Today we got our first true teaser trailer for Daredevil, Netflix’s first of 5 Marvel live action tv shows. All 10 episodes will debut on April 10th on the streaming service as an exclusive. So let’s take a look and see what type of story they’re trying to tell!
A voiceover by Matt Murdock runs beneath the trailer. He’s confessing to a priest and says:
“Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It’s been too long since my last confession. I’ve been preoccupied of late with questions of morality. Of right and wrong. Good and evil.”
“Perhaps this will be easier if you tell me what you’ve done,” says the priest.
“I’m not seeking forgiveness for what I’ve done, Father… I’m asking forgiveness for what I’m about to do. I’m just trying to make my city a better place.”
The first thing we see is New York City. But even more specifically, we’re looking at the midtown area from across the Hudson River, in New Jersey. This is important because it’s showing us the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. In the comics, this is where Matt Murdock grows up. When the Daredevil comics were written in the 60s, this was a really rough neighborhood comprised of working class people. By the 90s, it had gentrified and is now referred to as Chelsea. It’s a really nice area. But I think this tv show will play with that a little and keep it closer to what it was in the 60s through the 80s, when a lot of Daredevil comics focused on street level crimes that went down in that area. Daredevil protects a very specific area of New York and works as a defense attorney to help improve his community. As for who the two people are in the foreground? It’s a total guess but the walking guy could be Matt Murdock and the other guy MIGHT be Ben Urich, played by Vondie Curtiss-Hall. Urich is a world weary but honest beat reporter. He frequently helps Daredevil where he can because he’s got a lot of sources on what’s going on in the city.
Here’s a walking stick. But who does it belong to? The obvious choice is Matt Murdock, who is blind. But it also could belong to his mentor, a martial artist known as Stick, who is also blind. In the comics, a young Matt Murdock pushes a man out of the way of a crashing truck and some radioactive material falls off the truck and blinds Matt. But it also seems to give him superhuman senses in all other areas – hearing where he can tell what’s going on blocks away and a type of echolocation so that he is aware of his physical environment in 360 degrees, taste so that he can isolate every element, touch so precise he can read the ink off a page and have superhuman balance and agility, smell so precise he can track scents.
Here, Matt is visiting a church. Murdock is one of the few superheroes who is overtly religious. He was raised Catholic by his mother who left him and his father at an early age. Matt credits the church and his community with helping to raise him because his father was rarely there for him, working as a boxer or a leg-breaker for organized crime to make ends meet. Matt’s father instilled in his father a strong sense of right and wrong and wanted his son to educate himself so that he had more opportunities for himself. He was ultimately killed by a gangster after refusing to throw a fight, leading Matt to study law. Who knows if they’ll include all of this or more likely refer to his past in bits and pieces.
Here’s our first glimpse of Daredevil, jumping out of the shadows. Murdock often witnesses criminals slip through the cracks in his work as a lawyer. His superhearing allows him to listen to someone’s heart like a lie detector. So then he heads out at night and uses his abilities to stop criminals. That said, Daredevil also is known for his ultra-strict “no-kill” policy.
Here’s our first close up shot of actor Charlie Cox (Boardwalk Empire) as Matt Murdock, waking up. The scars and bruises remind us that Daredevil has superhuman abilities but invulnerability sure isn’t one of them. The physical toll on Matt’s body was one of the aspects I think the Ben Affleck film did pretty well.
This shot features some warbly audio and shaky focus. I think it’s meant to imply what the world is like for Matt when he listens. The city is full of so many competing inputs that his truly superheroic power is his concentration to focus and keep it from overwhelming him. He learned that from Stick.
Now we get a quick montage of the problems of the city. There are gun runners bringing in weapons…
Murder, or something just as bad, in the darkened alleyways…
And of course, drugs. Mountains of cocaine are flowing through here. Combined with the super dark lighting scheme they’re using, it really evokes an 80s sensibility in a lot of ways.
