Steve Lightfoot to run Daredevil spin-off Marvel’s The Punisher

Marvel has been announced that Frank “The Punisher” Castle from Daredevil season two (Showrunners: Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez) is to be given his own Netflix spin-off. Steve Lightfoot is to be The Punisher Showrunner, and will write the first two episodes. Jeph Loeb, Marvel Television Head and Daredevil Showrunner said:

With Showrunner Steve Lightfoot’s compelling writing, we’re thrilled to bring Marvel’s The Punisher to Netflix.

Netflix Original Content Vice President Cindy Holland said:

Jon hooked our global audience with his performance as Frank Castle from the moment he stepped on screen in Marvel’s Daredevil, and we are looking forward to seeing more of him in this role under the vision of Steve Lightfoot.

Lightfoot himself said:

For me, the complexity and unpredictability of Frank Castle make him an incredibly compelling character and I couldn’t be more excited to dive into his world. After watching Jon’s performance in Marvel’s Daredevil I could not be more excited to be working with him to further develop and progress the story of this anti-hero in a show of his own.

The Punisher will stream on Netflix.

Luke Cage Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker on the style

Comic Book Resources have spoken to Luke Cage Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker about its tone. Luke Cage is the third series in a shared universe of Marvel Comics adaptations, following Daredevil (Showrunners: Drew GoddardSteven S. DeKnight and Marco Ramirez) and Jessica Jones (Showrunners: Liz Friedman and Melissa Rosenberg). Coker also elaborated-upon the way Luke Cage is influenced by hip-hop albums and his own history as a reader of Luke Cage, Hero for Hire – the serialised comic strip pamphlets in-which Cage first appeared.

For me, hip-hop has always been black superhero music. And now we have a black superhero that matches the music. When you think about Wu-Tang, when you think about A Tribe Called Quest records like Midnight Marauders, it’s deep in the culture, but at the same time, it’s become the new rock and roll. Everybody accepts it, everybody understands it. That’s really the vibe of the show, on one hand, we’re dealing with Harlem in ways that really haven’t been dealt with. But at the same time, it’s a superhero show. At the same time, you get to meet Luke Cage. You get to meet Misty Knight. You get to meet all these other characters. It’s these comics come to life with a hip-hop vibe. It’s incredibly fun. We go all the way back to the beginning in terms of the vibe, but it’s modernized. If you’re a fan of the comic, it will be a very familiar world. When I say this is a fantasy come true for me — it’s such an amazing opportunity. Just as a geek, I love this world. To be able to write in a serious way inside of this is really cool, as well. For our show — yes, we deal with serious themes. Imagine what somebody with bulletproof skin, how that could affect the neighborhood [sic] when it comes to crime. We deal, in a very realistic way, with how that influences the neighborhood [sic], without revealing anything. It’s grounded, but at the same time, the fantasy element of it also, I think, will attract people. We have something that’s very dramatic, but at the same time, we don’t run away from our comic book roots. We embrace them.

Luke Cage streams on Netflix 30th September.

The Defenders adds Daredevil season two Showrunners Marco Ramirez and Douglas Petrie

After their well-received second season of Daredevil (74% on Rotten Tomatoes), showrunners Marco Ramirez and Douglas Petrie have been hired to produce The Defenders, reports ScreenrantThe Defenders will be an indirect sequel to Daredevil‘s second season. Daredevil season two executive producer Jeph Loeb has been quoted as saying:

We’re incredibly excited to be able to bring our four street level heroes together in an epic tale woven by Doug and Marco whose work on Marvel’s Daredevil speaks for itself. They write and produce not only great action and adventure, but also the heart and touch of humor that’s makes us Marvel. With the inclusion of Drew Goddard, we’ve got a team that’s as formidable as the Defenders themselves.

Ramirez and Petrie will be bringing Daredevil star Charlie Cox with them. Ramirez and Petrie are also quoted as saying:

This is the big one. Four amazing casts, four amazing series, now all in one amazing story.

Netflix’s Vice President of Original Content said:

[We] can’t wait to see how they and Drew will introduce the full Defenders team to our global audience.

Daredevil's two seasons are now available on Netflix.
The Defenders will be coming to Netflix.

Daredevil season one — television season review

Premièred by Netflix.
Episode one: Into the Ring by Drew Goddard
Episode two: Cut Man by Drew Goddard
Episode three: Rabbit in a Snowstorm by Marco Ramirez.
Episode four: In the Blood by Joe Pokaski
Episode five: World on Fire by Luke Kaltaux
Episode six: Condemned by Joe Pokaski and Marco Ramirez
Episode seven: Stick by Douglas Petrie
Episode eight: Shadows in the Glass by Steven S. DeKnight
Episode nine: Speak of the Devil by Christos Gage and Ruth Fletcher Gage
Episode ten: Nelson v Murdock by Luke Kaltaux
Episode eleven: The Path of the Righteous by Steven S. DeKnight and Douglas Petrie
Episode twelve: The Ones we Leave Behind by Douglas Petrie
Episode thirteen: Daredevil by Steven S. DeKnight.

