Did you catch the Daredevil season 2 references to the 2003 movie?

Mar 22, 2016

Did you catch the Daredevil season 2 references to the 2003 movie?

Mar 22, 2016

I have a few days off for Easter which is when I intend to start tackling the individual episode reviews. First though, let’s do something quick and fun. While the word “fun” (other than as a synonym for entertaining) may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think about Daredevil’s second season, it does have at least some humor in it.

There’s also a subtle running joke in the form of references to the 2003 Daredevil movie. Here’s a list of the seven moment that stood out to me, in chronological order. Some of these are subtle, but I don’t for a second think that they are accidental. Did anything else stand out to you guys? Put it in the comments!

“Watch it, asshole!”

In one of the very first scenes of the season, Matt and Foggy are walking down the street when Foggy bumps into a woman who yells at him to “Watch it, asshole!” This scene is eerily – and, if you ask me, not coincidentally – similar to a scene in the Daredevil movie. In that version of events, we see Foggy (Jon Favreau) guide Matt (Ben Affleck) across the street when they are yelled at by a driver who is forced to step on his brakes to avoid hitting them. The line used is the same, but it the original version, Foggy has a snappy comeback.

Matt and Foggy are told to "Watch it, asshole!" by a woman Foggy bumps into, as seen in the first episode of season two of Daredevil on Netflix

Nelson & Murdock being paid in fruit and pie

Also in episode one, we learn that it’s apparently a common practice for clients to pay their legal fees with goods rather than standard currency. This is not something I can remember ever seeing in the comics, but it was definitely featured in the 2003 movie. Now, we’re talking bananas and baked goods.

Nelson & Murdock are being paid in fruit and baked goods, as seen in the first episode of season two of Daredevil on Netflix

Matt and his wardrobe

This one, from the beginning of episode four, is very subtle. Including a scene of Matt picking out his clothes in the morning is not that strange, but there is something about how this scene is shot, and the simple mechanics of it, that instantly reminded me of a very similar scene of Ben Affleck’s Matt doing the same thing. I may be reading too much into this one, but I do suspect this scene is yet another nod to the 2003 movie.

Matt picks out a shirt to wear, as seen in the fourth episode of season two of Daredevil on Netflix

Love scene in the rain

Matt and Karen have a scene together in the rain, at the end of episode four, that is similar enough to the one with Matt and Elektra in the Daredevil movie that I half-expected him to “see” Karen by the sound of the rain drops. Our “new” Matt doesn’t, but the show’s creators do play with the imagery of the drops falling on Karen’s skin. There is no way the similarities are a coincidence.

Matt and Karen stand together in the rain, as seen in the fourth episode of season two of Daredevil on Netflix

The ballroom scene

In the flashback to Matt and Elektra’s first meeting, there is a scene detailing Matt walking across a busy room to find her at a party that is very similar to the scene in the Daredevil movie where Ben Affleck’s Matt finds Elektra, then played by Jennifer Garner, at a formal event. While it doesn’t use the same blue radar effect as the original, the sounds and other effects are very similar, as is the camera position and general sequence of events. Coincidence? No way.

Matt finds Elektra, as seen in the fifth episode of season two of Daredevil on Netflix

The “playground scene”

Remember the infamous playground scene from the Daredevil movie? Of course you do. Matt and Elektra sparring in the ring at Fogwell’s has none of the corny elements of the original – and makes a lot more sense – but they are play fighting, and it’s also in this scene that Matt reveals his abilities to Elektra. Look at it as the playground scene done right. 😉

Matt and Elektra sparring, as seen in the fifth episode of season two of Daredevil on Netflix

Fight Club

“Maybe you are an alcoholic, maybe you’re in a fight club, maybe you are sleeping with a whole harem of women. I don’t care. I’m done.”

I remember reading somewhere that Jon Favreau improvised the bit about Matt being in a “fight club,” when they shot the coffee shop scene we know so well from the 2003 movie. I’ll go out on a limb here (not really), and say that when Karen mentions Matt being in a fight club, in reference to the very same movie, it was carefully planned and scripted. The line above is from this scene, from episode eight.

Karen makes a reference to the movie Fight Club, as seen in the eighth episode of season two of Daredevil on Netflix

Let me know if I missed anything!


  1. Tate

    I didn’t really think about the ballroom scene or the wardrobe. The others stood out to me, especially the rain scene and the violent foreplay in the ring. Both of those scenes were almost cruel in how much better done they were. Like they were saying directly to the movie “this is how you do sexy!”

  2. Broomstick

    I definitely thought of the movie rain scene during the one with Matt and Karen in the rain in the series.

  3. Elizabeth

    It’s funny, I thought in passing about the movie during the closet scene and the rain one but immediately dismissed it as a coincidence. Now that you mentioned it, I realized that I’d been surprised by the “watch it” line, since it was practically underlined (especially noticeable when watching it a second time tonight), but didn’t make the connection.

    How fun!

  4. mar

    Yes!!!! There are lots and lots of references. My friend and I were so delighted watching and catching these “references” that, for us, was one way of saying to the people from the 2003 movie: “that’s how you do it” lol I’m one of the few people that actually likes the movie, so I can say that I was very much pleased. This week my friend and I are going to watch the whole season in a row again and I’m gonna write down every one of the references I spot.

  5. Dave

    I noticed it with the rain scene, the shot of him going through his suits and the thing about getting paid with food. I really appreciated those(if they are intentional nods) because the movie was what got me into the character. And with this show reaffirming my love for DD, it all feels right.

  6. Jeremiah

    For some reason, I took Matt’s declaration of his preference for 1990s top Billboard music as a reference to Coolio and the 2003 movie.

  7. Rachel

    Am I the only one not buying the Matt and Karen thing? It just feels a little forced. I cringe when I watch it.

