In 2015, Marvel Studios will be continuing its storyline concerning Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in The Avengers: Age of Ultron as well as introducing Ant-Man to the cinematic universe. On the television side, Marvel is also expanding. Agent Carter will premiere on ABC and run during the midseason break of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which will pick up its second season after an impactful (and far-reaching) midseason finale.
Aside from those on ABC, two other Marvel TV series will debut on Netflix: Daredevil and A.K.A. Jessica Jones. From showrunner Steven S. DeKnight, crime drama Daredevil will be the first of the Netflix series to premiere. Charlie Cox (Boardwalk Empire) stars as Matt Murdock, a blind defense attorney based in New York City who doubles as a masked vigilante. In a recent interview, DeKnight and Cox, along with head of Marvel TV Jeph Loeb, discussed the characters of Daredevil.
While talking to EW, DeKnight revealed that Daredevil will focus on the titular character as well as the show’s antagonist Wilson Fisk a.k.a. Kingpin, played by Vincent D’Onofrio. DeKnight said Fisk’s character development will be fleshed out and include the story of how he fell in love with his wife; you can read the showrunner's full quote, below:
“Fisk has very many different aspects so it’s not all, ‘I want to conquer the city and make a lot of money.’ In our story, we tell the story of how he met his wife Vanessa and how they fell in love - our antagonist actually has a love story. That’s the love story you’re following, the one you’re invested in, and seeing how that affects him and changes him. I think Vincent just brings such depth to it, his performance is just astounding.”
The series will be about the rise of both a hero and a villain, as Loeb said, so viewers can expect a fully developed villain in Daredevil. Some criticisms of Marvel films have centered around the villains - particularly that many, such as the Dark Elves in Thor: the Dark World, were underdeveloped. However, it appears DeKnight is attempting to avoid those problems with Daredevil.
On the topic of whether or not other comic book villains would appear in the series, DeKnight previously shot down the idea that Bullseye would have a role in the first season. Now, DeKnight has said “it’s not not to say he wouldn’t be in the series at some point.” In the Ben Affleck-starring Daredevil movie, Bullseye was the main adversary and DeKnight didn’t want to rehash the villain’s story - or cram too many antagonists into one season.
As for the hero of the show, Cox revealed that Daredevil’s title as the “man without fear” will have a less literal meaning in the Marvel television series. This is because, according to Cox, a man without fear wouldn’t have much character development and wouldn’t be compelling to watch.
Read Cox’s full quote:
“Someone who does not have fear - literally does not experience fear - is not that interesting. The way I like to think about it is that he is a man with fear, but he on a daily basis decides to confront that fear and to overcome it. So the title of ‘the man without fear’ is almost a title that the public in his world gives him just because of what he does. But inside himself, he’s very afraid at times. And he finds a way to confront those fears and punch through it.”
Although Marvel has become well-known for its superhero blockbusters, on the television side - especially with these Netflix series - it appears the studio is focusing more on character than action. In Daredevil, Murdock and Fisk will be at the center of the series’ first season. Whether or not these characters can sustain the show on their own remains to be seen, but it seems Cox and DeKnight are confident in their hero/villain story.
Daredevil will premiere on Netflix in 2015.