It’s taken me so long, but I’ve finally finished Daredevil season one. And honestly, I think this was really mishandled. There are some very strong episodes, that zoom-in on certain aspects, but the rest are just kind of… meh.

This show is clearly an experiment. Marvel Television know that streaming is the future, and I’m glad they decided to distribute this via Netflix, because that prompted me to sign-up, and in doing-so I discovered a wealth of other shows. But the greatest flaw with this is the length. It’s much longer than it needs to be. The main praise point of this is the way it feels like a thirteen-hour feature with a chapter selection. But I say that’s where it drops-short. The best episodes are those that focus on one thing, like the way Murdock’s vision works, or how Franklin Nelson would react to discovering that Murdock’s the vigilante they’ve been trying to take-down. Because that’s the best selling point of television; that it doesn’t have to work like a film, it can be episodic. Instead, what Daredevil does is to tell a continuous story without the supporting structure of the individual episode. The season’s so eager to tell an overarching narrative that it forgets the most important element of television: the serial story.

It’s a myth that story arcs are popular, or that they sell. The story arc is just an excuse to tell a story. Have it happening, yes, and have it pay-off in the end for audience satisfaction, but remember that it’s only there to be with these characters. The best kind of shows blend these things together, so the audience can’t tell what’s part of the story arc and what’s part of that week’s episode. Because what they’re then responding to, even if they don’t realise it, is good storytelling.

Daredevil season one is not good storytelling. But it tries to be. Unfortunately, it tries so hard, so much, that it collapses under its own tedious plot-fullness. It focuses on so many characters in order to drive the plot forward that it races to the finish line, forgetting to enjoy the view out of its own window on the way. Surely Nelson could’ve discovered that Murdock’s Daredevil until at least next season? That would have given everything else more room to breathe. But instead, everything’s packed-in so close that I continued watching only to see where it was going, not because I was enjoying what was happening. I’d rather take the scenic route to the end, meandering around the fishing lakes, and have a good time than finish as fast possible and forget most of the experience.

Daredevil: Rabbit in a Snowstorm — motion picture review

Written by Marco Ramirez.

Art galleries. Not only does being in them give one an exaggerated, unrealistic sense of pretentious self-importance, but they’re an easy way to be deep and artistic without really having to do anything. In this case, it’s to introduce season one’s Big Bad, Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk.

But this isn’t something that’s come from nowhere. In keeping with the style of Daredevil being a very long film, the antagonist is only now being introduced, three hours in. And the heralder of that foreshadowing has been James Wesley, an incredibly creepy character that’s another wonderful example of this show being filled with absolutely perfect casting choices. And the best thing about Wesley’s character is his contrast with Daredevil, and that’s in how they handle people.

By far the best scene in this episode was Daredevil’s addressing of the jury, in-which he reminds them that their decision should be based on gathered facts, none of which incriminate the defendant.Charlie Cox keeps being given the opportunity to eloquently monologue, and that is something he does brilliantly. That we have observed, beyond reasonable doubt. But then there’s Toby Leonard Moore’s Wesley, who could give equally charismatic lectures for his own purposes, and yet expresses all of those words with a single look. And with that single look, he defined this character’s status as one of television’s great villains. It’s so satisfying to finally see the two characters together.

And that ultimate meeting between Daredevil and Fisk is the crux of the episode. In much the same manner as a video-game, Daredevil is progressing through the levels of criminal scumbag that he (tries) to beat, and this is the point where he  hooks himself onto his main adversary’s right-hand-man. Now that’s development.

Of Kingpin, there’s not much I can say of him because of such short screentime, but I’m very much liking the actor Vincent D’Onofrio. He’s both creepy and complex at the same time. From those few shots, I can already see the depth and layers to his character. I’m sure he’ll develop into an even greater character still, but it’s testament to D’Onofrio that I can already see a wide range of emotions from just that one scene.

There’s been some controversy over Daredevil really is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I’d say generally it is. It doesn’t matter to me, and I’d prefer it not to be, but I still see the connections. With recent events, like the Battle of New York and a confirmation of intelligent extraterrestrial life existing, it makes sense that Kingpin would feel alone. The drive to do what’s best for his city and to actualise his species is obvious at this point. But now that he’s here, he does need to do something for episode four. Though I’m fairly sure he will.