Marvel's Daredevil is coming to Netflix next year, and Marvel Studios brought the show to New York Comic Con to premiere footage, give more casting news, and celebrate the show Saturday evening.
Marvel's head of Television Jeph Loeb took the stage to moderate the panel. "There will be a lot of firsts here tonight. Most of it is a way of saying thank you. We consider New York Comic Con and the city of New York to be our home."
Loeb asked the fans to let the cast, backstage, know that there are Daredevil fans here, pumping up the crowd with some loud cheers. Loeb took his jacket off - which showed a Hydra t-shirt last night, this time revealing a Marvel's Daredevil shirt (with Netflix on the back, naturally). He thanked the Marvel execs and creatives involved in the show.
He thanked Joe Quesada, who he says is the "biggest Daredevil fan in the entire world."
"As most of you know, Daredevil is the first of five shows we're doing with Netflix. After, we're doing Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and then The Defenders.
"Just to clarify - neither the role of Jessica Jones nor of Luke Cage has been cast. Anything else is just a rumor," Loeb said definitively.
Before bringing out any panelists, Loeb showed a clip of "something happening in Karen Page's apartment when someone stops by."
A woman slowly opens the door to an apartment (It's Page), there's blood on the floor and the room is dark. She fins something in a vent. Someone sneaks up behind her and attacks her, slamming her into the wall and knocking her to the ground. And in comes Daredevil, in what looks like is likely an early makeshift costume - yeah, it's all black, straight up ninja lookng. Big fight scene commences, and both men go crashing through a window onto the rain-soaked pavement below.
The panelists started coming out next. Toby Moore is Wesley, Wilson Fisk's right hand man. Bob Gunton is Leland Owlsley. Ayelet Zurer is Vanessa, Fisk's love interest. Ben Urich, Vondie Curtis-Hall. Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson. "I'm sure you will fall in love with her as we ahve, she plays Karen Page, Deborah Ann Woll." Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk, "When he accepted we knew we had done an extraordinary thing." He walked out looking like Fisk, with his bald head and a black-on-black suit.
"One day the phone rings, and Joe Quesada says to me, 'I found Matt Murdock.' I didn't know what he meant," Loeb said. "'There's this actor. He's gonna be on Daredevil.' and I said to him, 'We don't have that property right now.' He said, 'Well we will.' The person Joe picked out that day is the person that we cast, and that is Charlie Cox.
Steven S DeKnight, showrunner on Daredevil was the last panelist.
Loeb said that Rosario Dawson really wanted to be here but couldn't, as well. Cox said, "Yeah, she's really awesome, she's the heart of the show."
Loeb announced that Dawson is Claire Temple, "a Nurse who works at Night," as he said. In comics, Night Nurse's real name is Linda Carter but might have been too similiar to the real life Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in the 1970s. In comics, Claire Temple was a nurse that worked for Dr. Noah Bernstein, the man responsible for the prison experiments which gave Luke Cage his powers. At the time she was a divorce of Bill Foster (aka Goliath), and had a short-lived relationship with Cage that ended due to Temple's displeasure with Cage's dangerous career. She went on to become a doctor working in New York, and appeared in Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev's Daredevil run. Given Temple's comic ties to Luke Cage, it's possible Dawson-as-Temple might carry over to the announced Luke Cage series on Netflix.
A clip showing Claire taking care of the injured Matt Murdock after pulling him off the street.
Going down the row, Loeb started talking about each character. He said Moore was cast last-second. Gunton said "one of my abilities is my sardonic wit," in the show.
DeKnight told a story about talking about Daredevil with Jeph Loeb when they were both working on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. "My favorite stories were the Miller run and the Bendis run - you'll really see that in the gritty tone of the show."
The actor playing Ben Urich, Vondie Curtis-Hall, said he's "really excited to play this part," and he loves playing someone that really looks at every aspect of the world.
Zurer said that Vanessa is the kind of person that "if you say don't go in that door, she will. And Mr. D'onofrio is fabulous, he gets you into that place and that moment. It is what it is."
And then, a clip of Vanessa and Wilson Fisk meeting for the first time. She is a gallery worker and he's looking at a piece of art. There is very interesting cinematography. Close shots of Fisk's fingers twitching and his cuff link. It's a very soft, nuanced scene - not something we've seen a lot of in these types of movies and shows.
