LOS ANGELES, April 10 (UPI) -- Marvel's eagerly awaited Daredevil series -- starring Charlie Cox as the titular blind comic-book crimefighter -- is now streaming in its entirety on Netflix.
"I grew up reading comic books all my life. I've been a huge Marvel fan and, like most people my age, I was deeply influenced by the Frank Miller run and then, later, Brian Michael Benders and Alex Maleev's run, so I had known Daredevil and loved Daredevil and the entire Marvel Universe all my life," showrunner Steven S. DeKnight told UPI in a recent phone interview.
DeKnight went on to say he was thrilled to have 13 hours to start chronicling the triumphs and troubles of the Hell's Kitchen denizens made famous in the Daredevil comic-book series.
"If we were doing this as a movie, I don't know if it would be as successful because I think Daredevil is a character that really lives and breathes in those in-between moments and to be able to take 13 episodes and be able to take the time to really explore his character... To not have to start with the classic, 'OK, here is 30 minutes of his origins story and here's in a linear fashion the first time he meets Foggy and all that...' To be able to really delve into the character in the smaller moments, particularly in the second half of the season, there are episodes where there is almost no action and it is absolutely riveting," DeKnight promised.
"It's just something I don't think you could explore in a movie. And, also, with the advent of premium cable and outlets like Netflix, you have a lot more liberty in storytelling. You can tell a much more complicated and mature story than you could if you were doing this on a [broadcast] network."
The filmmaker recalled how he initially wondered about Netflix's strategy to release all 13 installments to online subscribers at the same time, but emphasized he quickly came to regard the plan as extremely effective, especially since the streaming giant is also working on three other Marvel series to complement its Daredevil drama.
"I love the Netflix model. I've never been involved in a show that releases all episodes at the same time, so I'm definitely curious to see what that's like. I remember talking to Jeph Loeb, [the head of Marvel Television,] early on, saying, 'It's so weird that we are going to spend an entire year, working nonstop on this show, and people are going to watch it over the weekend.' And he said, 'Yeah, it's like a 13-hour movie.' And, I thought: 'Well, that's a great way to put it. It is like a 13-hour movie,'" DeKnight agreed, explaining he hopes fans will love the first season so much, their demand for more will lead to a quick Season 2 order, as well as increased interest in the other Marvel series Netflix will soon have on tap.
"I hope that hunger for more will drive people to the next show in the series, which is Jessica Jones," he said. "That's the other thing I think is just brilliant about this plan of doing these four series -- Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. I think they really feed into each other and, hopefully, if Daredevil gets picked up for a second season, while you're waiting a year for that to come up, 'Oh, well, here's Jessica Jones.' There's something to fill the gap while you're waiting."
Featuring excellent writing and production values, Daredevil has also attracted top-notch, on-screen talent including Cox, Vincent D'Onofrio, Rosario Dawson, Deborah Ann Woll and Elden Henson.
"They were very enthusiastic," DeKnight said of his stellar cast. "Charlie really fought for the role -- really wanted it and really loved the character. And Vincent D'Onofrio -- it was such a thrill. I remember the first time Jeph Loeb and I got on the phone with Vincent and he was just so enthusiastic about the character and the iconic Wilson Fisk, and had such great ideas and insights. We hung up and [Loeb and I] looked at each other like: 'Did that just happen?' Vincent D'Onofrio! And he loves the character!'"
DeKnight previously worked on the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Smallville and Dollhouse, as well as on the Spartacus small-screen franchise. He is a frequent collaborator of Joss Whedon, who wrote and helmed the blockbuster Marvel's The Avengers and the soon-to-be-released Avengers: Age of Ultron.