“Lighter Side” of Daredevil Planned For Disney+ Debut, Fans Worried For Change

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Charlie Cox as Daredevil

Credit: Marvel Studios

Daredevil is making his way to next week’s Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) “formula-breaking” Disney+ Original, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022) — though perhaps not in the way most Marvel fans expected.

Charlie Cox as Daredevil
Credit: Marvel Studios/Netflix

Right now, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is focused on the Multiverse Saga, with She-Hulk due for release on August 18, 2022. It is the penultimate project of Phase Four, right before this November 11’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, until Phase Five kicks off with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) in February.

She-Hulk will be a comedic “lawyer show”, featuring Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk’s (Tatiana Maslany) and cousin Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo/Incredible Hulk) alongside a whole host of superheroes who come to Jennifer for legal representation, like by-now MCU veteran, Sorcerer Supreme Wong (Benedict Wong).

Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk
Credit: Marvel Studios

While discussing the new She-Hulk: Attorney at Law series with The Direct, head writer and series creator Jennifer Gao has revealed that Matt Murdock’s Daredevil (Charlie Cox) in She-Hulk will be portrayed a little differently from the serious, mature lawyer-turned-superhero that audiences were used to in Marvel Netflix’s mature-rated Daredevil (2015) series.

Daredevil fighting Kingpin in S1 Finale of Daredevil
Credit: Netflix/Marvel

Related: ‘Daredevil: Born Again’ Explained: What We Might See In Marvel’s Revival

Gao expressed her shock upon first hearing from top Marvel Studios brass that the She-Hulk team “were able to use him”, saying she originally thought it was a “cruel joke”:

Well, first of all, we were shocked that we were able to use him. Like, when we first heard that he was on the table, I mean, we couldn’t believe it. We kept thinking like, ’Okay, at some point, someone’s gonna say ‘Just kidding.‘’ Like, ‘It’s a cruel joke, and you actually can’t have him.’ And it just kept going and kept going.

Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk
Credit: Marvel Studios

Showrunner Jennifer Gao proceeds to heap praise on Daredevil’s actor, Charlie Cox, calling him “a wonderful human being” and “game to do whatever”.

And Charlie is so wonderful. He’s so game to do whatever, and he’s such a wonderful actor, and a wonderful human being.

Most importantly, Gao emphasizes how “fun” it was “bringing him and Daredevil into [She-Hulk‘s] world” and playing with the “dark, brooding” Daredevil who’s a “little bit on the heavy side”:

What was so fun about bringing him and Daredevil into our world is that people have already seen a Daredevil who is very dramatic, little bit on the heavy side, very dark, brooding.

Daredevil/Matt Murdock fighting Kingpin in S3 of Daredevil
Credit: Marvel Studios/Netflix

Gao then goes on to explain how “we do this with every character cameo from the MCU… take them from the environment that you know them from”, away from the seriousness, and “play in the tone of She-Hulk”, so audiences get to “see a lighter side of that character”:

And it was so fun to be able to do–and we do this with every character cameo from the MCU–is we take them from the environment that you know them from, which is a much more dramatic and action-oriented role, much more on the serious side, and we bring them into our world and they get to play in the tone of She-Hulk. And they got to explore and we get to see a lighter side of that character.

Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk
Credit: Marvel Studios

Now, fans are clearly protective over the cult-favorite Daredevil series, which stands as the first real example of the Marvel Cinematic Universe daring to venture into more mature themes. Prominent to the Netflix series were the themes of Catholic guilt, brutality, murder, crime lords, and gang violence.

Twitter user @Mr_Red18k calls the MCU’s iteration of Daredevil “a vessel for seriousness”:

Seriously guys, can you really blame ppl for being worried about this after Thor 4? Yes it’s a She-hulk show but that doesn’t mean they can’t level the comedy with a little bit of seriousness and Daredevil (this version at least) is a vessel for seriousness.

Related: Marvel Makes Controversial Change to ‘She-Hulk’ Series Ahead Debut

Another self-proclaimed Daredevil fanboy, @LooLManUp, reminds the general public about Matt Murdock’s characterization via the following Marvel Comics image:

I’m probably the biggest DD fanboy that can be. And people need to remember, this guy isn’t Batman. And even Batman was humorous multiple times. Remember, we’re talking about this guy.

While it’s clear She-Hulk: Attorney at Law will definitely take a comedic spin, as already released trailers have shown us (like in this “Law & Order: MCU”-style promo video), fans will have to get used to seeing Daredevil interact with fellow defense attorney Jennifer Walters, amid Deadpool-esque one-liners and fourth wall breaks.

Marvel fan and user @SheHulkSource also reminded fans of Daredevil’s once already “lightened” portrayal in 2017’s The Defenders (and Charlie Cox’s acting prowess), with the following screenshots from the Netflix series, where Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) quips “nice ears” to Daredevil, who responds drily, “… they’re horns”:

Charlie can pull this off, idk why y’all are crying 😭 have faith in the man! Hes a good actor!

It’s natural for dedicated fans who’ve waited years for a Daredevil return to be a bit wary of such a (seemingly) major change, especially in a new franchise like She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, helmed by a creative team aiming for such a vastly different tone.

However, time will have to tell with the handling of this much-missed superhero — if fans can wait about a week, we’ll likely begin to have an idea of this new portrayal of the Man Without Fear.

At least we’ll have Matt Murdock’s standalone adventure, Daredevil: Born Again to look forward to, in 2024.

What do you think about this “lighter” Daredevil? Are you for or against the change? Share your thoughts below in the comments!

More on She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

August 18, 2022 is the much-anticipated release date of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, written and created by Jessica Gao and directed by Kat Coiro and Anu Valia. She-Hulk will star Marvel Cinematic Universe newcomer Tatiana Maslany as lawyer (defense attorney) Jennifer Walters who gets turned into She-Hulk after an unprecedented accident involving her cousin Bruce Banner/Smart Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

The comedy-driven lawyer show also features returning Marvel Studios characters such as Wong (Benedict Wong) and Emil Blonsky/the Abomination (Tim Roth) and in a surprising cameo role, Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox).

On Jennifer Walters’ side are Nikki Ramos (Ginger Gonzaga) and Mallory Brook (Renée Elise Goldsberry), while social media influencer Titania (Jameela Jamil) will likely pose some sort of challenge for the newly-turned superhero.

More on Daredevil

Daredevil began airing in 2015 as part of Marvel Netfix’s expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon, helmed by series creator Drew Goddard.

Daredevil is the superhero moniker for the blind lawyer-turned-“Devil of Hell’s Kitchen”, Matt Murdock. Alongside paralegal Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), best friend and “avocado”-at-law Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), Matt Murdock starts the law firm Nelson and Murdock, protecting New York’s little guys from their tiny office in Hell’s Kitchen – the legal way.

By night, Murdock becomes Daredevil – using his ultra-sensitive senses as a result of his blindness, Daredevil stalks the streets and exacts his own brand of justice. Along the way, he gets caught up in the criminal underbelly of New York, coming up against the Punisher (Jon Bernthal), Bullseye/Benjamin Poindexter AKA Dex (Wilson Bethel), and most notably, Wilson Fisk AKA the Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio).

After the events of crossover miniseries The Defenders (2017) and Daredevil Season 3, Daredevil himself seemed to disappear from the MCU, just after teaming up with Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Coulter) and Danny Rand/Iron Fist (Finn Jones), mourning the death of Elektra (Elodie Yung) — until he showed up in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.

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