With the announcement of Netflix launching five Marvel series all leading to a Defenders show things got pretty exciting for streaming television. At New York Comic Con Marvel debuted the first of this story and we got to check out Daredevil. The panel consisted of all the actors in the show except for Rosario Dawson. That’s a pretty great line up including Charlie Cox as Daredevil/Matt Murdoc and Vincent D’Onofrio as The Kingpin.
We got to check out four clips from the show as well as hear about the cast and producer talk about what they’re going for with this take on Daredevil. What they’re going for is dark, gritty and realistic. Like really dark, gritty and realistic. If you look your superheroes in the Joel Schumacher, bat nipple school this isn’t your show.
The panel started with a clip of Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) being attacked by a stranger as she tried to find a a USB drive. Enter Daredevil clad all in black. This is clearly an early outfit as they’ll be doing some origin stuff so we didn’t get a good look at what Daredevil’s final costume will look like. Still he had on a black bandanna that covered his eyes so it looked like Daredevil.
The fight in this scene was pretty intense and they’re clearly putting an emphasis on strong fight scenes. It was also insanely dark. I’m not sure if it was the projector or just the show being really into heavy shadows, but it was often times hard to see what was going on. Stylistically they are clearly for a dark look, but I’m hoping it isn’t an issue with the entire show being lit too darkly.
We also got to see a clip of Dawson taking care of Cox after she finds him beat up. Not quite sure where this is from since he won the fight with the other guy, but he looks pretty bad. This was a pretty cliche scene made up of introductions and the same lines you always hear when a hero is found beaten up by a random stranger. He denies help, they roll their eyes, yada yada yada. Again this was lit incredibly darkly, but it was our first chance to see Cox without his mask and the guy does a pretty good job.
That’s evident in the third scene we say, which was Ann Woll, Cox and Elden Henson, who plays Foggy Nelson, sitting around a table celebrating a successful case. This scene was far lighter and added a bit of humor. The interplay between Nelson and Murdoc was really solid, though it felt like Cox was still getting his feet with the character as Daredevil. He was hand selected evidently by the producers way ahead of time, but he hasn’t quite grown into the hero side of the role yet. He definitely has some awesome potential as is evidenced as his comfort with Murdoc, but the Daredevil part felt a bit forced.
What really sold me on the show, however, was the scene we saw with D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin. It involved him speaking with his future love for the first time and it was stark and powerful. Incredibly well shot and framed with D’Onofrio’s form looking fantastic as the iconic Kingpin. He was mostly silent for the scene that took place in an art gallery, but the attention to detail and his framing in front of an all white piece of art was exceptional. The tone was just right and damn if D’Onofrio isn’t perfectly cast for the troubled character of Fisk.
That’s probably what was most interesting about what was discussed at the panel. They were talking about questioning who the hero was. Whose side you would be on. There’s going to be a lot of ambiguity here and a lot of tear for Matt Murdock who is pursuing justice during the day and taking the law into his own hands at night. You could tell there was tension and dark themes throughout these clips and it’ll be very interesting to see how it all plays out. If it is going to be as dark and complex as the panel suggested this is going to be a very different take on the Marvel cinematic universe than we’ve seen before.