Daredevil (TV series)

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Daredevil
Daredevil-televison.jpg
Genre
Created by Drew Goddard
Based on Daredevil 
by Stan Lee
Bill Everett
Starring
Theme music composer
Composer(s) John Paesano
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) Kati Johnston[1]
Editor(s) Jonathan Chibnal[1]
Location(s) New York City
Cinematography Matt Lloyd
Running time 48–59 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original channel Netflix
Picture format 4K (Ultra HD)
Original run April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10) – present
Chronology
Followed by Marvel's A.K.A. Jessica Jones
Related shows Marvel Cinematic Universe television series
External links
Official website

Marvel's Daredevil, or simply Daredevil, is an American web television series created for Netflix by Drew Goddard, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise, and is the first in a series of shows that will lead up to a Defenders crossover miniseries. The series is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios, DeKnight Prods. and Goddard Textiles, with Steven S. DeKnight serving as showrunner on the first season, and Goddard acting as consultant. Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez will take over as showrunners for the show's second season.

Charlie Cox stars as Matt Murdock / Daredevil, a lawyer-by-day who fights crime at night. The series chronicles the character's early days fighting crime, juxtaposed with the rise of crime lord Wilson Fisk, played by Vincent D'Onofrio. Daredevil entered development in late 2013, a year after the film rights to the character reverted to Marvel, with Goddard initially hired in December 2013. DeKnight replaced him as showrunner and Cox was hired to star in May 2014, with Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Toby Leonard Moore, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Bob Gunton, Ayelet Zurer, and Rosario Dawson also starring. Filming takes place in New York City, in areas that still look like the old Hell’s Kitchen.

All episodes of the first season premiered on April 10, 2015. The series was released to critical acclaim, with critics praising the action sequences, performances, and the darker tone compared to other properties set in the MCU. On April 21, 2015, Marvel and Netflix renewed Daredevil for a second season, due to premiere in 2016.

Premise[edit]

Lawyer-by-day Matt Murdock uses his heightened senses from being blinded as a young boy to fight crime at night on the streets of New York City's Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood as Daredevil.[2]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

