Marvel’s Daredevil Netflix Series News: First look at Red Costume

Meet more of the cast of Daredevil in the new motion poster/trailer for the Netflix series.

Warning: Daredevil spoilers ahead.

The Latest News

We now have the most complete guide to Daredevil easter eggs and Marvel referenes that you’re gonna find anywhere. Click here to check it out.

Or you can click here to read our completely spoiler-free review!

Check it out! You can get your first look at Daredevil’s red costume right here!

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— Daredevil (@Daredevil) April 9, 2015

Showrunner Steven S. De Knight spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about Daredevil‘s links to the broader Marvel Cinematic Universe…

“We definitely exist in the MCU, but we’re the first TV show since Marvel Studios started producing their own stuff with Iron Man that isn’t actually spun off from the movies…We have a very liberating reading format where we don’t have to connect as strongly as Agents of SHIELD or Agent Carter did since they had a direct lineage from movies.”

“With us, we exist in the universe. We reference the Battle of New York and Iron Man and Thor, but I’ve always approached it like it’s a normal person living in the real world. How often do they meet Brad Pitt or sit next to George Clooney? You know these people exist, but you hardly ever get to see them in person even if you live in Los Angeles. We’re a part of the MCU, but we don’t have the burden of having to interlock so strongly with what the movies are doing. We’ll reference them, but this is in its own little corner of the MCU.”

There are also two new clips:

Daredevil Trailers

Watch the trailers for Marvel’s Daredevil right here:

I also did a detailed breakdown on the shots in the above trailer, which you can read here if you’re interested.

There’s also this trailer, which has a little more for you to drool over…

I did a details breakdown of that one right here.

What’s notable about this TV spot, though, is that it focuses on the Daredevil origin story, something that’s ony been hinted at in the longer trailers we’ve seen so far.

Check it out:

Two new TV spots for Daredevil have landed!

Netflix and Marvel Studios have also released a motion poster for Daredevil that showcases Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock at his most sauve (so, still note the bloody and bruised knuckles).

These new motion posters are kinda cool. In this one, the supporting characters of Hell’s Kitchen reveal themselves:

And here, we get a hint about how Daredevil’s costume might evolve…

The Story

This is handy, official, but thoroughly unsurprising. Perhaps you’ll enjoy it, though:

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“Marvel’s Daredevil” is a live action series that follows the journey of attorney Matt Murdock, who in a tragic accident was blinded as a boy but imbued with extraordinary senses. Murdock sets up practice in his old neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, New York where he now fights against injustice as a respected lawyer by day and masked vigilante at night.

We think we can do better than that, though. Marvel aren’t known for being terribly forthcoming with these things, so let’s examine the characters and the other details that have slipped out over the last year.

The Comic Book Influences

Much has been made about the show’s Daredevil costume, which is a fairly basic bit of ninja wear. It very much recalls the Daredevil costume from The Trial of the Incredible Hulk TV movie (intended to serve as a pilot for a Daredevil TV series that never happened) and which caught some flack for its lack of color. Perhaps to deflect attention from that, Marvel were quick to point out its similarities to the new costume in Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.’s Daredevil: The Man Without Fear comic, a book which told a more in-depth version of the character’s origin than we had previously seen.

The immediate conclusion is that Marvel’s Daredevil Netflix series would draw heavily on that for inspiration, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. Daredevil: The Man Without Fear follows Matt Murdock from childhood through grad school, up to the first time he strikes out in costume. Well, a form of a costume. That all-black workout gear Daredevil costume he’s sporting on the show? That’s the book where it comes from.

Despite some wonderful art by John Romita Jr. (inked by the legendary Al Williamson, no less), Daredevil: The Man Without Fear is not a particularly distinguished book. It’s full of stilted dialogue and falls prey to the usual prequel pitfalls of insisting that everything line up in ways that were never necessary before. The less said about the portrayal of Elektra in this, the better, as well. The good news is that based on the characters we already know are included, as well as those who aren’t (we won’t be meeting Elektra this season, for example…boy was I wrong about that), it’s unlikely that other than a brief exploration of Daredevil’s origin. The Man Without Fear probably won’t have much influence on the arc of the show.

If anything, the Netflix series will pull inspiration from some of Frank Miller’s earlier turns on the character, albeit not the most famous ones, which dealt with characters like Elektra and Bullseye, neither of whom are on the show. If we eventually get to see those stories told, or Miller and Mazzucchelli’s Born Again, I’ll be thrilled, but it certainly won’t be happening during these initial thirteen episodes. This show will deal more with Murdock’s early days as a vigilante and the rise of Wilson Fisk as the Kingpin.

