Through a growing number of impressive original series, Netflix has established a middle ground between television and cinema. Series that debut with the streaming service are meant to be “binge watched,” or at least viewed in short time, meaning they’re consumed like lengthy films. On the other hand, the episodic and season-based format generally keeps these same programs more closely related to TV. And because of this classification (and despite the binge watching), Netflix has seemingly chosen to make fans wait a year between new seasons of its original series, mimicking the style of ordinary television.
Thus, we still have a while to wait before Daredevil rolls out its second season, but already the Netflix/Marvel project is producing an active rumor and news mill. The debut season was widely praised by critics, earning a glowing 98% at Rotten Tomatoes and frequently being cited as a necessary foray into darker, more adult action for the “Marvel Cinematic Universe.” And now the second season is being anticipated as a launchpad for what’s about to become a lengthy, multi-show initiative for Netflix and Marvel; “The Defenders,” another branch of Marvel heroes, will all receive Netflix shows, with Daredevil leading the way.
Naturally there are still a lot of questions about the extent of this project and the specific nature of the follow-up shows, but for now we can confirm that Daredevil has already added two very major characters from the comics. Let’s take a look at those two and how they figure to be received by the insatiable superhero cinema audience.
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The first of the new additions is Elektra Natchios, more commonly known just as Elektra and easily recognized as one of the key characters from the Daredevil comics. Screenrant announced this summer that French actress Elodie Yung has been cast in the role, which will be that of “a mystery woman from Matt Murdock’s past” (Murdock being the real name of Daredevil). This is pretty much in line with the character’s comic history and should provide Daredevil with the classic sidekick he was missing during the establishment of his superhero origins in season one.
Elektra will be familiar to modern fans who haven’t read the comics largely because she’s actually already been portrayed in film this century, with Jennifer Garner having play the part in 2003’s abysmal Daredevil film and again in the spin-off Elektra. The character also has a presence in gaming, which particularly for the last few years has been tied pretty closely to on-screen Marvel projects. Betfair Casino hosts an Elektra-themed slot machine, and the character is also vaguely present in the popular Contest of Champions brawler app that utilizes many Marvel characters. Interestingly, even these two games offer different interpretations of her. The casino slot game presents the character with the flowing hair and deadly sai that resemble Garner’s portrayal in film, whereas Contest of Champions shows her on menu screens with her trademark red bandana and a more ninja-like appearance. The latter is somewhat truer to the common comic image, and it is perhaps a likelier preview of how Yung will look in the role.
Daredevil’s second major addition will likely be even more exciting for fans: the Punisher is at last being introduced to the MCU. As a known fan favorite, he should be a prominent piece of the puzzle moving forward. Jon Bernthal (who looks pretty much exactly like the Punisher even without a costume on) has been cast in the role, and The Wrap already offered an intriguing sneak peak of the actor on set. If Yung is something of an unknown in taking on Elektra, Bernthal seems like a perfect fit for the Punisher. You may know him from appearances in The Wolf of Wall Street, The Walking Dead, and Mob City.
This character, too, will have familiarity for modern Marvel fans, largely because there was already a film in 2004. Frankly it was a pretty forgettable project, having been distributed by Lionsgate before Marvel reacquired the character’s cinematic license. However, it did lead to a pretty stellar third-person shooter game (also released in 2004, for major consoles) that was almost refreshingly violent for a superhero video game. The Punisher, like Elektra, also appears in the Contest of Champions app. However, he’s an actual playable character, whereas Elektra is currently only seen in backgrounds.
These aren’t the only new characters being roped into the second season of Daredevil. Blake Tower, a New York district attorney who helps Murdock fight crime, will also be part of the action moving forward, and there are unconfirmed rumors that popular villain Bullseye will be present as well. But given their relevance both in comic history and more recent entertainment, Elektra and the Punisher will highlight the season.
Daredevil season 2 will premiere (sometime around) April, 2016. Until then, why not catch up by watching (or re-watching) season 1?