A blind lawyer who becomes the hero Daredevil.[3] The idea of casting Cox as Daredevil came from Marvel's Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada in 2012, before Marvel Studios gained the rights to the character from 20th Century Fox.[4] Cox wanted to be involved with the series after reading the first two scripts for the series, telling his agent "These are two of the best TV scripts I've read".[5] Cox "had to do a lot of gym work" to change his physique to equal that of the more muscular character as drawn in the comics, and worked with a blind consultant.[5] DeKnight stated that "He's not super strong. He's not invulnerable. In every aspect, he's a man that's just pushed himself to the limits, he just has senses that are better than a normal human's. He is human." On the character's "grey" morals, he said, "He's a lawyer by day, and he's taken this oath. But every night he breaks that oath, and goes out and does very violent things. I really liked the flawed heroes, the human heroes."[6] Skylar Gaertner plays a young Matt Murdock.[7]
An enigmatic young woman whose quest for justice sends her crashing into Murdock's life.[8] On creating the character of Karen Page, after portraying Jessica Hamby in True Blood from 2008–14, Woll said, "I'm already starting to notice huge differences between the two characters ... I can feel myself go, 'Oh, if this was Jessica she would do this,' but wanting to kind of steer differently than that. It's always going to be me in some way. I think, as an actor, that's part of it."[9] Woll had not previously read any Daredevil comics, and turned to her boyfriend who is "a huge comic book fan" for guidance. She also added that Page's backstory would be different than the one from the comics, saying, "In the comic books, in the beginning Karen is very innocent, and then towards the end she's really swung a full 180, she's in a lot of trouble, so I wanted to find a way to make her both of those things at the same time. Can she be a really wonderful, kind person who is a little bit attracted to danger? She's not just always getting into trouble because 'Oh, silly woman!' Karen is actually looking for it, and she won't let her fear stop her from finding the truth."[5]
Murdock's close friend and law partner.[10] In April 2015, Henson spoke of his excitement for the character's role in the series, saying "I was really excited as I was getting the scripts and reading that Foggy wasn't just a useless sidekick. He's not just comic relief. I mean, he is some of those things. He does have comic relief, but it was exciting to know that these other characters would have their own path and their own things that they're dealing with."[11]
A nurse who helps Murdock,[12][14] the character is an amalgam of Temple and Night Nurse.[15] Dawson later explained that "[her] character is a normal person and she becomes more heroic in a way that she maybe didn't expect",[11] and went on to state that "She’s not a love interest – she’s this skeptical eye looking at this strange situation. She’s the one who can be like, “You’re not really good at this.” That makes it feel more real."[15] On her character's relationship to Murdock, Dawson said that "The show explores how necessary it is for two people to finally have their masks off with each other. For Matt Murdock, this is the first person he has that’s going to be able to see that transition for him. For her, she’s someone who also throws herself into the fray and had made it her life mission to help, even if that means risking her own life. But she gets confronted with the question: How far will you go? What does it mean if you’re helping someone who is maybe going to hurt other people?"[15] Dawson has said that "it seems likely" that she will reprise the role in further Marvel-Netflix series.[11]
A powerful businessman whose interests in the future of Hell's Kitchen will bring him into conflict with Murdock and Daredevil.[16][17] D'Onofrio stated he hoped his portrayal of Fisk was a new way to look at the character, and that it would be the definitive portrayal of the character.[18] "Our Fisk, he's a child and he's a monster," D'Onofrio said. "Every move that he makes and everything that he does in our story comes from his foundation of morality inside himself."[19] In December 2014, DeKnight detailed that "Fisk has very many different aspects so it’s not all, "I want to conquer the city and make a lot of money". In our story, we tell the story of how he met his wife Vanessa and how they fell in love – our antagonist actually has a love story. That's the love story you're following, the one you’re invested in, and seeing how that affects him and changes him." He also said that "if you’re looking for a juicy, multi-faceted crime drama, Wilson Fisk was the obvious choice to play the antagonist ... [he] really felt like the right yin to the yang for Matt, and for what we wanted to do this season."[20] Discussing Fisk's fighting style, compared to Daredevil's, series stunt coordinator Philip J Silvera said that, "I feel like they’re almost two sides to the same coin. They’re both doing things for their city. And it’s a tricky thing with their two characters. I think when you get the Fisk character to a certain point, it just becomes pure rage, and all thought process is out the window. ... The brutality is just relentless with him. When he gets into this mode, he just keeps going until he’s done. And that’s it. He will drive for you. That is the Kingpin, that is D’Onofrio. He’s a very smooth, calculating individual, but when you bring the rage out in him, he’s like a bulldozer."[21] Cole Jensen plays a young Wilson Fisk.[22]

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (2015)[edit]

Main article: Daredevil (season 1)
No. Title Directed by Written by Original
streaming date
1 "Into the Ring" Phil Abraham Drew Goddard April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10)[a]
2 "Cut Man" Phil Abraham Drew Goddard April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10)[a]
3 "Rabbit in a Snowstorm" Adam Kane Marco Ramirez April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10)
4 "In the Blood" Ken Girotti Joe Pokaski April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10)
5 "World on Fire" Farren Blackburn Luke Kalteux April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10)
6 "Condemned" Guy Ferland Joe Pokaski & Marco Ramirez April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10)
7 "Stick" Brad Turner Douglas Petrie April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10)
8 "Shadows in the Glass" Stephen Surjik Steven S. DeKnight April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10)
9 "Speak of the Devil" Nelson McCormick Christos Gage & Ruth Fletcher Gage April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10)
10 "Nelson v. Murdock" Farren Blackburn Luke Kalteux April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10)
11 "The Path of the Righteous" Nick Gomez Steven S. DeKnight & Douglas Petrie April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10)
12 "The Ones We Leave Behind" Euros Lyn Douglas Petrie April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10)
13 "Daredevil" Steven S. DeKnight Steven S. DeKnight April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10)

a The first two episodes were previewed at the series' LA premiere on April 2, 2015.[23]

