Steven S. DeKnight Talks In Detail About Violent And Gritty DAREDEVIL; Teases Season Two Plans
Daredevil showrunner Steven S. DeKnight discusses his take on the Man Without Fear ("He’s literally one bad day away from becoming the The Punisher"), praises the cinematographer, reveals Netflix's role in developing the series, teases plans for season two if it should happen, and much more!
In a lengthy interview with Paste Magazine, Daredevil and former Spartacus showrunner Steven S. DeKnight talks in length about bringing the Man Without Fear to Netflix in early 2015. There have been hints recently that the series will be a lot darker and violent than Marvel and ABC's other TV shows (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and likely the upcoming Agent Carter), and DeKnight was quick to reiterate this when asked what fans should expect from this take on the character. "With this version of Daredevil, we wanted it to be grounded, gritty, as realistic as we could portray. That naturally fits in with the Daredevil character. Matt Murdock, on a regular basis, would get the shit beat out of him. That’s one thing that makes him a great character. He’s not super strong. He’s not invulnerable. In every aspect, he’s a man that’s just pushed himself to the limits, he just has senses that are better than a normal humans. He is human. The other thing that really drew me to this character is that he’s one of the most morally grey of the heroes."
It's an interesting point, and one which DeKnight was quick to back up by looking back on Frank Miller's classic run, perhaps another hint that the series will be much closer to that in tone than Mark Waid's Eisner Award winning take. "He’s a lawyer by day, and he’s taken this oath," the showrunner said of Matt Murdock in the series. "But every night he breaks that oath, and goes out and does very violent things. The image that always stuck in my mind was the Frank Miller Elektra run where he’s holding Bullseye over the street, and he lets Bullseye go because he doesn’t want Bullseye to ever kill anyone again. When I read that originally, when I was young, I’d never seen anything like that in comics. Superman scoops up the villain and puts them in jail. This time the hero didn’t do that. It was a morally grey ground that I found absolutely fascinating. There are two sides to this character. He’s literally one bad day away from becoming the The Punisher! Frank Castle went just a little bit further than he did. Daredevil has no qualms about beating the hell out of somebody. He’s not going to tie them up with his webs! He’ll come close to killing somebody. And it’s that fine edge—Why doesn’t he go all the way? I really liked the flawed heroes, the human heroes."
Talk then moved to some of the other aspects of the series, including his role as showrunner and how much he interacts with members of the crew. "Usually I’ll talk to the director if I think something is a little bit hinky," he revealed. "On Daredevil we have a phenomenal cinematographer, Matt Lloyd. He was just nominated for an Emmy for Fargo. His work is just gorgeous, so usually I have nothing to say but, "That looks fantastic!'" Those of you who watched that superb 10-part series starring Sherlock's Martin Freeman will know just how great it looked, and Lloyd being part of Daredevil is just another reason to be excited for this new take on the character.
Of course, the fact that the series will be shown on Netflix means that there are things it can do which wouldn't be possible on a network like ABC. So, how has their involvement ultimately changed the direction of Daredevil? "Netflix has been fantastic. They are phenomenally supportive of the creatives. How much freedom will I have? This is a bit of a different scenario because it’s a Marvel property. Once you have an IP like that, there are restrictions that you have to accept. I’m fine with that, I totally understand. I’ll push it as far as I can, of course, but I also respect the fact that this character has been around for decades. Overall I’ve been surprised at how willing everyone is to take a really fresh look and really push what we’re doing."
"I honestly have no idea," DeKnight added when talk turned to where the series could go in future. "That’s so far above my pay grade. Making it even more complicated is the fact that [Daredevil] is one part of the bigger plan— Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and then The Defenders. How that all fits together, and whether or not there will be a second season of this show—or if it will fold into the others—are question nobody really has answers to yet." However, while a second season may be far from confirmed as of right now, the showrunner did reveal that they have at least been talking about where things could go after the first run of episodes. "I can say we’ve been talking about some very cool stuff for Season Two that, good God, I can’t even hint at! It’s something that would be just fantastic to work on!" What do you guys think?
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