We’ve still got a few months until Marvel’s Daredevil series debuts on Netflix, but the promotional machine is starting to churn already. This week, the project’s showrunner took the opportunity to liken the series to gritty, urban dramas instead of the usual superhero fare.
“We really wanted to take our cue from [films like] The French Connection, Dog Day Afternoon, Taxi Driver, and make it very, very grounded, very gritty, very real,” Daredevil showrunner Steven S. DeKnight told EW. “We always say we would rather lean toward The Wire than what’s considered a classic superhero television show.”
In addition to offering some hints about the tone of the series, which introduces blind attorney Matt Murdock (as played Charlie Cox) who fights battles in the courtroom by day and prowls the streets of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen by night as the masked vigilante Daredevil. According to DeKnight, the first season’s arc chronicles Daredevil’s origin while also focusing on the rise of criminal kingpin Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), who’s destined to become one of the blind hero’s greatest enemies.
“Fisk has very many different aspects so it’s not all, ‘I want to conquer the city and make a lot of money,'” explained DeKnight. “In our story, we tell the story of how he met his wife Vanessa and how they fell in love — our antagonist actually has a love story. That’s the love story you’re following, the one you’re invested in, and seeing how that affects him and changes him.”
Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Television, also reiterated that the series will indeed unfold in Marvel’s established cinematic universe, even if Iron Man and Thor aren’t glimpsed flying around in the series.
“It’s all connected,” said Loeb. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we would look up in the sky and see [Iron Man]. It’s just a different part of New York that we have not yet seen in the Marvel movies.”
“The Avengers are here to save the universe and Daredevil is here to save the neighborhood,” he added.
Marvel’s Daredevil series is expected to debut on Netflix in May 2015. Along with Cox and D’Onofrio, the series stars Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Rosario Dawson, Bob Gunton, Vondie Curtis Hall, Toby Leonard Moore, and Ayelet Zurer.