Tagged: Charlie Cox

Loki and Daredevil do Broadway

Loki and Daredevil do Broadway

Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Charlie Cox (Daredevil), and Zawe Ashton will make their Broadway debuts tonight in a new revival of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal at the Jacobs Theater.

In a direct transfer from London’s West End, Tom Hiddleston will star in Betrayal alongside Zawe Ashton and Charlie Cox. The Harold Pinter play begins performances August 14 and will officially open September 5 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, where the show will run for a strictly limited 17-week engagement.

Originally at www.broadwayworld.com

An actor who plays Loki the Trickster in a play about betrayal? While the actor playing Daredevil right next to Hell’s Kitchen? What are the odds?

Martha Thomases: Defending…?

Last Friday, my pal Larry Hama invited me to a “friends and family” screening of the first two episodes of Marvel’s The Defenders. I mean the new series debuting on Netflix today, not the classic television show, The Defenders, the source of many many jokes made during the screening.

Also in attendance: Tony Isabella, Michael Gaydos and his adorable son, Arvell Jones, and the families of Archie Goodwin and George Tuska. Plus a bunch of current Marvel folks who had probably already seen the whole series, but who were gracious hosts.

Before the screening began, I was feeling pretty warm and fuzzy about seeing so many of my old friends and meeting people whose work I admired. Hence, I was psyched to enjoy two hours in a comfy chair in a screening room.

Mostly, I had a great time. I have a huge crush on Charlie Cox, the beautiful man who plays Matt Murdock. And I love Rosario Dawson, Mike Colter, and Kristin Ritter. The production design for the series suggests the color schemes associated with each of the four main characters so that Daredevil’s scenes are dark and red, Jessica Jones’ scenes are blue, and Luke Cage’s seem to have been shot in the 1970s.

If only there were no Iron Fist.

I don’t blame Finn Jones. He’s working as hard as he can. Unfortunately, the way Danny Rand has been written for these series, he’s a narcissist. A benevolent narcissist, but still a man who only sees the world as it relates to him. Daredevil is trying to keep crime out of his neighborhood. Luke Cage is the Hero of Harlem. Even Jessica Jones goes out of her way to help a stranger.

Danny Rand only thinks about Danny Rand. Even in his guilt, he can’t see past himself.

I guess this makes a certain amount of sense, given that he was raised by Buddhist monks and taught to look within himself for strength. Buddhists can be rather solipsistic. They aren’t the only ones, certainly, and that’s not all there is to Buddhism, but that’s what I infer from the Netflix series. In any case, his self-absorption has the effect of making the character and his struggles seem less important.

(For another perspective on Buddhism and action heroes, you might want to check out this series, co-written by my high school friend, Tinker Lindsay.)

A few supporting characters from each series are here, so our heroes have someone to provide exposition. I like to see Colleen Wing and Misty Knight and Foggy Nelson and Trish Walker. Sigourney Weaver and Waitlist Ching Ho make excellent villains. And there are many many, many other characters, enough so that it feels like it’s actually shot in New York City, where many millions of people live.

I can’t give a real critical overview of a series from just the first two episodes. It felt like they were taking their time getting to the real story because when the screening ended, the four main characters had not yet all met each other. That seems to me to be a bit too slow.

Still, it’s the tail end of August. What else do you have to do this weekend? I certainly have nothing better.

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The Point Radio: Why DAREDEVIL Is Even More Binge Worthy Than Ever

No joke – we are back and we’re stopped binging on DAREDEVIL long enough to talk about the show with ol’ Horn Head himself. Charlie Cox shares what it was like putting this season together and how he thinks fans will feel when they finish. Plus ROGUE is back for a new season. Cole Hauser and new cast member Ashley Greene talk how this series is changing yet again.

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Emily S. Whitten: Daredevil in the MCU

Marvel’s Daredevil premiered on Netflix on Friday, April 10. All 13 episodes went up at once, which is great both for binge-watchers (a.k.a. people who just really like long-form storytelling, okay??) like me; and also for Marvel’s presumed need to establish key but new-to-MCU characters before Captain America: Civil War, which hits theaters May 6, 2016.

