Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix – A first look!

So I’m betting no one missed the first teaser trailer of the upcoming Daredevil live action show which was released today! Well, not counting yesterday’s teaser trailer for the teaser trailer. (The marketing people sure know how to build suspense.) If you, by some chance, haven’t seen it yet, take a look below and then let’s talk!

My first overall impression is a very positive one. There’s a general sense of high quality and attention to detail. Beautiful photography, cool angles and a very heavy emphasis on the sound, which is obviously key for this character.

I also like that they’re going for a grounded feel in the action sequences. There’s some parkour-ish stuff going on, and the last scene in particular is an indication that Matt obviously bleeds when he’s injured. The creators wanted gritty, and that’s clearly what we’re getting.

Speaking of gritty, I know that there’s been some concern from regular visitors to this site that this show might end up being a bit too dark. That is certainly an issue, judging both from this trailer and what’s been said by people in the know. However, I think a key element to remember here is that they cast Charlie Cox for a reason, and I have to think that part of that reason is his obvious charm. Both the Miller and Bendis runs – which we know have served as inspiration for the show – are definitely dark (Bendis generally more so than Miller), but they’re not just that. And it’s remembering that Matt Murdock is so much more than a one-note character that should help make things interesting. If I were looking to portray Daredevil as a character who never cracks a smile, Cox certainly isn’t the actor I would have chosen.

There are only short glimpses of Foggy and Karen here, but I have to say that I’m interested to see what they’re going to do with Karen as a character. She has been described by actress Deborah Ann Wool and others as “trouble” and I definitely get the feeling that this incarnation of the character will have more in common with the the former junkie porn star of the 80s than the young, innocent girl we knew from the 60s. I’m not suggesting she’ll have a secret night job, but possibly a checkered past.

The trailer is framed by a scene of Matt going to confession. This is not a surprising element to see in a Daredevil show, even though I’ve mentioned before that I think Matt’s religious fervor is often exaggerated outside of the actual comic where, aside from Kevin Smith’s Guardian Devil, there is no real indication that he’s actually a regular churchgoer. Religious? Yes. Devout? No. However, religious themes can often be very interesting, so I’m well prepared to live with it. What I really do like about the confession scene is Matt’s voice. You can detect the emotional turmoil going on, but Charlie Cox also makes him sound intelligent and rational, capable of restraint. The voice really works for me.

Another interesting detail I want to point out is that they’re clearly making sure that people are aware that Daredevil operates a little differently than other people, heroes and civilians alike. Even though Matt Murdock is not your average blind guy, his actions and movements are guided by a different set of stimuli and I think that comes across pretty well on the screen. Oh, and massive bonus points for the white cane actually touching the ground. (I’m looking at you, Affleck!) 😉

So, what did you guys think? Sound off in the comment section!

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.

11 comments

  1. As you mentioned, I thought the trailer did a fantastic job of portraying the moral struggle in Matt. He feels beating up mofo’s is wrong; however, at the end of the day, he must protect his city. There’s tension in that voice-over, and Cox portrays this struggle well by varying the inflection in Matt’s voice.

    Also, the emphasis on sound can really add an element of intrigue and suspense to the show if not over-used.

    Religious concern wise, it makes sense for Matt to go to confession in the first episode or two, especially after he’s carving out his sense of justice, wading through the residual guilt and defining what it means to be The Man Without Fear. However, like you, I hope his Catholicism serves as a jumping off point for his journey and not a continual sign-post/destination.

    Visually it looked-nice, but I was not blown away. DeKnight mentioned that he was inspired by The French Connection, so I was hoping for a more 70’s Grindhouse feel to it. Part of this is my bias to Joe Carnahan’s vision of a Daredevil film set in 1973. One can hope, right?

    And I do think they’ll go with the broken, seedy version of Karen. Poor Karen, right? However, Matt’s attraction to dangerous, unstable women has to pop up at some point, and I hope the creators can bring out his savior complex a bit in his relationship with Karen. If they establish this foundation with Matt in Season 1, they could bring it out more with Elektra, Typhoid Mary, and–heck, it’s Marvel U–Black Widow in Season 2.

    Also, how will they portray his mother? To me, I’ve always tied his relationship choices back to this fundamental event. Will they lay the hint in her absence, introduce her as a nun or leave it out?

    It’s too far away! I can’t wait.

  2. I think the best way to describe how I feel is: cautiously optimistic.

    I do have concerns about it being too dark. I’m concerned about it being completely bleak and humorless, to be specific.

    I like the idea of Foggy and Matt representing Karen in court before she works for them. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with her.

    “Oh, and massive bonus points for the white cane actually touching the ground.”

    AGREED.

