At the end season 1 of Netflix’s Marvel’s Daredevil, Matt Murdock had come into his own as the vigilante, becoming more and more comfortable with his abilities, with the fall of the Kingpin of Crime as a significant feather in his superhero hat. In this interview, actor Charlie Cox, who stars in the series as the Man without Fear, discusses the evolution of Daredevil in season 2, what the hero’s new-found confidence means for the character going forward, and how the introductions of the vigilante Punisher and Elektra affects Daredevil’s world.
Matt considers himself to be “functioning at his best,” Cox notes. “Matt and Daredevil have enjoyed a period of time where everything’s been going brilliantly well. Wilson Fisk is behind bars, the crime rate has plummeted,” a result of the public-at-large being aware that Daredevil is a man not to be trifled with.
However, his successes may have caused the vigilante to become a bit too confident, which could hint at a trip-up later on down the line.
“He’s more self-assured and I also think there’s a swagger and an arrogance to him now,” Cox explains. “We’re meeting a Matt Murdock who’s enjoying being Daredevil more than he ever has. He kind of probably believes that he’s ‘nailed it,’ and things will only get better from here on out.”
Viewers of season 1 and readers of the Daredevil comic book stories know that arrogance sometimes comes part-and-parcel with Matt, in the courtroom, in his personal life, and on the streets fighting crime. However, that arrogance usually foreshadows chaos swirling about the vigilante’s life.
That chaos comes in the form of Frank Castle, the vigilante known as The Punisher, who has a different outlook on what course to take against those who would play fast-and-loose with the law and prey on the innocent. Played by The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal, The Punisher at first represents to Matt the same kind of terror that Wilson Fisk wrought on Hell’s Kitchen and deals with him as such. He’s a man shaped by tragedy who will dispense with criminals in a violent, permanent fashion.
“I think when Matt Murdock initially meets Frank Castle, it’s very easy for him to pigeonhole him in the same way that he did Wilson Fisk from Season 1,” Cox says. However, as the season moves on, Daredevil has to consider how similar he and Castle actually are and whether Daredevil’s existence opened the door to folks like The Punisher.
“He’s also got to consider the possibility that he himself is responsible for the emergence of people like Frank Castle. So that’s a pretty tough emotional journey that he has to go through,” Cox notes.
The introduction of Elektra Natchios (played by Elodie Yung), a paramour from Matt’s past, will also act as a spark to further bedlam in Matt’s world, making things more than difficult for his budding relationship with Karen Page.
“I knew that it was going to throw a spanner in the works in terms of Matt and Karen’s romance, which has been kind of hinted at from the very beginning,” Cox explains. “We needed to throw something into the mix to spice up the action sequences this season.”
However, as Cox shares, Matt will have some preparation for whatever Elektra and The Punisher have to throw at him thanks to his new superhero apparel.
When asked how the costume affects how Daredevil operates versus when he wore the black body suit in season 1, Cox expounds, “When it comes to the point where he puts on the Daredevil costume, the reason he gets that costume is two-fold. On the one hand, he needs it for protection.” However, perhaps most importantly, the outfit acts as a symbol.
“The other reason he puts it on is because of something Father Lantom says, which is that he talks about the devil and he’s talking about the actual devil being a symbol to be feared. So if you have a symbol to be feared in society, it helps people choose the right path,” Cox shares.
Daredevil season 2, starring Charlie Cox, Jon Bernthal, and Elodie Yung, is now streaming on Netflix.