‘Daredevil’ bosses: getting Punisher & Elektra ‘a pretty big Christmas morning’

Usually, when a TV show is on its third set of showrunners before its second season has begun, it’s the sign of major creative trouble. With Netflix’s Daredevil – which almost everyone (myself included) really liked last year – it’s been a sign that the previous showrunners were too in-demand to stick around for very long. Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods, The Martian) started out as the man in charge, but left early in the first season to work on the (since-canceled) Spider-Man spin-off movie The Sinister Six. Spartacus creator Steven DeKnight came in to steer the ship for the rest of season 1, but didn’t want to stick around long term, given other opportunities (one of which turned out to be directing Pacific Rim 2).

So now Daredevil has turned to a pair of writers who worked on the first season – Doug Petrie (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American Horror Story) and Marco Ramirez (Sons of Anarchy, Orange Is the New Black) – to run the second, which debuts on Friday. In addition to bringing back Charlie Cox as the eponymous hero, plus Elden Henson and Deborah Ann Woll as his friends and law office colleagues, the new season features a pair of Marvel characters who have appeared on screen in different forms before: Jon Bernthal from The Walking Dead as homicidal vigilante The Punisher, and Elodie Yung as Daredevil’s ninja ex-lover Elektra.

I’ll have a review of the new season later in the week, but in the meantime, here’s a brief conversation with Petrie and Ramirez about the transition from one Daredevil creative team to the next, to the next, why the new season is structured differently from the last, and more.

Were you both on season 1 the whole time?

Doug Petrie: We were both on season 1. You kind of went in and out a little bit, but you were there.

Marco Ramirez: Yeah, because it was initially the Drew Goddard thing, and then once the Sony Spider-Man thing happened, then Steve DeKnight came in, I want to say… what was that, like two, three months in?

Doug Petrie: Early. It was like April of 2014.

Marco Ramirez: Yeah. And then Doug and Steven came in, but we were both on season 1.

Because one of the things I wondered, if you go back and you watch the first couple of episodes, it seemed like Drew was setting up, for instance, more of a Foggy and Karen flirtation, and that seemed to go away around the time I assume that Steven came in. I don”t know if the switch was as cause and effect as that.