Of course, we don’t actually know if Daredevil will show up in Civil War, even if the show appears to have teased the Civil War plot. Oddly enough, as of two weeks ago, Daredevil star Charlie Cox said he hadn’t been “invited to that party.” On the other hand, it seems like Civil War would be the perfect movie in which to tie the Marvel movies and TV shows even more tightly together. Given we already have connections in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the next planned Marvel Netflix shows will star Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and The Defenders (to include, perhaps, appearances by MCU characters we’ll have seen by then like Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and The Hulk?), it should be a no-brainer (and almost necessary) for Marvel to include relevant TV characters in the larger-scale Civil War movie, and perhaps cameos for any stars of the Netflix shows who haven’t made it to TV yet by May of 2016.

But I guess even if we don’t see all the TV characters in the movies by Civil War, it still gives watchers a foundation of MCU character knowledge for those superheroes if they are referenced in the plot. Of course, having all of these TV shows means to truly be caught up on the MCU you now have to watch both the Marvel movies and the TV shows; but fortunately, at least so far, that’s no hardship. (And it can make for fun Easter egg hunting in both movies and shows. Another cool one from Daredevil is the newspaper headline for the “Battle of NY” in Ben Urich’s office, as well as the script’s indication that Wilson Fisk’s rise to power is built on the destruction that took place during The Avengers movie.)

With Agent Carter having had a great eight episode run (that show is so much fun), and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continuing to be a fan favorite, Daredevil has come in as the newest addition to TV, and it is really good. As teased previously, it is definitely darker and grittier than some of Marvel’s fare, with a hint of a noir feel; but then, I’ve always associated that aesthetic with Daredevil anyway. One of the things I enjoy about the Daredevil stories is the exploration of the microcosm of Hell’s Kitchen and its resident vigilante. The comic has always had a sort of small town/big city feel to it because of how deeply Daredevil is rooted in that one neighborhood, Matt Murdock’s history there, and his desire to make at least his little corner of the world a cleaner place. Even Daredevil’s nemesis, the Kingpin, while his business may spread through New York and beyond, is rooted in the darker, slummier parts of the city. That keeps the comic true to its gritty NYC roots even as the storylines change.

The show overall evokes a dark and sometimes meditative mood, although it’s not lacking in great action scenes, whether they be while Daredevil is fighting villains, or when the Kingpin’s violent urges overcome his generally calm demeanor. Speaking of the Kingpin, he is portrayed here in a wonderfully complex manner by one of my long-time favorite actors, Vincent D’Onofrio. One thing I really like about Daredevil is that it’s not a black-and-white show. It humanizes the villains to some extent; such as when it shows the to-the-death devotion between the Russian Ranskahov brothers, and a peek into the difficult past that led them to their position at the show’s start. Nowhere is this humanization more well done than with Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. He is in equal parts a sympathetic villain and truly chilling, and D’Onofrio manages to continually evoke the feeling that with this man, “still waters run deep” and beneath the surface there is a well of complex emotions coupled with his terrifying rage. In the comics, the Kingpin, despite his low origins, publicly attempts to appear as an educated man, and is portrayed as an entrepreneurial villain.

This comes across in the TV script, in lines such as, “Problems are just opportunities that have not presented themselves,” and in his business dealings and his romancing of Vanessa in fancy restaurants, with wines recommended by his assistant. The series also shows the rise of the Kingpin’s obsession with Daredevil, which eventually leads to the seminal comics storyline in which Fisk exposes Murdock as Daredevil and ruins his life and reputation.

Despite dark villains like Fisk, the show retains that humorous edge that defines the modern MCU. One of the best sources of this in Daredevil is Murdock’s best bud Foggy Nelson, who is portrayed perfectly by Elden Henson. I’ve always had a soft spot for Foggy (also played well by Jon Favreau in the 2003 Daredevil movie), who is generally portrayed as being good natured, loyal, and with a good heart. The show does well in using him to inject some levity into the show, without turning him into too much of a goofy comic foil. He’s also a great contrast to the more serious Murdock, and a means for the story to show how Daredevil’s vigilante identity creates difficulties in his “normal” life and in being there for his friends.

