Marvel and Netflix have found their “Man Without Fear,” the actor who will take on the role of the blind superhero, Daredevil — Charlie Cox of Boardwalk Empire. He will play blind lawyer, Matt Murdoch, who fights crime when he dons the dark red devil suit of the Daredevil, in the 13-episode series, according to MTV.com, TheHollywoodReporter.com and several other sources. Production on the Daredevil series will begin this summer, and it will be streamed on Netflix sometime in 2015.
Matt Murdoch is the Daredevil’s alter-ego. He’s a blind lawyer who uses the courtrooms of Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, to combat crime during the day. Then, as the Daredevil, at night he fights villains such as the Kingpin and Bullseye. His other five senses take over, and are reinforced by technological gadgets in his cane, and “radar” to enable him to seem to villains as if he can see as well as they can.
Besides casting Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, just a few days ago Marvel released the news that Drew Goddard, who had been the designated director and writer for the series, would be replaced as the showrunner by Steven S. DeKnight (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Spartacus). Goddard has already scripted the first two episodes of Daredevil.
In Boardwalk Empire, the London-born Charlie Cox plays Owen Sleater, an Irish immigrant with ties to the IRA. Also, in the movie Stardust (2007), Cox played Tristan Thorne. Daredevil fans who were less than thrilled with how Ben Affleck did as the Daredevil (2003) are hoping that Charlie Cox will do a better job and renew interest in the superhero among other comic book aficionados.
Netflix, hoping to cash in on the big-screen success of superhero-based movies, plans to release five Marvel series in all on their streaming service, with Daredevil being the first one. The other Marvel-based comic book series will feature comic book superheroes like Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones, and then they all will be featured in a Defender series. Each of the proposed series will have contemporary settings.
Daredevil has the potential to be made into a great TV series, and even a movie or series of movies. Though the 2003 Daredevil flick, starring Ben Affleck, didn’t do well critically or at the box office, as a comic book series, Daredevil has always had a loyal fan base. That’s likely, in part, because a relatively unassuming man by day — blind lawyer, Matt Murdock — is, in reality, a bad-ass crime fighter, somewhat like Batman, Green Arrow, or Nightwing, despite not having any super powers.
When Frank Miller took over the Daredevil comic book series in the 1990s, he transformed the character into an antihero. He changed Daredevil’s back story, and Daredevil became a superhero who was not above doing things like throwing villains off the top of buildings in the supposed name of a greater good. Though the changes that he made were controversial, the readership of the Daredevil comic book series picked up considerably.
Charlie Cox and Steven S. DeKnight have the chance to redefine the role of Daredevil for an entire new generation of fans. It hasn’t yet been disclosed if Daredevil will be an all-American sort of superhero or one that doesn’t hesitate to step outside the usual boundaries of the law in the pursuit of villains, but it’s probably a sure bet that the Marvel/Netflix series will be one that superhero fans will eagerly anticipate.
Written by: Douglas Cobb