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Since much of the inspiration for Marvel’s entire line of Netflix series seems to be coming from their push of street level titles during the early ‘00s, then I have to suspect that there will be considerable flavoring from the Brian Michael Bendis written Daredevil comics, which read like good cable TV. Bendis’ co-creation, Jessica Jones, is getting her own series (AKA Jessica Jones), and it’s expected that she’ll make a guest appearance on this show, too. Bendis’ Daredevil comics and Alias (the comic that introduced Jessica Jones) were “gritty” (can we please put this word to rest when talking about comics?) street-level superhero stories, and that’s very much the vibe the show says it’s going for.

The Characters

Daredevil won’t be the lighthearted character he was initially conceived as, and showrunner Steven S. de Knight even said that Murdock’s vigilante side business has the potential to go really wrong. “He’s one bad day away from becoming Frank Castle (the Punisher),” he said in an interview. “He’ll come close to killing somebody. And it’s that fine edge – Why doesn’t he go all the way?”

It’s worth noting that Marvel Studios have the rights to the Punisher, a character who would certainly fit in the world of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, but as of right now, there’s no indication that Castle is going to make an appearance here.

It’s been said that Daredevil will be as much Wilson Fisk’s story as it is Matt Murdock’s. There doesn’t seem to be very many costumed villains on tap for this show, either. Expect lots of organized crime drama to parallel Matt’s struggles as a lawyer who moonlights as a vigilante. Instead, the focus is on Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin, described as “a powerful businessman whose interests in the future of Hell’s Kitchen will bring him into conflict with the blind attorney Matt Murdock and his alter ego Daredevil.” 

Key to Wilson Fisk’s story is Vanessa Marianna (Ayelet Zurer), “an art dealer whose chance meeting with Wilson Fisk dramatically changes their lives.” In the comics, Kingpin is hopelessly devoted to his wife, and that devotion is one of his few weaknesses Toby Leonard (John Wick) is Fisk’s “right-hand man and confidante.” He’s not Bullseye, though.

One of the more colorful villains from the comics we will see is Leland Owsley. He’s not listed as “The Owl” but that’s who he is. He’s described as “an enigmatic and key figure in Wilson Fisk’s crusade to remake Hells Kitchen.” What is Fisk’s plan to remake Hell’s Kitchen, anyway? Open up more froyo stands or something?

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This image from the official Daredevil twitter account seems to have something to do with the Kingpin’s plans for Hell’s Kitchen:

— Daredevil (@Daredevil) March 3, 2015

Wilson Fisk Presents: Another Pinkberry where a cool dive used to be!

On the more law-abiding side of things, we also have Elden Henson as Matt’s best friend and law partner Foggy Nelson and Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page. Ms. Woll said of Karen at NYCC, “she is trouble.” Without spoiling too much about Born Again, the Daredevil comic masterpiece by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli, it sounds like at least some seeds for that arc, which kicks off with Ms. Page’s ongoing personal struggles, might be planted here, and there are hints of that in the trailer, too.

Ben Urich will show up, played by Chicago Hope’s Vondie Curtis Hall. No Daily Bugle for this show, sadly, as that particular bit of Marvel mythology is (at least for the moment) locked up over at Sony. Instead, Mr. Urich works for The New York Bulletin. As long as it looks like The New York Post, I’ll be happy.

We don’t yet know how many episodes that Scott Glenn will show up in as Daredevil’s early martial arts mentor, the blind Stick. My suspicion, though, is that Daredevil isn’t going to spend too much time on his actual origin story, and we’ll have Matt in the black ninja gear soon enough. He’ll almost certainly have the more recognizable red suit by the end of the season.

Marvel revealed details on six new supporting characters joining the Daredevil cast:

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Rob Morgan (“Person of Interest,” “Believe”) will play Turk Barrett, a smalltime criminal in Hell’s Kitchen, while Matt Gerald (“Avatar,” “Dexter”) will play Melvin Potter, a machinist caught between a rock and a hard place.

Siding with Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) are Peter Shinkoda (“Falling Skies,” “Hawaii 5-0”) as Nobu, a Japanese businessman with an agenda all his own; Wai Ching Ho (“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Blue Bloods”) as Madame Gao, a powerful woman running her own trade; and Nikolai Nikolaeff (“Camp,” “Sea Patrol”) and Gideon Emery (“Grimm,” “How to Train Your Dragon 2”) as Vladimir and Anatoly, two Russian brothers looking to forge new names for themselves in America.

We also know that Jessica Jones and Luke Cage will make an appearance on Daredevil, although we suspect this will be a fairly brief appearance, just to help establish that there’s more to this corner of the Marvel Universe. Since Rosario Dawson is playing a character who is actually Luke Cage’s ex-wife, so that could provide an easy in for some of these other characters. We also have to think back to this seemingly offhanded comment made by Agents of SHIELD’s Clark Gregg, when we were asking about things unrelated to Daredevil…namely the potential fate of Phil Coulson:

“The thing about Marvel is, I don’t know if it will happen in a comic, on our show, on Agent Carter, maybe in Daredevil, or Avengers 3. I dunno. It’s a day of reckoning that’s going to come, though.”

