Days after Marvel announced their game-changing deal to put forth an interconnected universe on Netflix with four new 13 episode series’ and a Defenders mini-series, rumors targeted Drew Goddard as a strong candidate to pen the pilot episode of the Daredevil series. There is now confirmation that the Cabin in the Woods director and co-writer will have a greater role when The Man Without Fear makes his smaller screen debut.
In addition to scripting the pilot, Goddard will direct that episode while also serving as executive producer and showrunner for the series, meaning that – following the news that Melissa Rosenberg will head-up Jessica Jones – only Luke Cake, Iron Fist, and The Defenders min-series stand without creative overseers.
Though Goddard has put himself in position to get a high profile job like this with his work as a blockbuster screenwriter on Cloverfield, World War Z, and the previously mentioned Joss Whedon team-up on Cabin in the Woods, Goddard also has a long TV resume, with work as a writer on Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and as a writer/producer on Lost and Alias.
All of this work demonstrates that Goddard is no stranger to genre writing, but there is also a common thread of intelligence and respect for the audience that runs through these shows, and that should give confidence to Daredevil fans.
There are other observations one can make from Goddard’s past work that may, theoretically, inform the way that he will unfold the story of Matt Murdock.
Murdock is one of many comic book characters who endures the transformative gut-punch of parental loss at a young age when his father, Jack – a boxer – dies. Blinded as a child and now alone, the boy is left in the dark without a guide – training his remaining senses to do more than compensate, he becomes a hero forged in fire and pain.
Murdock’s past is vital to his present heroism, and Goddard’s penchant for expository flashbacks – he co-wrote “The Man Behind the Curtain” episode of Lost that details Ben Linus’ arrival on the island and his maturation, as well as flashback heavy episodes of Buffy (“Selfless”) and Angel (“Why We Fight”) – makes one wonder if Jack Murdock and that narrative device will be heavily included and employed in the series.
Beyond fleshing out who and why Matt Murdock is, though, Goddard will also be charged with establishing a tone for the series and the character, and there are a few paths he can take.
Will the deep cynicism of Cabin in the Woods carry over, pushing Goddard to embrace the gritty anti-heroism of Frank Miller’s portrayal of the character in a way that satisfies the hunger for dark tales that some fans hold, or will his Daredevil fly closer to his origins and the homage to those beginnings that Mark Waid is doing with a more joyous and typically heroic take on the character in Marvel’s present comic book series?
As sure as each direction has its share of supporters, each one also has its merits and its drawbacks, but as we wonder which Daredevil we will see when he finally jumps back onto a screen, at least we now know that that decision is in capable hands.
What do you think: do you want to see a version of Ol’ Hornhead that resembles the Frank Miller take, would you prefer something more in line with what Mark Waid is currently doing, or are you hoping for something in between?
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more news on Daredevil and the rest of the Marvel TV and film universe as it develops.