This weekend, Marvel’s brand new television series Daredevil premieres its entire first season on Netflix — thirteen episodes of blind attorney Matt Murdock slugging it out on the streets of New York City, using his heightened senses and ninja skills to bring justice to all the bad folks asking for it, and entertainment to everyone at home getting their binge-watch on.
What more do you need to know about Daredevil, beyond its affiliation with one of the most recognizable brands in the world, and its immediate ability to distract you all weekend long? Well, there are a few items to keep in mind, such as…
This isn’t Matt Murdock’s first live-action rodeo
Most people remember 2003’s Daredevil, whether they like it or not. Directed by Mark Steven Johnson and starring Ben Affleck as the Man Without Fear, the 20th Century Fox and Marvel collaboration wasn’t received well by… well, just about anyone. A director’s cut of the film exists, and it has its fans, but even then, Daredevil was widely viewed as a classic example of early 2000’s superhero movies just not “getting it.” Fox attempted to reboot Daredevil some years later, but eventually relinquished the rights back to Disney-owned Marvel Studios. The result? Well, we’ll see the results this coming weekend.
2003’s Daredevil wasn’t even Matt Murdock’s first live-action rodeo
And no, we’re not talking about his numerous comic book appearances dating back to 1964, either. The acrobatic hero’s first live-action appearance actually occurred many years before Affleck suited up in red latex. Multiple attempts at Daredevil television shows were made in the 1970s and 80s, but nothing popped, until actor Rex Smith portrayed the character in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, a made-for-TV movie about the Jade Giant fighting alongside Matt Murdock’s crime-fighting alter ego. This version of Daredevil wore an all-black ninja suit, like the Daredevil we’ll see in the upcoming Netflix series.
Who is Daredevil, anyway?
A fair question! The basics: Matt Murdock was blinded in an accident as a young child, leaving him without his sense of sight, but enhancing his other four senses to superhuman levels. His sense of sound, smell, taste, and touch are far beyond the comprehension of mortal men; on top of that, he’s a highly-trained martial artist, with a unique radar sense that essentially allows him to “see” his surroundings. Combine Murdock’s powers with his brilliant mind and thorough knowledge of the legal system as a lawyer, and you have one hell of a superhero package.
Who is beneath the mask?
Charlie Cox, best known for his multi-season arc on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, is the man bringing Daredevil to life. The 32-year-old actor from London, who also appeared in the genre-friendly Neil Gaiman adaptation Stardust, as well as last year’s Oscar darling The Theory of Everything, is an experienced but fresh enough face that he won’t distract from the role by bringing in too much outside star power. (No offense, Mr. Affleck. Big fan of your chin.)
Who does he hang out with?
A bunch of people! Number one on the list is Foggy Nelson, his best friend and business partner. Murdock’s fellow attorney is played by Elden Henson, best known for a movie he made over 20 years ago: The Mighty Ducks. (Fulton Reed! Knuckle pucks for everyone!) Like ducks, attorneys fly together, at least in Hell’s Kitchen. Beyond Foggy, prepare to meet Karen Page, played by True Blood veteran Deborah Ann Woll; she’s one of Murdock’s more iconic love interests from the comics, for a laundry list of good and bad reasons.
Next page: Four more facts you should know about Daredevil