Forget Ben Affleck.
Netflix’s Daredevil is “the exact opposite” of Affleck’s much-maligned 2003 bomb, promises showrunner Steven S. DeKnight. Expect the classic origin story to remain unchanged: Blinded as a child, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) is a lawyer by day who hunts criminals by night (he apparently doesn’t get much sleep). But this upcoming iteration of Daredevil—the first of Netflix’s multi-show deal with Marvel, which also includes adaptations A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage—is more influenced by 1970s mean-street films like The French Connection and Taxi Driver than traditional superhero titles.
“There aren’t going to be people flying through the sky; there are no magic hammers,” says Marvel TV chief Jeph Loeb. “We’ve always approached this as a crime drama first, superhero show second.” There’s also more grown-up content here. “It’s a little grittier and edgier than Marvel has gone before,” says DeKnight, best known for the ultra-hardcore Starz series Spartacus, adding, “but we’re not looking to push it to extreme violence or gratuitous nudity.”
The ‘devil will eventually get his iconic red costume, but first he’ll wear the black duds seen here—inspired by Frank Miller’s graphic novel Daredevil: Man Without Fear. For Cox, the biggest challenge was deftly navigating Murdock without using his eyes. Simple things like making breakfast or getting dressed suddenly become trickier than fighting bad guys. “Like, I put on a shirt but I can’t look where the buttons are, because Daredevil wouldn’t know where the buttons are. But I also can’t fumble,” Cox says. No pressure, but another thing you’re not allowed to fumble: Marvel’s winning streak.
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