Season 2[edit]

When asked about the future of the series following the first season, DeKnight said, "On this show, I honestly have no idea. That’s so far above my pay grade. Making it even more complicated is the fact that [Daredevil] is one part of the bigger plan – Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and then The Defenders. How that all fits together, and whether or not there will be a second season of this show – or if it will fold into the others – are questions nobody really has answers to yet... I can say we’ve been talking about some very cool stuff for Season Two that, good God, I can’t even hint at! It’s something that would be just fantastic to work on!"[6] In November 2014, DeKnight said that there "probably will be more" seasons of Daredevil following the first.[24] In January 2015, Netflix COO Ted Sarandos stated the series was "eligible to go into multiple seasons for sure" and Netflix would look at "how well [they] are addressing both the Marvel fanbase but also the broader fanbase" in terms of determining if additional seasons would be appropriate.[25] On April 21, 2015, Marvel and Netflix announced that the series had been renewed for a second season, set for release in 2016, with Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez replacing DeKnight as showrunners as well as acting as executive producers; both served as writers in the first season and worked closely with DeKnight and Goddard.[26]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On October 10, 2012, the Daredevil film rights reverted to Marvel Studios from 20th Century Fox, which was confirmed by studio president Kevin Feige on April 23, 2013, allowing the character to be used within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[27] As explained by head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb in April 2015, Marvel Studios had "first dibs" on the character once the rights had reverted, but it was soon decided that the character could be a television property.[28] In October 2013, Deadline reported that Marvel was preparing four drama series and a miniseries, totaling 60 episodes, to present to video on demand services and cable providers, with Netflix, Amazon and WGN America expressing interest.[29] A few weeks later, Marvel and Disney announced that they would provide Netflix with live action series centered around Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, leading up to a miniseries based on the Defenders.[30] This format was chosen due to the success of Marvel's The Avengers, for which the characters of Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America, and Thor were all introduced separately before being teamed up in that film.[28]

Drew Goddard was hired to serve as executive producer and showrunner for Daredevil,[31] however, in May 2014 it was announced that Goddard had stepped down as showrunner in order to focus on directing a feature film based on Marvel's Sinister Six for Sony Pictures Entertainment. He was succeeded by Steven S. DeKnight. Goddard, who wrote the first two episodes, remained with the show as a consultant and executive producer. It was also revealed that the series would be titled Marvel's Daredevil.[32] DeKnight, Goddard, Loeb, Jim Chory, Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada, Stan Lee, Alan Fine, Cindy Holland, Kris Henigman, Allie Goss and Peter Friedlander serve as executive producers.[1] They are joined in the second season by Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez.[26] On April 21, 2015, Marvel and Netflix announced that the series had been renewed for a second season, set for release in 2016.[26]

Writing[edit]

In August 2014, when talking about the series in comparison to the 2003 film, Sarandos said, "The series will not be afraid to go darker than the film did. What we love about this particular set of heroes is that they’re a little more down to Earth. Costume wise and also in that these are gritty crime stories, more in the streets than in the clouds."[33] Elaborating on this, DeKnight said, "It is a little grittier and edgier than Marvel has gone before, but we’re not looking to push it to extreme graphic violence, gratuitous nudity or anything like that. The story does not require that and I think [it] would suffer if you pushed it that far."[20] Marvel Television head and executive producer Loeb later stated that, "There aren't going to be people flying through the sky; there are no magic hammers. We've always approached this as a crime drama first, superhero show second."[34] DeKnight took inspiration from The French Connection, Dog Day Afternoon, and Taxi Driver, and stated that "we would rather lean toward The Wire than what’s considered a classic superhero television show."[20]

Casting[edit]