It could be a coincidence, but a walk on from Phil Coulson would be welcomed by fans. Who knows…could SHIELD be the ones to provide Daredevil with his more recognizable red costume when the time comes?

The Setting

Make no mistake, this show is set firmly within the confines of the established Marvel Cinematic Universe. But don’t expect cameos from members of the Avengers. Executive Producer Jeph Loeb has firmly stated that “there are no magic hammers…we’ve always approached this as a crime drama first, superhero show second.”

It’s worth remembering that before Marvel got the Daredevil rights back, there was an active attempt to reboot the film franchise at 20th Century Fox, with Joe Carnahan at the helm. Carnahan envisioned a trilogy of Daredevil films set in the 1970s, with an aesthetic that reflected the action films of that era. There was even a sizzle reel, which you can watch here. It’s very cool.

Perhaps coincidentally, a little of that tone has carried over for the new series. Steven S. deKnight spoke about the setting:

“We’re going for a very kind of gritty, 1970s New York feel for the show. We love the idea of beauty in the decay of the city, and Hell’s Kitchen being a place that is both horrible and beautiful at the same time. That’s why Matt Murdock loves it so much and wants to protect it.”

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“We’re going for a very kind of gritty, 1970s New York feel for the show. We love the idea of beauty in the decay of the city, and Hell’s Kitchen being a place that is both horrible and beautiful at the same time. That’s why Matt Murdock loves it so much and wants to protect it.”

With the understanding that this is fiction, and that perhaps the NYC of the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t become the playground of the uber-rich that the real NYC has. It’s the only way Daredevil is going to find enough crime to fight in modern-day Hell’s Kitchen, that’s for sure.

It turns out that Daredevil’s father fought a Marvel Universe villain that we already met over on Agents of SHIELD. Check out this fight poster courtesy of the official Daredevil Twitter account: 

— Daredevil (@Daredevil) February 20, 2015

Carl “Crusher” Creel is also known as the Absorbing Man. He showed up for the Agents of SHIELD season 2 premiere, but he’s a long standing Marvel villain. We detailed some of his more bizarre comic book misadventures here.

What Comes Next?

After Daredevil‘s 13 episode drop on Netflix, the countdown begins for AKA Jessica Jones, which not only boasts Breaking Bad‘s Krysten Ritter in the title role and Mike Colter as Luke Cage, but it also just cast David Tennant as big baddie, Zebediah “The Purple Man” Kilgrave. Expect AKA Jessica Jones in late 2015 or early 2016. Luke Cage should follow (they already have a lead, after all), then Iron Fist, and then finally, The Defenders.

Let’s hope one of them has the good sense to introduce Frank Castle, though.

Daredevil Episode Guide

We now have episode titles and directors for the first three episodes of the thirteen chapter Daredevil series.

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Episode 1 – “Into the Ring” (director: Phil Abraham)

Episode 2 – “Cut Man” (director: Phil Abraham)

Episode 3 – “Rabbit in a Snow Storm” (director: Adam Kane)

Mad Men fans should be familiar with Phil Abraham’s name, as he’s directed fourteen episodes of that series, while Adam Kane is a Hannibal veteran.

The title “Cut Man” is a boxing reference, tying in with Daredevil’s father, “Battlin'” Jack Murdock. It is not a reference to the Mega Man villain, sadly.

Thanks to Comics Beat for the tip on these!

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Daredevil Photos

Thanks to the folks at SlashFilm, we have the latest Daredevil photos from Empire Magazine. These give us our best look yet at Rosario Dawson as Night Nurse and Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, plus some more cool shots of Daredevil in action. Check ’em out here:

We finally got a proper look at Vincent D’Onofrio as the Kingpin (or Wilson Fisk as we’re sure he prefers to be called) from the front! Check it out…

— Daredevil (@Daredevil) March 2, 2015

So, he hasn’t taken to wearing white just yet. Then again, Matt Murdock doesn’t seem all that fond of red yet, either. D’Onofrio looks as spot on as one can imagine in this photo, though. We’re looking forward to seeing what he brings to the role, especially since it’s been hinted that he’s as much the focus of this series as Daredevil himself!

io9 have a little official description that we don’t: 

The shadowy figure behind organized crime in Hell’s Kitchen, Wilson Fisk has one mission in mind: to save Hell’s Kitchen by any means necessary, no matter the cost. This immediately puts him at odds with Matt Murdock’s vigilante alter-ego, who also seeks to protect the city – but sees the criminal element as the root of the city’s problems. Central to this conflict is that Fisk truly believes he’s doing good for Hell’s Kitchen and at times may seem more of a hero to its people than Daredevil. Intelligent, complex and physically imposing, Wilson Fisk is the perfect foil for Matt Murdock, and the two will collide dramatically in Marvel’s Daredevil.