The most-discussed moment in season one of Daredevil was the three-minute hallway fight. It was so popular, in fact, that the Netflix/Marvel series staged another multiple-minute brawl in season three, but made it even bigger and better. The prison riot sequence in “Blindsided” (the fourth episode of the season) lasts a staggering 10 minutes and 43 seconds, and unlike the first fight, it’s one uninterrupted take, not several shots flawlessly edited together.
As inspiration for the scene, and possibly to convince himself he could pull off something so technically advanced, director Alex Garcia Lopez (who came up with the idea) re-watched Alfonso Cuarón’s dystopian thriller Children of Men.
“What Alfonso Cuarón did in Children of Men was obviously a very big reference for this,” Lopez says. Specifically, he told cinematographer Chris LaVasseur to emulate the decision of Cuarón and that film’s cinematographer, the great Emmanuel Lubezki, to keep the shot mid-range nearly all of the time “so there was no question that it wasn’t a oner.” In Lopez’s mind, this was no time for modesty — he wanted the viewer to know they were watching something spectacular. (Via)
Marvel Television’s VP for original programming, Tom Lieber, also admitted to Vulture that he was initially hesitant about the scene (“This is 12 pages of script!”). But what eventually swayed him was the enthusiasm of everyone on-set. “Charlie [Cox] was really excited about it. Our camera [operator] was really excited about it. Alex was beaming about it,” he said. “We were like, we should just do it. We should just try it. We have to set them up for success with this.”
For more on Daredevil season three, check out our interview with showrunner Erik Oleson and star Wilson Bethel.