With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter already set up at ABC, Marvel Studios is partnering up with Netflix next for a quintet of shows set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but localized in Hell's Kitchen, New York. The Netflix series will kick 0ff with Daredevil first, with A.K.A. Jessica Jones following later this year and Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders following at roughly yearly intervals.
Daredevil will star Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, an attorney who was blinded in an accident as a child but whose other four senses are extremely heightened to make up for his lack of sight. When he can't fight injustice using the law he tackles crime at night in the guise of a masked vigilante.
The first trailer for Daredevil promised a very grim, gritty and violent take on the character inspired by Frank Miller's "Man Without Fear" comic book origin story, and the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) has now reinforced that impression by slapping the first three episodes with a 15 rating. For comparison's sake, 15 is equivalent to the softer end of an R rating in the US. There have been a few PG-13 movies that earned a 15 rating in the UK, but not many.
The BBFC has also revealed the titles of the first three episodes of Daredevil, and who directed them. The pilot is titled 'Into the Ring' and carries a warning for "strong violence" and "bloody images." It was directed by Phil Abraham, who is most notable for being the director of photography on about half of the episodes of The Sopranos, and more recently directed several episodes of Orange is the New Black and Mad Men.
Episode two of Daredevil is titled 'Cut Man', is rated for "strong violence" and will also be directed by Abraham. The third episode is titled 'Rabbit in a Snow Storm', is rated for "strong bloody violence" and will be directed by Adam Kane. Like Abraham, Kane is probably best known as a cinematographer, predominantly on indie films like The Boondock Saints, but his recent directing credits include episodes of Falling Skies and Being Human.
Looking at these ratings, it seems like Daredevil's battles with the criminals of Hell's Kitchen are going to get pretty brutal. For context, the CW's comic book vigilante show Arrow has received about an equal number of 12 and 15 certificates for its episodes so far, depending on whether the BBFC classified them as having "moderate violence" or "strong violence." The news that Daredevil won't be shying away from violent imagery will no doubt please comic book fans who were hoping for a darker take on the character's origins.
Will Daredevil set for release just a couple of months from now, we expect to bring you plenty of news (and hopefully a few more trailers) in the coming weeks.
Daredevil premieres April 10th, 2015 on Netflix.