Thoughts on the Empire Magazine story from the set of Daredevil

The most recent issue of Empire Magazine featured a story on the upcoming Daredevil show on Netflix – now just forty days away! – and, unlike a previous story in Entertainment Weekly, it turned out to be fairly extensive, addressing some issues that I know have been on the minds of many fans.

The photos that appeared in the story are available elsewhere on the Internet, and a small fragment of it, which includes an interview with lead actor Charlie Cox, is available on empireonline.com. For select quotes from the full version of the article, skip ahead.

If you’re avoiding any and all spoilers, you may want to check out here. After taking yet another look at this week’s “motion poster” that I put in to keep you safe, 😉 Oh, and that poster really gets my heart pumping with excitement, by the way.

On the level of violence

“Netflix, of course, they don’t have a problem with pushing it,” DeKnight tells Empire. […] “I mean, they go anywhere from G to NC-17. But the Marvel brand, that’s a little different. They’re obviously not comfortable going that far with it, though they’ve allowed us to push it much further than you’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since starting with Iron Man. It is much more geared towards adults. We call it PG-16. We don’t quite get to R, but we kiss right up to it.”

I think we’re supposed to look at this, and everything else that’s been said about the dark, gritty tone of this series, and the hints at brutality, and get the impression that this will be a bloody affair. And I don’t doubt that, but for those of us who might have been worried things were going to overboard, this is actually welcome news. I actually expected an R rating out of this.

Personally, I don’t mind the brutal parts being brutal (being Daredevil obviously is pretty brutal, and even comic book Matt has the scars to prove it), it’s just seemed that so much of the intended hype around the show has centered on how hard-core it’s going to be. I’m looking for character, character and them some more character. Consequently, this next quote makes me very happy.

On the nature of the show

“We don’t skimp on the drama on the show” DeKnight insists. “It was never presented to me as an action show. It was always a crime drama. There is action in it, quite a bit. But we really come at it from the angle that this is a crime drama first, and then an action show second. We always say we shoot for The Wire – although no-one ever reaches The Wire. But we also took our cues from classic cop movies of the ’70s that we love: The French Connection, Dog Day Afternoon, movies like that.”

In conjunction with this, DeKnight also stresses the way the show should appear grounded in the real world. I can only think of that as a positive thing. Elden Henson, who plays Foggy, also had something similar to say in how he doesn’t see this show as “a comic-book show.” Sounds good to me!

On the costume

Costume designer Stephanie Maslansky […] explains at length how she sourced Murdock’s initial, all-black vigilante outfit from practical sports and military wear, restitching garments from companies like McDavid, CAT and G-Star – clothing which, as she puts it, “he could go out and find himself” – but she shuts us down when we bring up the horns. “In the end, somebody else [in the story] makes his Daredevil costume,” is all she’ll give us.

So, there you have it. There will be a red costume. Eventually. We’ve been able to gather as much, but they’ve still been kind of dodgy about it. I also like what DeKnight has to say about how it never made sense to him that Matt made it himself, in part because he’s blind. Yeah, that never really made sense to me either, and shows that they’re not taking things straight out of the comics without passing them through some kind of plausibility filter.

What do Foggy and Karen know?

For starters, he is playing a blind man who with his other senses can perceive the world around him better than anyone with sight… Yet who, in his secret identity has to act like he is merely blind. “So for example in the first two episodes, we move into these offices. Of course, Matt doesn’t need to know his way around them, but in front of Karen and Foggy he needs to appear to be finding his way around.”

Okay, first of all, I had a mild hemorrhage at the “better than anyone with sight” part, as you might expect if you know me at all, but that’s on the reporter of the story and is not the reason I’ve included this quote.

Just a couple of days before this article came out, I had been thinking about if, and when, Foggy and Karen would become aware of Matt’s secret. It makes sense that they wouldn’t right off the bat – and that’s what Charlie Cox is confirming with these remarks – but Karen does find out pretty early on in the comics, and much of the strength of the Bendis/Maleev run, at least to me, was the friendship and partnership between Foggy and Matt. That relationship feels so much more genuine when Foggy is in the loop that I at least hope he’s clued in at some point during these thirteen episodes.

Okay, that’s all I can divulge if I don’t want to push the boundaries of “fair use” more than I already have (though the full piece is pretty long, as I mentioned). Any thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

Christine Hanefalk

Christine Hanefalk

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Christine is a die-hard Daredevil fan who launched The Other Murdock Papers in 2007 to share her passion for Matt Murdock and his friends with other fans.

3 comments

  1. Sounds as if there is care used with the handling of Matt, DD, and the supporting cast. Have faith in this show when it comes to the character end. I think, as far as advertising goes, they always play up the action and blood, cause that’s what people want…I guess? I’d like some, but not for action sakes, for story. I’m goin in with an open mind regardless, I want to enjoy the show for what it is. Can’t wait. These are all random thoughts. Just too excited. Morse so then age of ultranationalist I’d say. Yes, fact. Can’t wait.

  2. I think the reason they continue to focus on the blood, violence, and crime drama aspects in the advertising so far is that they want people to know this is nothing like the movie and think this is the best way to do that. I don’t think the series will actually end up with that much violence in the end. What violence is shown will likely be brutal and have repercussions similar to a show like Justified. That show is played up as a shoot ’em up modern western in its advertising but is actually a brilliant character driven drama with violence and action sprinkled throughout. I’m betting Daredevil will be similar. 5 to 10 minutes of action/violence and 40+ minutes of character stuff in an average episode.

    In fact I think some fans are gonna end up disappointed because of the lack of action these Netflix series may end up having. I’ve seen numerous people on various sites talking about how they think they will, or want to, see Daredevil vs The Absorbing Man. This of course is all based on that fight poster which is nothing more than an easter egg. We will probably even see Creel in the ring with Jack, but it’ll be brief and nothing more than that. Yet some fans are already clamoring to see some epic fight with Absorbing Man. I’m like… did we watch the same teaser?

  3. Like the “Daredevil Smirk!”

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