Happy Daredevil Day! After months of waiting, Marvel’s Daredevil is officially available to stream, exclusively through Netflix. For the past few days, we have been teasing you with some information we learned at last week’s Daredevil press junket but today, we are going to give you more bang for your buck! Want to know whether or not Daredevil will feel the weight of Civil War? How about just how Rosario Dawson is able to balance her character’s relationship with Daredevil against Claire Temple‘s career? Do you want to know if Punisher will ever show up in the MCU? We have (some) answers to those questions and more!
We could tease a bit more here but, hey, let’s just jump right into the cast and crew comments!
First, series EPs Jeph Loeb and Steven DeKnight shared just how they are able to adapt the storylines that inspire the new series to sit comfortably in the MCU, as well as the advantages to working on a Netflix series:
DeKnight: It goes to character, character, character. While we didnt pick any specific storylines from any of the runs on Daredevil, we were definitely spiritually influenced. Me, especially, largely, by Frank Miller and Brian Michael Bendis’ run with Alex Maleev. WIth Alex Maleev’s art, we were also very much influenced by it – we looked at that and said “that’s the look of the show! That really captures it!”. For us, it all came down to character. With 13 hours, what we have is the luxury of time. If we were doing a movie, you’d see Wilson Fisk in the first 10 minutes and we’d set him up. Because we have 13 hours to play with, you dont see him until episode 3. Again, even if we were on a network, you would see a lot more of Wilson Fisk in that first episode but because we’re with Netflix, they really support long form storytelling. We can let the story breathe, which is what I really loved working on this. We never felt like we had to burn through a bunch of story; we never felt like we had to have three action set pieces per episode to keep the audience interested. We just really allowed it to breathe and live the way it wanted to live.
Loeb: By the same token, one of my favorite things is that there’s..when you first get to meet Wilson and…we had always talked about the idea that if we were going to create this monster, we needed to be able to make sure that we saw another side of it – that there was a 3-Dimensionality to it the same kind of way that Charlie Cox’s performance as Matt Murdock is so compelling and damaged and vulnerable and funny and does all of those things, we needed to make sure that his antagonist was as strong. So, that entire episode  is built around a love story and then this horrific thing happens that sort of shakes you out of it. “OH! We’re THAT!”. Part of the joy of [a Netflix series is] being able to know that you dont have to wait another week in order to see what’s going to happen after that. You can actually just hit a button and there you go. You’re going to get to find out what happens next.
Of course, Loeb and DeKnight were pressed a bit more on the advantages of working with Netflix on the series, so Loeb explained a bit further:
I don’t know that it so much about network versus Netflix as much it is what story are you going to tell? We wouldn’t have done a show like [Agents of] SHIELD on Netflix. When we first sat down and talked with Drew [Goddard, DD series creator] and with Steven about Daredevil, we agreed that that was the way to tell that story. Are there things you can do on Netflix in terms of a level of violence or a certain piece of language? Yes, but we never leaned into that in order to lean into it. Theres no point in ever doing that. It’s what’s best for the story. That’s the fun of Marvel Television: we’re able to tell different kinds of stories on different kinds of venues and let people see the richness of the Marvel Universe. We can have Hayley Atwell as Agent Carter in 1946 trying to figure out how she’s going to be able to prove that she’s better than everybody else in her SSR office and at the same time, Matt Murdock is trying to clean up Hell’s Kitchen and it all lives in the same world.
Nerd Bastards had the chance to ask the series EPs the big question on everyone’s mind:
NB: Will we see Civil War affect DD at all, or even any of the other Marvel Netflix series’?
Loeb: I don’t want to get too specific yet. All we can say is that things that happen are things that are acknowledged, if that makes sense. We’ll see as we go. We also dont know when certain things are going to actually land, so we’ve gotta be very careful as to how to tie your continuity together and where it goes. What we did want to establish very early on was that what had happened in The Avengers had a very distinct effect on what happened to Hell’s Kitchen but not in a way that if you hadn’t seen The Avengers that you would…I remember very early on that there was actually a reference to the sky opening up and aliens coming; pouring out. We realized this sort of took you out of where you were. You were suddenly [wondering], “wait, so there are aliens in this world?”, so that’s where it became “the incident”. In the same kind of way, in a very real world kind of way, people refer to 9/11 as 9/11. They don’t talk about that it was the day that the Twin Towers fell or any of the other specifics of it. Theres a shorthand that came along that everybody understands how horrible that experience was in a very unique and personal way. We wanted to be able to do that in a way that could say, “ok, this happens here, in case you are playing the home game”, but at the same time, it’s not terribly important that you…Obviously, people were going to ask us right away, “do I HAVE to see The Avengers in order to understand what’s goes on in Daredevil?”. Our hope is that you see it all, because we’re Marvel, but at the same time, you should be able to enjoy each of these stories separately and individually.