  8. Elizabeth

    I’d been looking forward to seeing Matt & Karen get together romantically since the photo of them playing pool was released so I was happy to see them together at the beginning. However, having seen a move, watched tv, or read a book before, I knew it couldn’t last since it was so early in the season. (Especially knowing Elektra was on the horizon.) I found the flip from fantasizing about running away with Elektra to revealing his identity to Karen a bit jarring. Necessary at some point (although I expected her to use her investigative instincts to figure it out herself) but a strange jump at that point. Like it would have been if in season 1 he started dating Karen right after Claire decided his life was too unstable for her.

  9. Christine Hanefalk

    “For some reason, I took Matt’s declaration of his preference for 1990s top Billboard music as a reference to Coolio and the 2003 movie.”

    Ha ha! You could be right, though I think it would probably be more likely to be a reference to Linkin Park. Their big hits came in the 2000’s, not the 90’s (same goes for Evanescence), but I guess it’s close enough. Of course, it might be nothing more than a way for the writers to remind people of Matt’s less sophisticated background, as compared to Elektra’s.

  10. TS

    @ Rachel – You’re not the only one! It made me cringe too.

    I noticed a lot of these 2003 movie references as well, particularly Matt picking his suit, the rain, the food, and the random pedestrian yelling at them.

  11. Nathan Adler

    So this season is once again reinforcing the capacity of Matt to identify objects in his environment through raindrops? Oh dear, it was bad enough in the 2003 film and in Season 1 with him fighting the dude he finds in Karen’s apartment. I am particularly shocked at how many geek blogs acclaim this particular fight scene from Season 1 when anyone who has a basic understanding of blindness knows that raindrops utterly screw up echolocation and decrease your advantage, not increase it!

  12. Christine Hanefalk

    @Nathan Adler:

    “So this season is once again reinforcing the capacity of Matt to identify objects in his environment through raindrops?”

    Actually, they don’t. Not at all. The only similarity to the movie scene is that it’s a romantic scene and that it takes place in the rain. There is no indication at all that this enhances his perception of Karen – or anything else – one bit.

    I agree, however, that the scene from season one is more dubious in that respect.

  13. geb

    one of the few who enjoyed it.. i like the irony in that.. seems that we are not So few..

    w/technology advancing at an increasing rate, in 5? years some’ll be complaining about this current rendition..

    seeing all the kids getting down to it later.. i take pride (quite a bit) in a simple thing like saying “yea, great didi (dD, hAhA), hey you know what? i heard that before the single or the album came out”.. there MUSt have been something in the works between amy and the creators for such a cherry so fitting to top it off..

    (almost as proud of humbly boasting of us standing out till 7:00am till strawberry records opened to be the 1st purchasers of that one of the very last vargas girl adorned albums.. from that band that most then deemed were playing kids music.. just as the more so then general consensus about comics)

    simple things.. life is in a way a stream of many smaller details.. bravo..

    i’m too confused about the elektra character. miller had a brainstorm wicked cool with a visual for the time that was pretty unique (though the semi-ninja blend is debatable.. could be good from a funky multi-ethnic anthem point of view)… then in leaving he kills her and takes it with him… don’t know the man personally but that seems like a kind of a me, myselfish, and i maneuver.. and then, like matt (sort of), so many creators digging up it’s grave and trying to resurrect her… why?.. maybe she simply has not been handled accordingly as of yet..

    eloedi is nice…roony was nice but i flipped when i later saw noomi in the original.. what a.. (think).. talent.. would she’ve been too old or too short or too sumthin or other as elektra?.. yea, she’s definitely capable of finishing the job.. poor kid, just avenging her father’s murder .. then perhaps we may sympathize more with with her madness.. just as we do matt.. and just as in antiquity… but that’s another story.. or is it? ( meaning story)… though i do love karen..

    (yea, it’s kind of personal.. (peeve is the word ?)… so much that could be used just regarding the ethical origin miller chose.. just for the mere for the sake of wisdom of story telling.. and that name.. peoples well before her people’s history observed static electricity in fabric, and then socrates argued that lightning perhaps was not so divine, at least in the way that was thought)

    adler, my fellow fan.. am assuming you’re who you say and not some1 who posts wi/multiple usernames, as i’ve heard that some do, thus exhibiting the true fathom of the depth of their, er, sanity.. correct?.. ok, go to your kitchen, take 2 glasses, fill 1 with water then hit each with a knife. just once even… and you’ll get the message… it was the major obstacle that citroen had to overcome when designing their still state of the art hydropneumatic suspension… the 1/2 gas 1/2 liquid filled balloons acting as “excessi9ve” sound transducers, that is..

    if i wished to play know it all critic, i could say to all of these truly enchanted fans.. if you want to more accurately rate a combat sequence, try closing the sound, then observe to see if it has the same effect, fluidity, impact.. or do you feel a difference.. the slighter the better.. but there will be at least an ever so slight in most all… but i wasn’t going to.. even thouh it is a true and simple trick that most peeps would be glad was shared, still.. i don’t party poop or make fun of some bright eyed kids..

    not directed at you personally, for i don’t get ticked.. but it sort of relates to some issues.. partly the old man beating the kid thing.. when you think before you talk you stand a safer chance.. likewise when you step out of line as a kid, and the man who loves you most in the world smacks you enough to get through (without bloody breakage of course) to you and back in line.. well how about interpreting that as, say, maybe there are some others out there who, if i unjustly cross, would not forgive, would do more than just try to teach me a lesson (now at this age why bother?).. perhaps even, yea, you.. i don;t know if matt’s old man was all that illogical, and that matt’s conviction and abilities was not in part due to the wood (stick?) he ate as a kid..

    am i really asking for it now


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