Daredevil season 3 showrunner Erik Oleson has confirmed that this season will be loosely inspired by some classic comic book arcs, ranging from Frank Miller's Born Again to Brian Bendis' Guardian Devil. That said, according to Oleson this will be an entirely original story.
The end of The Defenders clearly set up a Daredevil arc inspired by Miller's classic Born Again. The series came to a close with Matt Murdock believed dead by his friends and allies, lost after a building collapsed on top of him. A final scene showed that he'd survived, and was being watched over by an order of nuns. As Matt stirred in the bed, one of the nuns gave a simple instruction; "Get Maggie. He's awake." It was clearly a reference to Sister Maggie, a character introduced in Miller's story who was actually Matt's mother. Joanne Whalley has since been confirmed to play the part of Sister Maggie in season 3.
But, of course, every film or TV adaptation takes liberties with the source material. While viewers could be confident Daredevil season 3 would be inspired in some sense by Born Again, how close would it be? Screen Rant had the opportunity to visit the set of Daredevil season 3 and spoke to new showrunner Erik Oleson, who revealed that the inspiration is quite loose - and he hasn't just drawn upon Born Again.
My hope was to draw inspiration from comics - the comics like Born Again and Guardian Devil. There’s certainly moments that resonated for me tonally that I used as inspiration, but [season 3] is an original story. I am not doing a direct translation of any of the comics, I think that would have been a mistake. I want to give the audience what they want, but not in the way they expect it. I want to make sure everybody’s really hooked with an original story where they are deeply invested in the characters this season and understand why the characters behave the way that the behave and do the things that they do and I was very must interested in bringing more contradiction and dimension to some of the characters that we’ve grown to know and love.
In truth, Daredevil was never going to be able to directly adapt Born Again. Too many of the secondary characters are in very different places. At the start of season 3, Wilson Fisk is in prison, and Karen Page is a journalist whereas, in the comics, she had become a drug addict who sold Matt's secret identity for a fix. The reference to Guardian Devil is an interesting one, though, that was an arc in which the Spider-Man villain Mysterio launched a brutal, cunning plan to drive Daredevil mad. He faked an insane Apocalyptic scenario that manipulated Matt's religious beliefs, reinforcing the strangeness with hallucinatory drugs that even Daredevil's heightened senses couldn't detect.
Guardian Devil is particularly notable for the way it changed Matt Murdock's life utterly. There have been recurring rumors that Daredevil season 3 will introduce the MCU's version of Bullseye, and indeed the assassin played an important role in Guardian Devil. He managed to track Matt down to the church where he had sought sanctuary, and killed many of the nuns - almost murdering Sister Maggie. In a horrific twist, Bullseye killed Karen Page with Daredevil's own billy club. It's generally viewed as one of the most iconic moments in Daredevil history, and Olsen's reference to Guardian Devil will leave viewers concerned that Karen won't make it out of season 3 alive. Disturbingly, although Karen was an important secondary character in the first season of The Punisher, she's not reprising her role there. It could well be that Matt's life is about to get even more tragic.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant all week for more coverage from our Daredevil season 3 set visit. Daredevil season 3 releases on Netflix on October 19.