One thing I really like about this show is the portrayal of how normal people deal with the superhero/vigilante elements in their world. Two other characters that add a great deal to Daredevil in this aspect are Claire Temple (serving in the role of the Night Nurse), and Ben Urich, the tenacious investigative reporter for The New York Bulletin (rather than The Daily Bugle, as in the comics). The script-writers have managed to make these two characters (played by Rosario Dawson and Vondie Curtis-Hall, respectively) both well-rounded supporting characters, and windows through which viewers can experience how someone might deal with being a “mundane” in a world of heroes and vigilantes. (Such as when Ben Urich says that, “[i]n my experience, there are no heroes; no villains; just people with different agendas.”) I love it when shows manage to successfully convey multiple viewpoints like that.

Of course, a main viewpoint is obviously Daredevil’s, and Charlie Cox does a great job in his dual role as Murdock and his vigilante alter-ego. The show does well to start with a Murdock who wants to make the streets a safer place but is pretty clueless about what’s actually going on out there, and gradually sleuths out the corruption in the NYPD and the existence of a greater criminal network. It also gives an interesting perspective on his views of the law, and how they interplay with his role as a costumed vigilante. Flashbacks to his childhood in Hell’s Kitchen add to the story, and also provide us with a few more fun Easter eggs, such as the mention (and poster) of Carl “Crusher” Creel’s boxing match against Murdock’s father, Battlin’ Jack Murdock; Creel has previously been seen in the MCU as The Absorbing Man on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Overall, I think Daredevil makes a great addition to the MCU, and look forward to seeing how the future Netflix shows pan out and how they all tie in to each other and to the greater MCU as time goes on. It seems like I’m not alone in this. The show has garnered mostly good reviews thus far; and I’d agree with James Gunn (writer-director of Guardians of the Galaxy), who opined on Facebook that “this character I loved so much for so long ha[s] been brought to television with such spirit, love, and care.”

Of course, it’s always nice to get the “person on the street” viewpoint as well; and since I started my Daredevil Netflix binge with a Daredevil Watch Party of me and three friends and assigned them the homework of telling me what they think of the show, I’ll provide their perspectives here as well:

Friend 1: “More than any superhero adaptation I’ve seen recently, Daredevil works independent of its mythos. I find myself wanting to watch it for more than just the really cool fight scenes (which are really cool) and the comic references. Instead, the well-written dialogue and excellent chemistry between the lead actors will keep me coming back for more. I am just as interested to learn about Matt Murdock the lawyer as Daredevil the superhero.

Daredevil is not perfect. I think the creators are sometimes, to the detriment of the plot, overly enthusiastic about no longer having to deal with television censors. However, I am really looking forward to finishing the season.”

Friend 2: “I think Daredevil did a really good job of introducing an outsider (me) and someone who doesn’t generally care for Big Two superheroes (also me) to what is undoubtedly an unholy tangled mess of continuity and backstory without info dumping or becoming utterly impenetrable.”

Friend 3: “The Netflix adaptation of Daredevil has the potential to be the comic world’s answer to The Wire drama on HBO. Daredevil is a crime drama that shows every tier of decay in the post-industrial American city – from the streets to the courtrooms and the newsrooms. Vincent D’Onofrio does a credit to his hometown of Brooklyn by portraying New York crime lord Kingpin as a calculating but very human villain. His performance shows why Kingpin is a more compelling villain than his equally bald DC Comics doppelganger Lex Luthor.”

So there you have it, folks; if you haven’t checked out Daredevil yet, I and my three friends and a bunch of other people on the internets liked it a lot; and I bet you will too. So lay in the popcorn, get comfy, and when you’re done with it, tell me what you think, and Servo Lectio!