I wouldn’t be surprised if many people’s first reactions to the trailer and pics for Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil was wondering why the “Man Without Fear” was running around looking like he was doing a cosplay of the Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride, instead of donning the red horned costume we all know. As diehard Daredevil fans know, of course, the all-black getup is of course inspired by Frank Miller’s iconic run on the comic book, in which he told of Matt Murdock’s early days, before he became the superhero named Daredevil and was just a blind guy with superpowers running around his neighbourhood in a black tracksuit at night.
And according to showrunner and executive produver Steven S. DeKnigt (via Comics Continuum), the show will be following that comic’s template – minus the tracksuit, luckily – as what we’ve seen so far is merely the beginning of Daredevil’s story, which will soon get (pardon the pun) padded out.
“[In Frank Miller’s comic] he always wore a black mask that was tied in the back. We went through a lot of different versions and did a lot of R&D before settling on something. If you watch very closely, you’ll see the outfit evolve subtly into what we call the black ninja suit. The mask changes. He starts wearing protective pads. Eventually it morphs into the classic suit, because he wouldn’t be Daredevil without it. Getting there is part of the fun.
“The idea was to back the story up to the point before Matt is Daredevil. Then we could take him to a place where some version of the red suit works in a grounded world. The solution is very exciting and makes complete sense.”
Joe Quesada – former Daredevil comic book artist and current Marvel Chief Creative Officer – and Jeph Loeb, Marvel Television Head, also reiterated that the show’s gritty and grounded approach, as well as the need to develop the character organically, influenced their decision with his appearance.
“We had to come up with a logic for it. It was a delicate balance, because the stories we’re telling are so real-world. Matt starts out in a homemade outfit that develops slowly. As he starts getting the crap kicked out of him on the streets, he adds padding little by little.”
“We couldn’t just come out of the box with a guy running around in a red devil costume. We needed to be able to make sure that it looked not like a costume, but a uniform.”
Stephanie Maslansky went on to say how the DIY element of the costume was of great importance.
“There was definitely a history and mythology that needed to be adhered to, but it also had to seem authentic. It needed to be made of things that anyone could buy on the street, on the Internet or in an army-navy store. We wanted something that looked militaristic and functional, but also dramatic and sexy. It was really tricky to make it both be practical and look, as Joe Quesada likes to say, ‘really bad-ass.'”
Bad-ass indeed, as the first trailers and pics definitely showed us a guy who was more ninja than flamboyant pirate, despite their similar taste in headgear. It also means that when Daredevil eventually gets his red costume – which I’m assuming will be close to the end of his series, just in time for the big Defenders mini-series crossover – it will be a huge payoff for fans, as we’ve technically been able to see him become the hero we knew him to be. Know what would be even cooler though? If he had to actually get the classic yellow costume first and when he eventually graduates to the Avengers in the movies – which is a likely bet – then he gets the red costume. That would sure as hell get the geeks all worked up! I should know, I would be one of them!
The 13-episode first season of Marvel’s Daredevil will be debuting on April 10, 2015 and stars Charlie Cox as the titlar hero, Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk aka The Kingpin, Deborah Ann Woll as Murdock’s love interest Karen Page, Elden Henson as Murdock’s law-firm partner and best friend Foggy Nelson, and Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, aka the Night Nurse.
“Marvel’s Daredevil” follows the journey of Matt Murdock, who was blinded as a young boy but imbued with extraordinary senses, now fighting against injustice by day as a lawyer, and by night as the super hero Daredevil in modern day Hell’s Kitchen, New York City.
Last Updated: March 19, 2015