes up against and alongside one of the most powerful men he will ever encounter in his life as a superhero. We hope as writers we took him to a place where he’s learned a hell of a lot about himself, about the world, about how things operate, about what he’s been naïve about, about spiritually where he is and what he really truly believes in. So it always points back to us getting Matt to places we find interesting.
Immediately following this exchange comes the highly teased follow up to the Hallway Fight from season 1. Approaching this attempt, they did not want to try and do something bigger and better, even if it was, but focused on making it unique with a different feel than the first.
Ramirez: It’s not just about topping it. For me and I think for Doug as well it’s just about variety. It’s about what can we do now that’s fresh and different? It doesn’t have to be bigger. We might do a fight scene that’s even smaller but what can we do to give the audience something to talk about and chew on that they’ve never seen before?
Petrie: This was more about oppression and rage and what happens when you chain the devil up and then the devil has to go to hell to kind of reclaim his prize. We thought if we have Daredevil and we’ve got this guy in horns, let’s do it; let’s do a descent into hell and that’s our Hieronymus Bosch via “The Raid” moment. We can’t say enough great things about Phil Silvera and his team and the way they put together, choreographed and shot this. Yes, it was a very full day. When we wrote “interior stairwell giant fight scene,” they loved and hated us with equal passion. But they pulled it off beautifully and we’re very proud of them.
The season featured plenty of Easter eggs, tie-ins, and crossover from the first season and even Jessica Jones. These connections are not always originally planned, but often come out of simply having the ability to bring everything together.
Ramirez: I think it’s pretty organic. What’s lovely is that it’s never really felt inorganic and forced upon us in any way. It feels like we’ll have a story and there will be a cop in it or a random criminal in it and someone from Marvel will say “this might be an opportunity to use so and so from this episode of ‘Jessica.’” So we break the story first. We think in story, we don’t think in Easter eggs. We come up with a good story and if there’s somebody already cast who’s great, who already exists in the world of the Marvel’s Hell’s Kitchen world and Harlem now coming with Luke [Cage], great. All the better. It’s a great opportunity. Much like they did on “The Wire” to have the upper and lower echelons of society interacting, you might recognize a face from six episodes ago. That’s all really interesting to us. So if it happens to be convenient, why not use an actor who already exists in the world of the shows? What we hope to not have to do ever is do it just for the sake of making a crossing of paths. We hope that the story itself can stand alone, whether or not it’s the crossing of paths. If we can cross paths and they could all feel interwoven, that’s the hat trick.
Season 2 of Daredevil is currently streaming exclusively on Netflix.