This is Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood) as Karen Page. Karen is one of Matt Murdock’s first serious love interests in the comics and she works as a legal secretary at his law firm. That said, she does not seem to be gussied up and dressed for work. In one of the all-time best regarded Daredevil comics, Born Again by Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli, Karen returns to Matt’s life with a drug problem and she’s sold some of his secrets in her recent past which cause a lot of trouble for him. I doubt they can set that story up yet but she may have some issues with illicit substances or some sort of connection to the seedy underworld. We’ll see.
This is Elden Henson, who may still be best known from Mighty Ducks. On Daredevil he plays Matt’s best friend and partner at their law firm, Foggy Nelson. Foggy went to college with Matt and shares similar views on justice and helping the community. He has sometimes been used a bit for comic relief, like in the Daredevil movie back in the day. But it seems he’ll be the more serious and reliable partner on this show. Nelson is great at investigating and dealing with the clients.
I have no idea who is involved in this murder but it seems likely this case could come across the desks of Nelson & Murdock.
Here’s a quick shot of veteran actor Scott Glenn as Stick. Stick is the ultimate badass ninja mentor. We can only hope this means the show may involve The Hand, a ninja crime syndicate. If names like Stick and The Hand and the radioactive waste from Daredevil’s origin sound familiar, it’s because Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began as a bit of a parody of all this. That’s how we got leftover radioactive waste in the sewer, Splinter and The Foot Clan.
I’m not sure if the Asians here are enough to justify my hopes that The Hand is in the show, but they certainly seem to represent organized crime. Daredevil has a number of fascinating enemies, may of whom are hitmen for various criminal organizations. I doubt we’ll get Bullseye since he was so prominent in the (failed) movie that Fox made a few years ago. But there’s tons more where he came from.
This is our first and only glimpse of Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk, known to the criminal underworld as The Kingpin. A self-made man, Kingpin ruthlessly controls most of the criminal enterprises in New York City, hiding behind the public veneer of a philanthropic businessman. He’s also ridiculously strong and tough so Daredevil has a hard time beating him either in the courts or in hand-to-hand combat. The fact that he’s looking at artwork may imply that Fisk’s eventual wife, Vanessa, may be part of the show. She’s an art gallery dealer.
A quick shot of Daredevil on a rooftop, listening to his city. His outfit is all black, unlike what you may be used to, his red suit with tiny horns. But this does have a comic book precedent. Frank Miller and John Romita, Jr. did a well received series in the 90s called Man Without Fear detailing Matt’s first year as Daredevil, where he wore this more makeshift outfit. Will he wear this the whole season? I tend to doubt it.
Here’s Daredevil walking down a hallway, listening to what’s going on behind the doors. You can see a bad, fresh cut on his arm. The lighting is great. Harsh. Kudos to showrunner Steven DeKnight, who previously ran the critically acclaimed Spartacus series for Starz. DeKnight also previously worked for Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon on Whedon’s show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Now we get a bunch of super fast action shots. Windows blowing inward. Where? Too dark to be an office. Crack den? But why?
Daredevil fighting in the rain.
Daredevil parkouring his way up some shipping crates to avoid gunfire.
Daredevil fighting with a dude and smashing out a window in a high-rise.
Karen Page looking to the sky. What does she see? Something impressive I guess.
Daredevil fighting multiple opponents in what seems to be the same hallway he was listening in the previous shot.
A big explosion in what appears to be a warehouse of some sort. There are two figures to the far left that seem to be caught in it. If it’s Daredevil, that’s gonna disorient him something fierce.
Daredevil looking triumphant or at least determined, through a shattered window. But…
We end with this brutal shot of Daredevil picking himself up off the concrete with quite a bit of blood. What do you think? It’s a lot darker and rougher than any of the previous Marvel films or tv shows like Agents of SHIELD or Agent Carter. But that kinda fits with Daredevil’s best stories, in my opinion. Curious what you all think.