  3. I just don’t know. I love this character so much, I fear this show will be so grubby and dark it will be hard to enjoy. I fear there will be so much “vengeance” and so little “superhero” folks will loose sight of what is so special about the character. I truly want to like it, but DD shouldn’t leave people on subway tracks to die or pitch people off buildings so the audience can watch his soul dissolve. I’ll certainly give it a chance and it is artistically put together.

  4. Everything about that looked great and I hope thats the tone they are going for throughout the series.

    Like you said, there are light hearted moments and humor throughout the works of Miller and Bendis (which all evidence points to this show thankfully drawing from) and they wouldn’t have cast someone like Charlie Cox if it was all grim and dour. Hopefully his casting means some heavy drama though and with that comes pain and misery and blood and loss, all the things that make DD interesting.

    I like the Catholic aspect of the character as long as it isn’t overplayed. My prediction is the priest will be a framing device for the first season, similar to the way it was in Guardian Devil. The first episode Matt is lost and without purpose and seeks counsel (probably for the first time in a long time, which is hinted in the trailer) then we don’t see the priest again until the last episode when Matt has “become” Daredevil and now has purpose. So the priest sees that Matt has changed.

  5. I agree with #Bill – I love DD so much, I have a perfectly constructed world for him in my head so I’m not sure if I could bear it if the series is rubbish. I wanted to watch the trailer from behind a cushion – just in case I didn’t like it and it shattered my illusions!
    I have to admit, overall, I liked it. But! It seemed to me a little bit too similar to ‘that’ film (you know what I’m talking about people!) with the heavy church element. I am aware of Matt’s religious background but it never features for me when I’m reading the books. I guess they are trying to give him some context though?! I just hope it doesn’t put off non-readers who’ll see this trailer and think the series will be like the film.
    Don’t get me wrong – I sooooo want this to work, and I am aware that nothing, not even genius will ever accurately portray the life of Matt that I have going on in my head. And I relish the thought of seeing ma’ man running over the rooftops of NYC – just please, make it good…….

  6. Color me impressed. I think the trailer looks great and nails the looks and feel of Miller & Romita’s “Man Without Fear” arc, which is clearly the inspiration for this first season. I love the use of sound and am intrigued by how they’ll portray his radar sense. I have no issue with the show being grim-dark with occasional flashes of charm/humor because tonally it will stand out from the rest of Marvel’s film/tv output, which is decidedly colorful and low on the heavy consequences of violence. That last show of Matt indicates that won’t be the case here.

    Also, totally geeked out for Scott Glenn as Stick — perfect casting there!

  7. Enjoyed the first glimpse into the show. The trailer was a decent intro or peek into the show. I think it captured the mood and tone of what the series will be like. No judgements here until I see the first episode. Great article as always!

  8. Fairly impressed. But again, I expected to be. Everything about this, the casting and the potential of the network (having proved themselves with House of Cards), has me excited for this already.

    I’m not a fan of Miller & Romita’s “Man Without Fear.” Mainly due to the art and a little due to Miller granting Daredevil the super ability to not just deflect bullets at will, but to deflect them where he wants them to go. A little much for my tastes.

    I do hope we see a costume change by the last episode. The red horns are a big visual appeal. I can’t imagine that this look would be intact for the whole season.

    Give me the dark gritty Daredevil. I like my coffee black.

    Clayton

  9. A good little preview. I am holding out hope for this. I do have to admit I cringed a little with the heavy Catholic stuff. I really hope the religious side is handled more like it is in Born Again where it is understated and built into the imagery and overall themes, Instead of like it was handled in Guardian Devil where it was laid on so think it was smothering and out of character. I can deal with a dark gritty feel, it is very in character with DD. I mean the Bendis and Brubaker runs were very heavy and dark but they were excellent. I like that they seem to be showing that Matt is a low power hero who is the underdog in most fights! The underdog, never say die, aspect of Matt’s character is a very important one and Im glad to see its being shown here. Lets face it, Matt gets beat up a lot but he always gets back up. I think that is a big reason why many of us love him. Just as long as they balance the dark out with charm and hope and show the many sides of Matt. Like the Miller, Bendis, and Waid runs have done it. I am very interested in how the Radar and other senses are going to be shown. It looks well done and that real thought went into it. My biggest hope for the show is that they tell a cohesive story and distance themselves, and learn from the mistakes, from the 2003 movie. Fingers crossed, but Im still not completely sold. Hopefully it will be on a par with Arrow in terms of quality.

    And yes, Scott Glenn looks awesome as Stick!!! Cant wait to see more of him!

    Oh and is anyone besides me missing the little devil horns above the second D in the title image? lol

    1. Yup, will get to this as soon as I get home from work!

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