UPDATE: Marvel TV Has Debunked this rumor. FOR NOW. See quote below:
UPDATED @ 8:46 AM PT: Marvel Television has debunked the rumor that Jason Statham is in talks to join the cast of Daredevil,” telling CBR News there is “no truth to it at all.”
UPDATE 2 @ 8:29 PM PT: New reports claim that talks have ended but that there’s still a chance Statham can sign.
The success of Marvel’s expansion to Netflix may be unsurprising, but the extreme critical acclaim was a pleasant surprise. While Netflix is notorious for keeping ratings information secret, even to producers making original programming for the digital streaming service, data suggests that Marvel TV’s Daredevil was watched by more subscribers than even House of Cards season 3.
That’s a great position for Marvel TV to be in, considering their deal with Netflix is for three additional series based on another three characters and a followup miniseries that teams them all together. Daredevil was such a hit that second season was immediately greenlit for release in 2016.
The nature of a 13-episode story without commercial breaks allows Marvel TV to spend time developing characters without the restrictions of cable networks. It’s not too long of a season where it has to drag out storylines, and it’s not too short where supporting characters or villains get overlooked. Daredevil hit a home run in that regard, offering a refreshing origin tale for Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), his closest friends, and of course, Wilson Fisk a.k.a. Kingpin – arguably the best villain in the MCU to date.
While fans share their desire to see more characters brought to life and introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in this format (Punisher, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight, Blade, etc.) – we even suggested a Black Widow series – we will be seeing at least a few classic Marvel Comics characters join the fray in Daredevil season two.
Leaked audition tapes seemingly confirmed that Elektra is on the way in the next Daredevil run, and after an Easter Egg in the first season, Bullseye might be introduced as well. This pair represents the other half of the core cast of the original Daredevil film that Twentieth Century Fox released starring Ben Affleck in 2003. Long before Marvel Entertainment reacquired the rights to Daredevil in 2013, Fox made several attempts to reboot the brand, and in 2008, British action star Jason Statham expressed his desire to play the “Man Without Fear” in an interview with the LA Times.
“Could a British actor wear the red horns of the Man Without Fear?… Absolutely, just give me the chance, I would love to be Daredevil.”
How interesting is it then that LR is reporting Marvel is looking at Statham to play a villain opposite Daredevil in its second season? According to their “trusted source” at Marvel TV, Marvel wants Statham to play Bullseye. It’s unconfirmed, but their “spies” saw him meeting with Marvel reps while promoting the upcoming comedy Spy.
In addition to Elektra and Bullseye potentially being introduced in Daredevil season 2, LR also claims that Mister. Fear and Spider-Man villain Mysterio may also appear. The second season may begin production as early as this month, if not July, for its 2016 premiere, so casting announcements could come sooner than we think.
Bullseye is a “never miss” type of mercenary assassin and is a major villain who shares stories with Daredevil, Punisher, Elektra, Black Widow and Mysterio in the comics. When he’s introduced it could be to assassinate Murdock like he attempted to in the books. Most interestingly however, depending on what Marvel TV is planning long-term, is how Bullseye joins the villainous team-up squad known as the Thunderbolts which leads him to becoming the new Hawkeye for a new (and “dark”) team of Avengers lead by Norman Osborn – a key Spider-Man villain who has been the subject of recent rumors. And it means there’s potential for Statham to have a longer-term role in the MCU.
Now that the Spider-Man universe and the MCU are one and the same, Mysterio, Osborn, and other Spidey characters can participate in crossovers and key connections from the comics can finally be made. After all, the one story Charlie Cox wants to see most in Daredevil is the one where Spider-Man dresses in the Daredevil costume so Murdock can defend him in court…
Daredevil is currently available on Netflix. AKA Jessica Jones premieres this fall, followed by Luke Cage and Daredevil season 2 in 2016.
Punisher art by Matt Jacobs.