DeKnight: Thats something that really drew me to the project. Not only that it is part of the Marvel Universe but it’s its own dark little corner of the Marvel Universe, and also the fact that in reading the first two episodes that Drew Goddard had written, I was immediately struck by the fact you could be a hardcore comic book fan and be drawn into the show or you could know nothing about Daredevil whatsoever, and it does not matter. You could have not seen any of the Marvel properties (the comics, the movies), I don’t know how it’s possible in this day in age, but you could come to [the series] completely fresh and its all right there.
Alright, yes, it was definitely a longshot that we would get a straight answer on that one but, hey, at least we asked! Of course, we weren’t the only outlet whose question was swiftly avoided. When Rosario Dawson was asked if we will be seeing her Claire Temple (whose comic book counterpart has a relationship with Luke Cage) appear in Netflix’s other Marvel properties, the actress suddenly got a fake call from Marvel…
The question of whether or not audiences will ever see The Punisher in his own series was posed and we definitely don’t hate Jeph Loeb’s answer!
This tier of characters, the street level heroes, which include The Punisher, it’s a very rich group of characters. We never want to be driven by who the other character may be – we always want to start from the very simple place of ‘what’s the best story for Matt Murdock? What’s the best story for Jessica Jones? Danny Rand? Luke Cage?’. If we can find a way that includes something that would get people incredibly excited, that’s fantastic but we would never do that just to do that.
The hallway fight scene is one of the coolest scenes of the first season of the freshman series. Rosario Dawson, who plays Claire Temple in the series, loved that scene as well, and with good reason! She had a chance to discuss just what she loved so much about the scene:
Rosario: I just love that it keeps going! It’s just so good. That’s the thing with the luxury of time we have when we’re doing a 13 hour movie, almost, you know what I mean? You get to really take that time, not only just with the fight, but with everything; the development of the suit, with the development of the characters, the idea, and the back and forth, and the stress of knowing that I’m doing this. That’s the thing that I’m so moved by when I think about the hero’s journey. It’s someone who decides to take on evil; someone who says “vigilante justice is my calling”. It’s not something that just happens once. You don’t go, “ok, I’m a fireman”, boom, “I’m a police officer”. You have to put that suit on every day and at any point you could walk away. The fact that this person gets back up and tries again and throws that punch again…You’re just like “YES!”, it’s really exciting and, like a police officer or a fireman, this is a normal person. There is no radioactive spider bite or alien father or anything else to really play with…
Charlie Cox: No iron suit or magic hammer…
Rosario: No iron suit, no magic hammer, there’s nothing; there’s none of those things to take you out [the reality]. No, it’s just like, ‘oh, ouch, that sounded painful!’, and the person looks like it was painful. That to me makes it really…I mean, it’s fantastical, it’s comics, it’s all that kind of stuff but it makes it very real. I think that’s going to be the difference.
As a Night Nurse, Claire Temple is dedicated to making people well but her patients aren’t usually masked vigilantes! How does Dawson explain Temple’s ability to balance her profession with her relationship with Daredevil, who is dishing out his own brand of justice?
I like that. Our tagline is “Justice is Blind” and I think how we even imagine what that looks like, we have blinders on about how to get to these different things. So, when you are talking about helping here, in a lot of situations it’s a lot to get someone to even call 911, let alone jump in and try to protect somebody or put themselves in danger for the sake of someone else. So, I think [Clarire] has, in her own background for what she does, she’s used to being in emergency situations; she’s used to going in and trying to help but she’s usually patching people back up, not patching them back up so that they can go get scrappy again. That’s a really interesting thing. She believes in [Daredevil] and she believes in what he’s doing but it is definitely confronting and challenging for her to accept. I think that’s the amazing thing and hopefully, especially as you go through the rest of the series, you’ll see a lot of people confronted by what they think they know and how things should be, then looking at the gritty, dark, not black and white, very gray reality that things won’t always fit into the perfect box like you want it to. So, how do you continue to fight and stand in the position that you want to, which is being a hero. That’s what makes them heroes. It isn’t easy, it isn’t perfect but that’s what makes them heroes: they keep doing it. Right now, [Claire] does heroic things but she’s definitely moved by who he is as a person and recognizes in herself, ‘could I be doing more?’, and I’m curious to see how people react to that.
Keep checking back throughout the weekend as you binge watch the series! We will be posting more comments from the cast throughout the weekend, including comments from Elden Henson (Foggy Nelson) and Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page) so keep checking back!
Marvel’s Daredevil is now available to stream, exclusively through Netflix.
How are you liking the new series? Do you have a favorite scene yet?