Marvel Studios and ABC's television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is half-way through its second season, but has already opened the door to new parts of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Similarly, Daredevil - the first of the four New York-based Marvel superheroes series planned to premiere on Netflix (not counting their planned team-up miniseries, The Defenders) - will explore the crime-fighting life on city streets in a way that no Marvel project released thus far has.
Daredevil show-runner Steven DeKnight is familiar with the sort of creative freedom that comes with making a Netflix series (he also created the very adult Spartacus TV series for Starz), though in a new interview he re-emphasized that his Marvel show is going for a tone that's not quite R-Rated. Similarly, Marvel TV chief Jeph Loeb is sticking with his past claim that Daredevil won't just be the small screen equivalent of your average Marvel superhero film.
Loeb, speaking with EW, re-emphasized what Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos has said before, about how Daredevil is more a grounded crime series where the protagonist is a costume-wearing vigilante; as opposed to, a more fantastical superhero adventure.
'There aren't going to be people flying through the sky; there are no magic hammers. We've always approached this as a crime drama first, superhero show second.''
That approach is in keeping with the influence of Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.'s "The Man Without Fear" Daredevil comic book mini-series published in the 1990s, which DeKnight has likewise acknowledged as being a significant influence (though he says the show is not at all a direct adaptation). So much can also be observed in the first costume that's donned by Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) on the series, which was unveiled during the 2014 New York Comic-Con and is also pictured in a newly-released official Daredevil still, below. (Don't worry, Murdock will get to wear his red, devil-horned, outfit on the show at some point.)
Daredevil footage shown at NYCC 2014 (listen to our editors describe it on the Screen Rant Underground podcast) resembled that of a hard-boiled crime tale, albeit with superheroes living in its neo-Noir world. Daredevil may not reach the same level of "mature entertainment" as DeKnight's Spartacus series or other Netflix shows (like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards), but there was definitely a Dark Knight-esque quality to the Comic-Con preview.
As DeKnight told EW:
''It's a little grittier and edgier than Marvel has gone before, but we're not looking to push it to extreme violence or gratuitous nudity.''
The casting for Daredevil alone is pretty impressive, with Cox joined by the likes of Vincent D'Onofrio as Daredevil's enemy, Wilson Fisk a.k.a. Kingpin, as well as Rosario Dawson, True Blood alum Deborah Ann Woll, and Scott Glenn in key recurring and/or supporting roles. Marvel is getting its Jessica Jones Netflix series ready to go (with a star and show-runner in place) after Daredevil next year, so here's to hoping this trip to Hell's Kitchen starts off well.
Daredevil will premiere on Netflix in 2015.
Header image artwork via Meador @ DeviantArt