Manhattan may have borne the brunt of Loki’s ambition during the final battle of The Avengers, but Hell’s Kitchen isn’t in much better shape thanks to the proliferation of crime and supervillains like The Kingpin. Luckily help is on the way in the form of Matt Murdock: lawyer by day, vigilante by night, and the eponymous protagonist of upcoming Netflix/Marvel TV team-up Daredevil.
The first of five Marvel shows that will be set in Hell’s Kitchen and cross over with one another, Daredevil has the responsibility of setting the tone for the future of Marvel on Netflix. No pressure. Boardwalk Empire actor Charlie Cox plays the lead, and the cast is rounded out by Vincent D’Onofrio, Elden Henson, Deborah Ann Woll and Rosario Dawson.
There’s been a lot of chatter over Daredevil’s costume, as featured in the trailer and the numerous promotional stills for the show. The character is most recognizable in a red suit with horns, but the TV version of the character will start out wearing a very conservative black outfit with a simple mask over the top half of his head. Speaking to Empire, showrunner Steven S. DeKnight explained that Matt simply doesn’t have the resources or skills to make a sophisticated costume when he first starts out; fine stitching doesn’t come easily to a blind man.
“Without giving too much away, this show is Matt learning to be a hero. He starts in that first iteration of the Daredevil outfit which is taken very much from Frank Miller and The Man Without Fear. But I always questioned [the main costume]. I mean, one, he’s blind. Did he stitch it together himself? How did he manage all that? So, actually getting him to that point I thought was really interesting.”
Costume designer Stephanie Maslansky offered more details on Daredevil’s crime-fighting outfit, including a promise that the classic red version will show up later on: “In the end, somebody else [in the story] makes his Daredevil costume. What’s really exciting is the evolution of it, and how he comes to have it made.” Who is this person that Matt will end up revealing his secret identity to in the show?
The other contentious issue related to Daredevil is just how mature the show should be content-wise. BBFC ratings for the first three episodes warned of “strong, bloody violence” that should please some fans, but others have expressed concern that an R rated superhero would be out of place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, limiting the possibility of Daredevil appearing in any of the upcoming movies. DeKnight concedes that the show’s attachment to the Marvel Studios brand (and its parent company, Disney) has created a need to hold back a little.
“Netflix, of course, they don’t have a problem with pushing it. I mean, they go anywhere from G to NC-17. But the Marvel brand, that’s a little different.They’re obviously not comfortable going that far with it, though they’ve allowed us to push it much further than you’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since starting with Iron Man. It is much more geared towards adults. We call it PG-16. We don’t quite get to R, but we kiss right up to it.”
It will take more than just pushing the rating to make Daredevil a success, but luckily there are only a few weeks left to find out if Marvel and Netflix managed to kick off their partnership the right way.
Daredevil comes to Netflix on April 10th, 2015.