At the end of May 2014, Charlie Cox was cast as Daredevil.[3] On June 10, it was announced that actor Vincent D'Onofrio would portray Wilson Fisk in the series,[17] and on June 20, Rosario Dawson joined the cast.[35] A few days later, Elden Henson was cast as Foggy Nelson,[10] while on July 17, Deborah Ann Woll was cast as Karen Page.[36] On October 11, Dawson's role was revealed to be Claire Temple,[12] a character resembling that of Night Nurse,[14] while Ayelet Zurer, Bob Gunton, Toby Leonard Moore, and Vondie Curtis-Hall joined the series as Vanessa Mariana, Leland Owlsley, Wesley, and Ben Urich, respectively.[13] On the casting process, DeKnight stated that "You just have to hope you find the right way. Luckily our cast came together, and I couldn’t have been happier. No one will ever perfectly fit what’s in your head. For me, the more important thing is not whether or not they look the part, but if they feel the part."[6] Laray Mayfield and Julie Schubert served as casting directors on the series.[28]

Design[edit]

Costumes[edit]

The two costumes worn by Cox in the series: first, his black "vigilante outfit"; second, his red "classic suit".

Murdock begins the series wearing a black costume (called the "vigilante outfit" by production), inspired by the one worn by the character in Frank Miller's The Man Without Fear, rather than the more traditional red, horned suit. This was done to highlight the formation of Matt Murdock as Daredevil (paralleling the formation of Wilson Fisk as Kingpin), with the costume evolving over time as the character develops. On the design process, DeKnight revealed that "we tried practically everything, design-wise. We experimented with a lot of different head pieces. One version was a ski mask with the eyes sewn shut. We tried everything until we found something that just felt right."[37] DeKnight continued, "Eventually it morphs into the classic suit, because he wouldn't be Daredevil without it. Getting there is part of the fun... The solution is very exciting and makes complete sense." Marvel Comics' Chief Creative Officer Quesada added, "We had to come up with a logic for [him not having the red suit right away]. It was a delicate balance, because the stories we're telling are so real-world. Matt starts out in a homemade outfit that develops slowly. As he starts getting the crap kicked out of him on the streets, he adds padding little by little." Costume designer Stephanie Maslansky said, "We wanted something that looked militaristic and functional, but also dramatic and sexy" adding that it was "tricky" making it practical.[38]

Title sequence[edit]

The opening title sequence was created by Elastic, who previously created the title sequence for True Detective, which had stood out to the creators in terms of "imagination and delivering on what the show was about". DeKnight explained that multiple companies had made pitches to the creative team involving "variations of the same idea, where you zoom in on an eye and you see a sonar map of the city." However, one of Elastic's pitches had "fluid-like blood dripping over everything ... as if paint were covering something invisible and revealing it", which both DeKnight and Loeb wanted to use immediately.[28]

Filming[edit]

Filming for the series takes place in New York City, in areas of Brooklyn and Long Island City that still look like the old Hell’s Kitchen, in addition to sound stage work.[39][40] On the feel of the show, DeKnight stated, "We're going for a gritty, 1970s' New York feel for the show. We love the idea of beauty and the decay of the city, and Hell's Kitchen being a place that's both beautiful and gritty at the same time. And that's why Matt Murdock loves it and wants to protect it."[41] The series' action sequences take inspiration from The Raid films.[42]

Music[edit]

It was revealed that John Paesano would be composing the music for the series in October 2014.[43] He was brought on "a couple of weeks in to post-production", and scored an episode every four to five days. Paesano estimated that each episode has around 25-30 minutes of music in it. In approaching the series' score, Paesano looked to DeKnight, who "had a very clear vision of what he wanted ... music you could feel and not necessarily hear." The result was a more minimalist score than typical "superhero" music, although "the music starts change colour and we start to get more in to that Marvel universe" when the classic red costume is introduced. Most of the score was produced electronically, though live elements, such as a cello, were used where possible. Rather than "keep the drive and the energy up" with drums, Paesano elected to use a low pulsing heartbeat that was inline with the series' minimalist approach, and tied into the fact that Dardevil can hear people's heartbeats in the show.[44] The main theme of the series, which was co-composed by Braden Kimball,[45] is derived from Paesano's original demo for the series that he submitted during the auditioning process. He noted that it is rare for such material to be incorporated into a final score like this.[44]

