New York Comic Con closed out with a bang on Saturday night, along with a few special surprises: Marvel head of television Jeph Loeb was on hand to moderate panels for the Netflix series Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
Loeb started the panel by teasing that he was going to do “something unexpected,” before briefly bringing Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Charlie Cox (Daredevil) and Mike Colter (Luke Cage) to the stage: a.k.a. three out of the four “Defenders.” (Iron Fist, who is the fourth member of the group, has not yet been cast.) After the crowd settled down, Loeb introduced the cast and creative team of Daredevil: Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Elodie Yung, Jon Bernthal, and showrunners Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez.
While Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada explained his love for the character of Daredevil, telling the crowd, “I couldn’t have drawn it any better,” The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal drew big cheers and a lot of audience love for his role as Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher. “I know how important this character is to you guys and I know how important this show is to you guys,” he told the crowd. “And I know how important he is to law enforcement, to the military, and I looked at this as a huge honor, a huge responsibility. I give you my absolute word I’m going to give everything that I have.” (Bernthal made similar comments to EW before the panel.)
Joining Bernthal in the “new class” of Daredevil characters was Elodie Yung as Elektra. The actress, who is a black belt in karate, told the crowd playing the character was intense and exciting. “I couldn’t be happier,” she said.
When asked about the direction of the season, which promises to be darker and more intense thanks to the arrival of these two popular characters, Ramirez joked, “You asked for it,” before saying that much of the first season was spent in the writer’s room wondering if there was room for more sophisticated and more grounded content.
“Every day you go into work and it’s such a blessing. Because all of us, across the board, we love two things: one of them is Matt Murdock, and the other is the world that Matt Murdock investigates,” shared Petrie. After a few audience questions, the Daredevil cast took their leave in order to allow the Jessica Jones team to take the stage. Cast members Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Rachael Taylor, Carrie-Anne Moss, Eka Darville, Erin Moriarty, Wil Traval, and executive producer/showrunner Melissa Rosenberg were all on hand to talk about the upcoming series.
“It’s been a pretty crazy ride,” said Rosenberg, who revealed she had been working on getting Jessica Jones off the ground for four years. “To be sitting at the table with the show and the cast… it’s an extraordinary payoff.” That sentiment was shared among the cast, as Rachael Taylor, who plays Jessica’s best friend, Trish (a.k.a. Hellcat, better known as Patsy Walker), noted that it was the “richness of female friendship” and girl power that drew her to the show.
One of the biggest newsworthy moments during the panel was the reveal of Moss’ character: she’ll play a gender-swapped Jeryn Hogarth, a lawyer who, in the comics, has connections to Iron Fist (who rounds out the rest of the Defenders). “As someone who’s embodied that female warrior action person, to see Krysten Ritter do it on a whole other level… I feel like I’m grateful to be with Marvel and Netflix,” Moss told the crowd.
The panel also included a sizzle reel of Daredevil season one, along with some exclusive footage from season two. “You’re the first person to see any footage,” Loeb told an excited crowd, who got even more excited when they learned that they’d be seeing the first episode of Jessica Jones which arrives on Netflix on Nov. 20. Unfortunately, we were sworn to secrecy about everything — but while we can’t tell you about the episode, here’s what else we can share:
- The Daredevil season 2 teaser included a lot of prominent moments, including Elektra putting on her mask, Matt Murdock’s new red suit, the voice of the Punisher — and yes, the return of Rosario Dawson as night nurse Claire Temple.
- One of the highlights of Daredevil’s first season were the flashbacks. Will we see more in season two? Petrie was cagey, but didn’t exactly rule it out. “It’s a very interesting question because I’m not allowed to answer it,” he said. “Sometimes stories necessitate flashbacks, sometimes two people in a room talking about something that happened to them has all the power in the world.”
- Woll was coy about if we’ll see more chemistry with Matt and Karen in season two, but did hint that it’s something we can look forward to.
- How has Bernthal’s world changed since arriving in the Marvel Universe? The actor shared he hears, “15-20 times a day, you better not mess this up, man!” And what does Eldon Henson get shouted at him the most when he’s stopped on the street? “Why are you mad at your friend?”
- On the amazing costumes: “We want to make sure that you guys love the costumes, embrace the costumes…we want them to be recognizable and design them with fans in mind,” said Quesada.
- Cox talked about his love of Matt Murdock, telling the audience, “one of the things I love about Daredevil is that he’s one of the few superheroes who has a disability.”
- The first Jessica Jones episode was introduced via a video message from David Tennant, who sadly couldn’t be in attendance due to his play in London. And although specifics of his character of Kilgrave, a.k.a. The Purple Man are being kept underwraps (for now), Krysten Ritter did tell the audience that, “David Tennant is magic.” Really, what more do you need to know?
Jessica Jones arrives on Netflix Nov. 20. Daredevil returns in 2016.