Daredevil first debuted back in 1964 and, in the decades since, became one of Marvel's most beloved heroes, putting immense pressure on actor Charlie Cox to get the character right for Netflix's Daredevil series. Over the course of three seasons and the spinoff Defenders series, Cox won over countless fans for his portrayal not only of the Devil of Hell's Kitchen, but also as defense attorney Matt Murdock. Cox recently detailed to ComicBook.com just how much time he devoted to bringing the character to life, explaining how meeting with Joe Quesada and the "Guardian Devil" storyline was invaluable when crafting his take on The Man Without Fear.
"When I first got the job, before we even started shooting, I'd just got to New York, and I was just starting to get ready, I sat down with Joe Quesada, and we talked about Marvel, we talked about the character, his history with the character, his love for the character," Cox confessed. "He'd been in one of the auditions, and we talked about things that worked for him. It was just a really ... he's become one of my dear friends. We just got really stuck into everything. And one of the things that came out of that meeting, was ... I had such a small amount of time and I was coming from someone who'd never read a comic book. So, I said, 'Look, I really could use some help and be pointed in the right direction, for what you think is right for this show, tonally.'"
He continued, "I got off the subway and I had an email from Marvel with an Unlimited account. So that just became my go-to. I had it on my phone. I had it on my iPad. I was going to the gym every day or I was going to voice coaching or I went to stand up in the courtroom and listen to a couple of cases. Just doing whatever I could, just to prepare for the role. Whenever I was traveling to and from meetings, in preparation, I was reading comic books, just getting through them as quickly as I could, and identifying which moments I really liked, or which writers I thought really captured the voice of the character that was being written in the scripts that I was receiving."
In the late '90s, the Daredevil title lost steam, as he was depicted as much more lighthearted than the intense nature of Frank Miller's seminal work on the series in the '80s, resulting in the title being rebooted under the Marvel Knights line, allowing it to delve into more mature subject matter. The "Guardian Devil" storyline was penned by filmmaker Kevin Smith and featured art by Quesada, with its events serving largely as a complete reboot of the character. In addition to the TV series borrowing a tone similar to that book, it also borrows familiar characters and iconography from that storyline.
"I thought it was important to make the Daredevil that was being written by Steven DeKnight and the writing team was the one that I was also drawing upon for inspiration from the comic books," Cox pointed out. "I think, like with everyone, you very quickly start emotionally identifying with certain runs. And there's so many, there's so many that I really enjoyed. The opening to our show is the same as the opening to 'Guardian Devil,' one of Joe's runs, with Matt in the confessional. So that was really helpful. Just looking at the panels and seeing how they told that story, and how they shot it, and I was reading that on the morning of doing that first scene."
Daredevil ran for three seasons and, like the rest of the Marvel series from Netflix, wasn't renewed for continued adventures. Cox recently expressed that he is not currently attached to any Daredevil projects and, while he'd love to reprise the role, he doubts there will ever be a Season Four.
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