A soundtrack album for the series was released on iTunes on April 27, 2015.[45]

Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-ins[edit]

If you live in New York, there are things that are going on all the time. I would never make light of the tragedy of 9/11, but 9/11 affected different neighborhoods in very different ways. They were all aware that this had happened, but the further down you got towards that area, the more affected you were by it. So we started with that sort of idea, that if the sky opened up and Chitauri were raining down with giant whales, and the Hulk and the Avengers were there to save the day, that's really exciting, but how did that affect the people who were six blocks over and three avenues down? That's the richness of the Marvel Universe. You can have that sort of thing happen and refer to it, but not have it be – we're not the world of the comics where you look up in the sky and Thor flies by all the time.This is a world where people do refer to Tony Stark as a billionaire in a tin suit, or the idea that they think there's a Thor out there with a magic hammer. But the truth of the matter is, 'I've never seen him. Have you ever seen him?' It's that kind of world that we exist in. For us, it makes Marvel what Marvel has always been, which is grounded.

Jeph Loeb on the opportunities that Daredevil existing within the Marvel Cinematic Universe presents.[11]

Daredevil is the first of the ordered Netflix series, and will be followed by Marvel's A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Marvel's Luke Cage, and Marvel's Iron Fist, before leading into the miniseries, Marvel's The Defenders.[46][47] In November 2013, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that, if the characters prove popular on Netflix, “It’s quite possible that they could become feature films."[48] In August 2014, D'Onofrio stated that after the "series stuff with Netflix", Marvel has "a bigger plan to branch out".[18] In December 2014, Loeb explained that "Within the Marvel universe there are thousands of heroes of all shapes and sizes, but the Avengers are here to save the universe and Daredevil is here to save the neighborhood ... It does take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s all connected. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we would look up in the sky and see [Iron Man]. It’s just a different part of New York that we have not yet seen in the Marvel movies."[20] Dawson later elaborated that "When you've got that level of superpowers, the fighting is different, the stakes are different, and it has a grander feel. In that world, they exist in it, so they know it and it's normal to them. But in reality when people are fighting and doing really bad, elicit [sic] crimes on the ground and there are guns and drugs—bones are going to break. People aren't hitting each other and nothing's going to happen because they're indestructible. These are people. They're vulnerable and you get to experience that."[11]

In March 2015, Loeb spoke on the ability for the series to crossover with the MCU films and the ABC television series, saying, "As it is now, in the same way that our films started out as self-contained and then by the time we got to The Avengers, it became more practical for Captain America to do a little crossover into Thor 2 and for Bruce Banner to appear at the end of Iron Man 3. We have to earn that. The audience needs to understand who all of these characters are and what the world is before you then start co-mingling in terms of where it's going."[49] In April, Cox stated that crossing over with the films is "possible. I think there's a way that the worlds can merge. I think our show feels tonally and thematically a bit different from The Avengers movies, but it's all one universe and I feel like there's a way for Daredevil—and other characters, Luke Cage and street level crime characters—to fit into that universe. I think there has to be a way, and I think it's about finding an autonomous tone for that [crossover] film".[11] Cox also revealed that he is contractually obligated to appear in films if asked by Marvel.[50]

Release[edit]

Season Episodes Original release DVD and Blu-ray release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 13 April 10, 2015 (2015-04-10) TBA TBA TBA
2 TBA 2016[26] TBA TBA TBA

Daredevil is available on the streaming service Netflix, in all territories where it is available, in Ultra HD 4K.[51][52] The episodes for each season were released simultaneously, as opposed to a serialized format, to encourage binge-watching, a format which has been successful for other Netflix original series.[40]

Reception[edit]

Season Critical response
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1 98% (40 reviews)[53] 75 (22 reviews)[54]
2 TBD TBD

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 98% approval rating with an average rating of 8/10 based on 40 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "With tight adherence to its source material's history, high production quality, and a no-nonsense dramatic flair, Daredevil excels as an effective superhero origin story, a gritty procedural, and an exciting action adventure."[53] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 75 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[54]

References[edit]

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