I went into Main Stage 1-D for Marvel’s Daredevil (coming May 2015, if the rumors are true) panel careful to manage my expectations.
I was excited for what Marvel Studios had in store for the Man Without Fear now that he was back in the fold from 20th Century Fox… But I’ll admit I haven’t quite recovered yet from Ol’ Hornhead’s last cinematic endeavor.
And after hearing that Daredevil would be a Netflix series, I was expecting something along the lines of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. A Daredevil that would be, you know, pretty good.
Not great. Just good.
By the time the hour was up on that panel, my cautious optimism has been taken a turn towards full-blown excitement and restless anticipation. In a word, the show looks AWESOME.
Jeph Loeb wasted no time in wetting the appetites of the audience. He unveiled the first clip, which featured True Blood’s Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page being attacked by a home invader. She is saved by our resident guardian devil, played by Boardwalk Empire’s Charlie Cox, sporting a costume reminiscent of his pre-DD days in Frank Miller and John Romita JR’s The Man Without Fear.
The scene looks like it was shot in an inkwell. It beautifully captures the darkness and brutality inherent in the best Daredevil stories.
In total we got five tantalizing clips to revel in.
The first thing that stuck out was the look of the show. The craftsmanship and cinematography of the teasers we caught was just stunning. It’s work and imagery is on par with programs like Breaking Bad or Netflix’s own Orange is the New Black.
This is apparent in a scene featuring Man of Steel’s Ayelet Furer as the soon-to-be Vanessa Fisk, as she works her art gallery. The camera pans over to an imposing figure standing dead center of a white canvas, creating an ominous but isolating silhouette.
In one camera move—without a word of dialogue—we immediately recognize the vulnerability of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk, AKA the Kingpin, without sacrificing his formidability. There is also a beautiful flashback of Matt with his father after he comes home bloodied up from a boxing match. We only see highlights of the characters and the room, a beautiful representation of how Matt sees the world. You get the impression of everything, but you never see it fully.
More noteworthy then the action or the cinematography however was the character work. It is insanely well done.
Rosario Dawson’s character, Claire Temple, A.K.A Night Nurse, has a great, darkly funny scene with Matt Murdock as he bleeds out on her couch after a particularly rough night of urban vigilantism.
Karen Page sits down to dinner with Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson, played by Hunger Games’ Elden Henson, in a scene that highlights some of the lighter aspects of the show, such as the banter between Foggy and Matt, and the flirtatious spark between Matt and Karen.
As longtime Daredevil fans, the appetizers we received were everything that I could’ve hoped for. The actors are spot on. The look is beautiful and gritty. And the writing is superb.
Marvel is taking us to the streets with this show…and thankfully not in a Step Up 2 The Streets kind of way (though I wouldn’t mind seeing a breakdancing Daredevil challenging Starlord to a Defenders vs. Guardians dance battle).
It took long enough…but finally, in 2015, the devil will indeed get his due.
Look for Daredevil to leave a big impact on Netflix Summer 2015.