The Marvel Cinematic Universe begins its expansion into the realm of Netflix series in less than a month, when Daredevil premieres. The latest piece of promotion for the show – run by Steven DeKnight (Spartacus) and starring Charlie Cox (Boardwalk Empire) as Matt Murdock – has now dropped online, in the form of a “Transformation Motion Poster”. It’s a variation on the previously-released Daredevil motion poster; here, however, Murdock is shown going from mild-mannered blind lawyer to grimacing ninja-style vigilante.
On that note – Murdock’s “black ninja suit” (as the show’s producers refer to it) took some fans off-guard when it first debuted. Daredevil’s red, devil-horned, costume is the more iconic of the pair, but his do-it-yourself ninja outfit is identical to the one the character started out with in Frank Miller’s re-imagining of the superhero: the “Man Without Fear” comic book series from the early 1990s (for more on that subject, read our Daredevil Netflix Costume Explanation Post).
Daredevil‘s producers recently talked a bit about how Murdock’s costume will, in fact, evolve over the course of the upcoming Netflix series. Marvel TV Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada told Comics Continuum (hat tip MCU Exchange) that Murdock “adds padding little by little” to his “homemade” outfit as time goes by, while Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb said they wanted to be sure Murdock’s first Daredevil suit “looked not like a costume, but a uniform.”
DeKnight, not so surprisingly, had the most insight to provide on the subject:
He always wore a black mask that was tied in the back. We went through a lot of different versions and did a lot of R&D before settling on something. If you watch very closely, you’ll see the outfit evolve subtly into what we call the black ninja suit. The mask changes. He starts wearing protective pads. Eventually it morphs into the classic suit, because he wouldn’t be Daredevil without it. Getting there is part of the fun. The idea was to back the story up to the point before Matt is Daredevil. Then we could take him to a place where some version of the red suit works in a grounded world. The solution is very exciting and makes complete sense.
DeKnight’s comments about how Daredevil’s costume develops over time line up with the “dark, gritty, and grounded” angle that marketing for the Netflix series has taken. Indeed, one reason that many Marvel fans are intrigued to see the series is because “dark, gritty, and grounded” is not something we’ve seen before in the MCU. Similarly, because of the long-form storytelling format afforded by the small screen, Daredevil can take its time and (hopefully) better explore how Murdock’s Daredevil suit changes as he gains experience – more than a single film can, for example.
Character development – especially when it comes to the villain – is another element that, if all goes well, the Daredevil series will be able to get a firm handle on thanks to the Netflix series format. Marvel Studios’ big screen releases are somewhat infamous for generally featuring two-dimensional baddies (exceptions like Loki and, by the look of him, Ultron aside), but already Wilson Fisk/Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio) on Daredevil sounds more interesting: an anti-hero who may evolve into something more dangerous over time, sort of like Murdock’s armor.
Daredevil will be available for viewing on Netflix starting next month on Friday, April 10th.