Marvel's Daredevil marks a new era for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The show is the first in a series of projects being developed in partnership with Marvel, Netflix and ABC Studios, offering a whole new format for the adventures of some of Marvel's most iconic characters.
Marvel's Daredevil also marks a new direction for Marvel’s storytelling, replacing high-flying, superpowered characters with street-level heroes who battle against organised crime in New York City. The show is much darker and grittier than any films or series that Marvel has made before.
Whether you’re a newcomer or long-time fan, here’s everything you need to know about the show and its hero.
Watch Matt Murdock's vigilante transformation video:
Daredevil is one of the most well-known and iconic Marvel heroes. Born in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen to boxer Battlin’ Jack and Maggie Murdock, Matt Murdock - the man who would become Daredevil - grew up tough, raised by a single father.
As a young boy, Matt’s life was changed forever the day he saw a speeding truck careening towards a man crossing the street. Pushing the man out of harm’s way, Matt was doused with a mysterious chemical, blinding him.
While recovering in hospital after the tragic incident, he realised that his remaining senses – hearing, touch, smell, taste, balance and the rest – had been heightened to compensate for his loss of vision.
The way Matt 'saw' the world was forever changed, and so was the way he moved through it, his new heightened senses giving him an exact awareness of his environment at all times.
ALLIES & ENEMIES
Over the years, Daredevil has made himself a large cast of both allies and enemies. Here is everything you need to know about the characters going into the show:
Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox)
Matt Murdock is a blind, 20-something lawyer from New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen, where he and best friend Foggy Nelson have just opened their first law firm. As the son of local boxer Battlin’ Jack Murdock, Matt inherits a fire in his heart that compels him to take his battle beyond the courtroom and to the streets as a masked vigilante.
Toxic chemicals blinded Matt as a child but enhanced his sensory abilities. His intelligence, charm and good looks have always attracted romance, but his passion for his city often creates a distance between him and those he loves. Through relentless determination, Matt must break his own boundaries in order to save Hell’s Kitchen and redeem himself.
Our hero is played by British actor Charlie Cox, best known for his starring role in Stardust (adapted from the book by Neil Gaiman) and Boardwalk Empire. He was most recently seen alongside Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything.
Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson)
Hopeful, engaging and with the biggest heart imaginable, Foggy is everyone’s best friend. He’s a neighbourhood boy with big dreams, which include turning Nelson & Murdock into one of the great law firms.
As the unofficial ‘mayor of Hell’s Kitchen’, he feels a duty to stand up for the little guy. But his loyalty to his city puts him squarely against Matt’s actions as the vigilante. On top of everything, charming Matt Murdock often overshadows the bumbling Foggy, who wants nothing more than a chance with their new secretary and friend Karen Page.
As a teenager, Elden Henson appeared in Disney’s Mighty Ducks trilogy. He takes on the role of Foggy Nelson following a more recent role as Pollux in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Parts 1 and 2.
Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll)
Karen Page is resourceful, intelligent and driven, and she isn’t one for letting things go. She very literally wakes up in the middle of a deadly scandal involving her employer Union Allied. After Matt and Foggy come to her rescue, she becomes part of their family.
When two men die because of her actions, Karen can’t bear to have their deaths on her conscience. Ever determined, Karen investigates the situation on her own, along with a mentor she meets along the way. She staunchly believes in the vigilante as a force of good because he saved her from harm, and she wants someone hopeful to hang on to.
The character is portrayed by Deborah Ann Woll, who played the tormented but good-natured vampire Jessica Hamby on HBO’s True Blood.
Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio)
Very little is known about Wilson Fisk, by his own design. He is a master strategist, hiding in the shadows, watching pieces move on his chosen gaming board: Hell’s Kitchen. Fisk thinks ten moves ahead, and easily manipulates both enemies and allies with an aura of power that would put the Medici to shame. His physical stature is just as formidable as his tact, but unlike the vigilante, Fisk doesn’t like to dirty his hands. That’s why a legion of crooked cops, lawyers, politicians, and hitmen are on his payroll.
But Fisk is also a man haunted by his past, and if he wants to be the dominant force in Hell’s Kitchen, he must keep the vigilante from dragging his secrets into light. While some might view Fisk as a criminal, he sees himself as a businessman doing everything necessary to save his city.
Veteran actor Vincent D'Onofrio takes on the role of Wilson Fisk in Marvel's Daredevil. His credits include Full Metal Jacket and a long run on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He will also appear in the long-awaited Jurassic World.
Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson)
Claire Temple is a woman compelled to help those in need, an essential attitude as a nurse at Hell’s Kitchen’s Metro-General hospital. Quick on her feet, she takes things as they come just as long as she knows she’s doing the right thing.
When she meets the beaten and bloodied vigilante, she learns that he too wants to help the innocent, and that - along with some of the patented Murdock charm - is what attracts her to his cause. She grows close to Matt, but soon learns that the line between helping and hurting blurs easily for him - a trait she is far from comfortable with.
Claire is played by Rosario Dawson, whose credits include Clerks II, Death Proof, Trance, Seven Pounds and Sin City.
John Wesley (Toby Leonard Moore)
Wesley is Wilson Fisk's right hand man and confidant. He reveres the crime lord and regards his friend and employer with the utmost respect.
Wesley is the only one who truly understands Fisk, and will do anything to protect him.
Australian actor Toby Leonard Moore previously starred in Underbelly and 2014 action movie John Wick.
Leland Owlsley (Bob Gunton)
Leland Owlsley is an old native of Hell's Kitchen who's been laundering money since the days of Battlin' Jack Murdock. He's the kind of man who won't fight because he's afraid to get his designer suit dirty.
Leland's unique financial 'expertise' makes him the perfect candidate to manage the books for Fisk's various criminal entities.
Stage and screen actor Bob Gunton is best known for his roles in The Shawshank Redemption, Argo and 24.
Ben Urich (Vondie Curtis-Hall)
Ben is the last real reporter in New York. Jaded, a little paranoid, but hungry for the truth and the chance to tell the real story.
He treats people from all walks of life with the same respect... even if they wear a mask.
Actor, director and Chicago Hope star Vondie Curtis-Hall plays Ben in the show.
Vanessa Marianna (Ayelet Zurer)
Vanessa is a fine art curator with mature grace, striking allure and... a shady past.
An untouchable force her entire life, she never seeks power. Power seeks her.
Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer's credits include Man of Steel, Angels and Demons and Last Days in the Desert.
Watch the trailer for Marvel's Daredevil:
DAREDEVIL ON SCREEN
The Netflix original series, Marvel's Daredevil, takes us into the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, where two friends, Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson, have just set up their own law firm. Despite their lack of clients and experience, the pair are determined to be a force for good in their New York City neighbourhood.
While a lawyer by day, at night Matt haunts the streets as a vigilante - dressed in black, using his enhanced senses and fighting skills to bring a more brutal kind of justice to the crime-ridden neighbourhood. And a threat is looming in Hell’s Kitchen bigger than any he has faced before.
Wilson Fisk has gathered a group of powerful criminals to take advantage of a turbulent time in the city’s history. Leveraging his influence over organised crime, big business and even the authorities, he plans to remake Hell’s Kitchen in his own image, and will step on anyone in his way to make his dreams a reality.
Into the picture steps Karen Page, an ordinary woman who finds herself caught up in extraordinary events. Matt commits himself to protecting her, and any other innocent people, using every resource in his possession - both the due process of law and the hard justice of the vigilante.
But taking the law into your own hands comes with its own price, and Matt discovers that he is walking a fine line between justice and revenge - between protecting the people he loves and submitting to his violent urges. Matt will find that he must reconcile his crime fighting ways with his beliefs or risk becoming no better than the criminals he hates.
Watch the city come to life in this street scene:
INTO HELL'S KITCHEN
The series is set in and around the New York City neighbourhood of Hell’s Kitchen, located on the West Side of Midtown Manhattan and bordered by 34th Street, 59th Street, Eighth Avenue and the Hudson River.
Matt Murdock grew up on those mean streets as a witness to the hardship and crime that affected his friends, family and neighbours. After graduating from law school with his best friend Foggy, they set up the law offices of Nelson & Murdock to help defend the good people of Hell's Kitchen and combat corruption on the streets they call home.
Daredevil has become the unofficial guardian of Hell's Kitchen, stalking the darkness to keep his neighbours safe from petty criminals or thwarting the Machiavellian plots of underworld mastermind Wilson Fisk.
While Hell’s Kitchen has been caught up in the wave of gentrification that has affected all of Manhattan, the neighbourhood’s reputation for grittiness and danger hasn’t been forgotten. It makes for an atmospheric setting for the show that couldn’t be found anywhere other than New York.
Check out the full first season of Marvel's Daredevil only on Netflix: WATCH ALL EPISODES INSTANTLY. The first Marvel original series from Marvel Television, Netflix and ABC Studios will be followed with further series including Marvel's A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Marvel's Luke Cage, Marvel's Iron Fist and event series Marvel's The Defenders.