Marvel and Netflix have formed a partnership to create four Netflix original series - a way of introducing four new characters into Marvel's Cinematic Universe - in the shapes of Daredevil, A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist; that's in addition to a crossover mini-series event called The Defenders. Daredevil - the first of the four series - is set to premiere one month from now on April 10th, with all thirteen episodes of the first season available for fans to consume at their own pace.
Along with the introduction of this MCU version of Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) as well as Wilson Fisk a.k.a. The Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio), there have been hints and rumors regarding any other references or characters from the Marvel comics that might be making an appearance in the series. The latest trailer for the series featured a reference to Iron Man and Thor, and there have been rumors hinting at the possible inclusion of other recognizable characters from the Marvel comic book universe.
Marvel has now announced six additional Daredevil cast members: the list includes Peter Shinkoda (Falling Skies) as Nobu, a Japanese businessman on the same side as Wilson Fisk; Wai Ching Ho (Blue Bloods) as Madame Gao, a powerful woman running her own trade in Hell's Kitchen; and Nikolai Nikolaeff (Camp, Sea Patrol) and Gideon Emery (Grimm) as Vladimir and Anatoly, two Russian brothers looking to make a name for themselves in America.
In addition, Rob Morgan (Believe) is now confirmed to be appearing in the series as Turk Barrett, a small-time criminal in Hell's Kitchen who steals armor from other super villains (like Stilt-Man and Maulred) to fight with Daredevil. And last, but not least, there's Matt Gerald (Avatar, Dexter) as Melvin Potter a.k.a. Gladiator, a machinist stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Most of these newly-announced characters seem to be minor roles created solely for the Daredevil Netflix series, but the late confirmation of Gladiator and Turk Barrett will likely make some comic book fans out there excited. The character description for Barrett also seems to possibly confirm the presence of Stilt-Man and Maulred in the series - which may mean we're going to be seeing Matt Murdock start out by taking on a number of iconic side villains from the comics. It's also noteworthy to mention that Gerald has already been a villain in a past Marvel property - as the "White Power Dave" in the Marvel One-Shot, All Hail the King.
For those out there that don't know - Gladiator is a character from the comics who started out as a costume designer who created himself a real suit of armor and battled Daredevil several times in the comics before eventually reforming and becoming one of the Man Without Fear's allies. Barrett is basically as he's described above, a small-time crook operating in Hell's Kitchen trying to climb the organized crime ranks frequently - but always failing.
The inclusion of newly-created characters (along with some adapted from the comic book page) for the Daredevil series doesn't come as much of a surprise; that seems to be the Marvel way when it comes to integrating new properties into its cinematic universe. In the end, these Daredevil players will most likely remain on the side - as the main focus will (naturally) remain on Murdock and Fisk's war for Hell's Kitchen's soul.
Daredevil is set to premiere next month on Friday, April 10th on Netflix.
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