Excuse us from partially stealing your line Mr. Nolan, but “Daredevil” isn't the Marvel TV series superhero fans deserve, but the one it needs. Drew Goddard and Steven S. DeKnight have created a dark and painful corner of the Marvel Universe that will shock many viewers who have become fans of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Agent Carter” and the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Watching the first five episodes feels as though you're taking in the writer's version of a series or movie that will eventually get watered down by the time it is ready for public consumption. Amazingly, it doesn't. Instead, the tale of a costumed vigilante protecting the streets of Hell's Kitchen never loses its edge.
Last week, Charlie Cox, who plays the Man Without Fear, and Rosario Dawson, Daredevil's eventually ally Claire Temple, sat down to speak to HitFix about their latest endeavor. We asked Cox and Dawson when they knew that the project would resemble something close to what they were pitched considering it often doesn't turn out that way.
“We shot most of episode two first,” Cox says. “For me, I remember thinking just very early on in terms of the production value and the cinematography and what Matt Lloyd was doing with the cinematography. The decisions that were being made from both a directorial point of view and a creative point of view high up. I remember thinking 'they are executing this how they said they would.'”
Dawson, a longtime comic book fan who created her own series “Occult Crimes Taskforce,” was impressed when she met Cox on set for the first time.
“First of all, seeing him. He was all shaved and muscular and drinking oatmeal, but I'd never seen that before and I know a lot of muscle people,” Dawson says. “That was fascinating. Just all the preparation that had to go into it and the physicality. All the research [he] was doing to learn more about blindness and make it realistic. That was really fascinating to me.”
Dawson says it was the blood and guts of the fight sequences that convinced her this was truly something different though.
“That, for me, is what I got into. When I saw one of [Charlie's] fight sequences and seeing the level of work and exhaustion and all of the stuff that comes with it. That felt really great to watch,” Dawson recalls. “You watch sometimes these long fight sequences and go, 'That's really awesome,' and they are never getting tired and the stakes never seem that high. [This] made me think, 'we're really doing something special here.'”
“Be brave to pace yourself,” Cox says. “If you have these 13 hours you're telling this evolution of Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk into Kingpin. Phil Silvera, the stunt coordinator who we would talk to in terms of the action sequences, says 'Let's see people fight like people fight.' It's two guys rolling in the mud sometimes. It's a knee to the chest that sometimes hits your upper chin. It feels more real.”
For more on Cox and Dawson's thoughts on the series check out the video embedded at the top of this post.
“Marvel's Daredevil” debuts on Netflix on Friday.