While Marvel Studios will not make an appearance at San Diego’s International Comic Con in 2015, fans can rest assured the studio is working overtime as it gears up to launch Phase Three of its cinematic universe, as well as continue “Phase One” of its Netflix universe. On that small screen-front, Jessica Jones is set to premiere Fall 2015, followed shortly by Luke Cage in early 2016, and eventually, the highly-anticipated second season of Daredevil (Iron Fist‘s production schedule is currently a mystery).
After casting Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle aka the Punisher and commencing filming on season two (already), there certainly seems to be a solidified and foreseeable plan for Matt Murdock’s next round in the ring. Indeed, aside from Bernthal’s anti-hero, Marvel has also hinted at appearances from the villainous Bullseye and the half-villainous Elektra. While Jason Stathom was rumored to play the former before negotiations supposedly missed the mark, the latter has seen no rumored or confirmed casting news – that is, until today.
Marvel officially announced that Elodie Yung (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) will play Elektra in season two of the series. Described as a “mystery woman from Matt Murdock’s past,” the assassin’s agenda in Hell’s Kitchen is currently unknown, but “her dangerous and exotic ways may be more than Daredevil can handle” come 2016 – especially with Punisher (and Bullseye?) making trouble too.
Executive Producer and Head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb, commented on the casting news, assuring viewers that Yung has what it takes to embody the complex, fan-favorite character.
After a worldwide search, we found in Elodie the perfect actress to embody both Elektra’s impressive and deadly physicality, as well as her psychological complexity. Paired with Charlie [Cox] as Matt Murdock, the two will bring one of the most beloved and tumultuous comic book relationships to life with all the accompanying sparks and spectacular action sequences the show is known for.
After playing the ninja Jinx in 2013’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Yung should be no stranger to swords or impressive martial arts – or the color red. In fact, the actress already boasted a black belt in karate before training for the film’s action sequences. That said, she definitely seems equipped physically to assume the role previously held by Jennifer Garner (who does not sport a black belt) in 2003’s Daredevil and its one-shot spin-off Elektra.
Created by Frank Miller, Elektra first appeared in comic book form in Daredevil #168. She has frequently switched between hero, anti-hero, and villain (the character has worked for Kingpin in the past), while also serving as one of Daredevil’s love interests. Interestingly, Elektra briefly trained with the blind sensei Stick, who recognized the darkness in her soul and wanted to guide her toward goodness, before ultimately siding with the Hand – a sect of mystical ninja, who trained her as an assassin.
While Elektra’s connection to Stick could explain her mysterious history with Daredevil (as alluded to in season one when Matt told Foggy about a Greek woman he once knew), her affiliation with the Hand opens up a plethora of potential plot lines moving forward. Even more importantly, introducing the mystical order of evil ninjas in season two could also help solve the Iron Fist problem by laying the groundwork for upcoming supernatural and fantastical elements.
That said, Elektra seems primed to play an extremely significant, far-reaching, and catalyzing role in the small screen world Marvel is building. And with so much riding on Yung’s successful portrayal of the character, the actress’s black belt could come in handy against any skeptical or unhappy fans.
Daredevil is currently available on Netflix. AKA Jessica Jones premieres in Fall 2015, followed by Luke Cage and Daredevil season 2 in 2016.