Outside of bringing Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) into the overarching Marvel Cinematic Universe, Netflix's Daredevil is widely known for its use of the one-take fight scene. First appearing in the show's initial outing, each subsequent season included it's own respective sequence and eventually, the beloved hallway fight soon found itself in the other Marvel shows on the popular streamer. This past week, we had the chance to sit down with Cox ahead of the ComicBook.com Quarantine Watch Party last Thursday. Before long, the Daredevil star spoke at length about what was required of the cast and crew for each and every hallway fight.
According to Cox, the fad grew entirely organically. Originally penned by Drew Goddard, who had been tabbed as the Season One showrunner at the time, the first hallway fight found itself at home in the initial script since its inception; Cox confirmed as much as it was in the script during his auditioning process. A large part of the original fight's success, Cox says, is the dedication from both the studio and network to making sure it got done right.
"I think what we discovered quite early on is to shoot any television show in eight days, is quite a serious feat," the actor tells us. "But, to shoot a show that has quite heavy action in it, is a whole different ballgame, because action takes half a page takes a day. You know, you can shoot 14 pages of dialogue if you have to, if you've got two people sitting at a coffee table."
The actor remembers a sense of unease on the day they were supposed to film the show's first-ever hallway fight. In fact, he remembers the uneasiness felt by most people on set. All worries were quickly dismissed after Netflix let everyone rehearse the scene for half of a day, no cameras or filming involved.
"That particular day, they dedicated the whole first part of the day just to rehearse with the camera, not even with the actors," the Daredevil star recalls of the fateful moment. "So, we were all there kind of waiting, and it was all about the camera movement. And, the stunt doubles were involved, but we weren't really doing it at speed or anything like that."
After a quick lunch, they started filming. As Cox puts it, the first take wasn't terrible. That's when the crew decided to push it. How much better could the fight be? Could they tweak it? Could it be more refined? The answers to those questions took their sweet time arriving. An afternoon shoot eventually ran through until 12:30 the next morning. That's when they finally got the take they needed and, well...the rest is history.
"When we finally got that take, there was a real moment of comradery, and everyone cheering," recalls Cox. "It's very, very exciting. And, I think that feeling, it brought the crew together in a way that I hadn't experienced on anything before, ever. And, that saw us through...I would say to the end of season three. Even though we lost some crew members and got new guys in-- And that feeling of achievement, and that comradery that we had, was, it kind of never left us."
Cox attributes that sense of belonging and comradery to the success of the show, saying it carried everyone through all the way up until Netflix unceremoniously pulled the plug on all shows from Marvel Television.0comments
All three seasons of Daredevil are now streaming on Netflix.
What's your favorite fight scene in Netflix's Defendersverse? Think it over and let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting me up on Twitter at @AdamBarnhardt!
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.