After such an impressive first season, news that the Netflix original was changing show runners may have sounded a bit concerning. Daredevil’s original writer/producer, Steve S. DeKnight, is stepping down and passing the torch to Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez, who both worked closely with DeKnight and creator Drew Goddard in the first season.
“While previous commitments unfortunately prevent me from continuing on with Daredevil into its second season, I could not be happier that Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez are carrying the torch,” DeKnight said in a statement. “They were invaluable collaborators during our first season, and I for one can’t wait to see what they do with the show moving forward.”
With the introduction of The Punisher into the mix, the new show runners have a lot to explore, and according to EntertainmentWeekly, they explore it with a faster pace and bigger dose of action.
There’s no build up like King Pin’s introduction. The second season opens up with an action scene and then wastes no time familiarizing the audience with Frank Castle, otherwise known as the anti-hero: “The Punisher.”
“The advantage of any sequel is you can dive right in,” Petrie says. “We hit the ground running and then we ran as fast as we f—ing could.”
Played by Jon Bernthal of The Walking Dead fame, Castle is an ex-Special Forces soldier with a grim past involving a powerful Mafia family. Like Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), he wishes to clean up the streets in classic vigilante manner, but he uses some more savage methods. Instead of beating down criminals, he simply shoots anyone he deems unworthy, which opens up the discussion for if he truly is a hero or is closer to being a villain.
“Viewers watching the show will be rooting for this guy with a gun but we’re also going to force people — the way we force Matt — to second-guess themselves,” Petrie says. “Taking lethal justice into your own hands in America in 2015 is tricky s–t. We have not shied away from the rich complicated reality of now. If you’ve got a gun and you’re not the police you’re going to incite strong feelings. We’re stirring the pot and we’re aware of the headlines where we live and we’re trying to get people to think.”
“He has a different moral code,” adds Ramirez. “Matt is a devout Catholic — and you rarely see a character who’s a devotee anything on TV. Frank has Hammurabi’s Code (‘an eye for an eye’). It’s like letting a great white shark into the water.”
As for the actor playing The Punisher, it’s been made very clear how important it is to fans that he does the role justice. The cast of the show was able to redeem the Daredevil character from its shotty prior representations (I’m looking at you Affleck), so the hope is strong that they could do the same for The Punisher.
”People have been coming up to me on the streets of New York saying, ‘Do not mess this up,’” says Bernthal, who would reportedly often walks alone to the Daredevil set across the Brooklyn Bridge to get into Castle’s secluded mindset. “This character has resonated with law enforcement and military. He’s brought the war home with him in the worst possible way. And the best thing about him is that if he offends you, he just doesn’t care.”
The first season showed that it wasn’t afraid of some gore, and season 2 looks like its aiming to increase the violence factor even more. On top of that, fans can expect a lot more sexual tension as Matt gets closer to Karen (Deborah Ann Woll), and he reconnects with his old college girlfriend, Elektra (Elodie Yung), who is a bit of an anti-hero herself.
“Matt’s a deeply moral complicated guy and she’s just the best bad girlfriend you can possibly have,” expressed Petrie. “She does everything wrong and attractive, she’s his id, the wild side. Matt is always taming his wild side. Elektra just lets it out. He’s both repulsed and deeply drawn to that.”
It all sounds like an exciting new season that will really challenge Murdoch’s views. My only hope is they don’t dwell too much on a love-triangle subplot and give the fans more of Daredevil and The Punisher butting heads.
Daredevil is set to return sometime in 2016.