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‘Daredevil’ Showrunner Teases ‘Gritty, 1970s New York’ Setting


Marvel Studios’ and Netflix’s upcoming collection of superhero series – each one based in Hell’s Kitchen and filmed on location in New York – will vary significantly in style compared to previous Marvel projects… or, at the very least, so the folk working on the shows behind the scenes would have you believe. The first of these series is Daredevil, starring Charlie Cox (Boardwalk Empire) as the blind, righteous, lawyer Matt Murdock – whose costumed alter ego, Daredevil, battles such criminals as the nefarious Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio) on the streets of Murdock’s battered, but still standing, home turf.

Marvel Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada has said that the Daredevil series – which he also referred to as “the street level Noir side” of Marvel Studios’ larger Shared Universe (one that includes movies and small screen fare alike) – is “Marvel doing street level superheroes.” In other words, the gist is that Daredevil will be to, say, Michael Mann’s Heat what Guardians of the Galaxy is to Star Wars or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is to a show like Alias – a project that takes well-established genre tropes and integrates them into the colorful Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Indeed, much as this past spring’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier called back to the paranoid political thrillers that were all the rage in the 1970s, Daredevil‘s portrayal of life in New York will recall the portrait of the city painted in such iconic ’70s titles as Taxi Driver. Or, rather, that’s what showrunner Steven S. DeKnight (creator of the Spartacus TV show) appears to be getting at, in the above video interview recorded on the red carpet for the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere (see his quote below).

“We’re going for a very gritty, 1970s New York feel for the ['Daredevil'] show. We love the idea of beauty in the decay of the city, and Hell’s Kitchen being a place that is both horrible and beautiful at the same time. That’s why Matt Murdock loves it so much and wants to protect it.”


Writer/director Joe Carnahan (The Grey) also wanted to put a 1970s throwback spin on the Daredevil property, before the rights reverted from 20th Century Fox back to Marvel – so clearly, DeKnight and his creative team aren’t the only ones who think that such an approach is a good idea. (Original Daredevil showrunner Drew Goddard, who wrote the first two episodes, must’ve had the same battle plan.) Fingers crossed, Daredevil will turn out well for it – not only blazing a trail into unknown territory for Marvel Studios, but also setting a good precedent for the “street level superheroes” series to follow.

Rounding out the Daredevil cast are such names as Rosario Dawson (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For), Elden Henson (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay), Peter Shinkado (Falling Skies), and Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood).

Daredevil premires on Netflix sometime in 2015.

Source: Marvel Entertainment

- Sandy Schaefer/


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