"Our Wilson Fisk is a child and he's a monster," D'Onofrio said. "Everything he does comes from his foundation of morality inside himself. Meeting Vanessa, the one thing she does for him so far is brings him out of the shadows." He praised how personal they make it all and said it's a blast so far.
DeKnight talked about the "moral grey area of Matt Murdock, being a lawyer by day and a vigilante at night. We lean into him being one bad day from becoming Frank Castle. With Wilson Fisk, you'll hear an idea and go 'that's actually a pretty good idea.' You'll root for him sometimes."
Elden Henson sent his audition for the role of Foggy on his phone from the set of Hunger Games. "It's been really great," the actor said. "I didn't have as much time as I've normally had to prepare for a role. It was great working with Charlie and Deborah. It's really nice to come to work every day and be excited about being with these people you're spending 12 hours a day with."
Woll was cast, came directly from the set of her last shoot on True Blood to start shooting on Daredevil the next day. "I love playing Karen - the most interesting characters are flawed."
Loeb praised Charlie Cox's work on the set and his work ethic. "It's a real challenge, there are so many aspects to Matt. There's the physicality, the blindness; we're making a show about emotion and turmoil. We're meeting a man who believes in law and justice by day and at night takes the law into his own hands and decides what justice is himself. He's battling with that concept. We see a bit of Matt's father and who he wanted Matt to be. That's something that plays on Matt's mind a lot as well.
"I should mention, we have an incredible stunt team - the stuff they do looks like CGI but it's not!"
Loeb then introduced a clip of the offices of Nelson and Murdock. Matt, Karen, and Foggy are sitting down for a dinner that Karen made them after they successfully got her off for a crime. "I did notice you could use some help around here," Page said, and was hired by the duo.
A brief fan Q&A was next.
Q: Daredevil had been published for 50 plus years, did you dig into the comics at all?
D'Onofrio: "After I read the first script, and had conversations with Steven and Jeph about our Daredevil, then I did. The artwork and the run of Frank Miller influenced me a lot. The stuff that I read a lot as a kid isn't so much for our Daredevil. But I went to Forbidden Planet, and they walked around with me and I walked out with a stack of comics, so yeah!"
Q: What was the transition like for Deborah going from one role and show to another so quickly?
Woll: "It helped the quick transition, actually. It was hard to leave behind my old family, but helped to jump right into a new one."
Q: What's the transition from HBO to Netflix like?
Cox: "Well, compared to a weekly show - we realized, ending with a cliffhanger is pointless. 'Oh, what happened?' and you click a button and find out!
"So I think more than anything else, it will feel like a 13 hour movie!"
Q: "Will Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. be connected to the Netflix shows?
Loeb: "I have two answers to that question - one, that's a level 7 question. And two, I think you know - it's all connected."
Q: A young fan stepped to the microphone and said he relates to Daredevil because he (Jonah) has a disease, and if Daredevil can keep on going, then he can too.
Q: Any particular Daredevil story or moment that you connected to particularly?
Cox: "A number of them, yes. The middle of Man Without Fear has been a great influence - we've used a lot of the Romita iconic imagery. I really liked the Bendis and Maleev stuff, that tonally suits our show really well.
"I think the reason Daredevil fits the Netflix platform is that he does go to a little bit older audience, and that's something we were able to do on there. It's a little bit darker. I particularly liked an issue in the 30s when Murdock is defending White Tiger in the courtroom, and to read a courtroom scene that was that exciting and such a thrill was really cool. We have some stuff coming up in the show that I think captures that."
With that, Loeb said that the scene shown at the start of the panel was "only half a scene, and you guys need to see the rest of it," and the clip started up again.
After hitting the pavement out the window, we see a child asleep at a table. It's young Matt. His dad says, "get up, mtt." He tries to get him studying more. The young Matt is already blind, and touches his dad's beaten and bloody face. "Come on, Matty, get to work." And we see the adult Matt in his makeshift costume get back up. He starts to fight the perp again, using sounds to get the advantage. Karen Page comes outside and says "Who? What the hell?"
And the panel ended on that!