Marvel’s Daredevil Panel at New York Comic Con 2018 was hosted by Jeph Loeb, and featured showrunner Erik Oleson, actors Jay Ali, Joanne Whalley, Wilson Bethel, Elden Henson, Deborah Ann Woll, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Charlie Cox. The audience was extremely excited by the introduction of each cast member for the new season coming up.
Loeb said that last weekend, Charlie Cox got married, to audience applause, and are getting ready for their honeymoon.
Cox was asked about his changing experience of the “mythos” of the show, with the addition of Sister Maggie. He said that Matt is at an “all time low” at the end of season two, and now the new season will be about “convalescence” and “healing”. Sister Maggie will be a big part of that. He got to explore a new side of Matt, a “vulnerability”, which he found rewarding working on season three.
Whalley, who plays Sister Maggie, is new to the field of comics, and didn’t know what to expect, but didn’t realize how wonderful the scripts were going to be so great. The cast and crew have a level of excitement reading the scripts that she’s never encountered before.
Oleson was asked about working the character of Maggie, and he said that she performs the role of helping him process with “emotional honesty” all that he’s gone through in past seasons. He said it was a “real pleasure” helping create that.
Loeb said that you really can’t tell a story about Matt without telling a story about Karen and Foggy as well, since they are his “lifeline” back to the world. Oleson said he likes shows where every character is the hero of their own story, and he wanted to figure out a story structure for season 3 in which every character played a key role and none could be removed without it all “falling apart”. Karen and Foggy play a key role in deciding how to handle fear, and that includes the power of free press, law, and the power of collective action like love and friendship. These things “pull us through”, he said, to applause.
Woll said that Karen and Foggy run a lot of “errands” this season, and Henson said that Foggy is trying to find his footing without his best friend. We get to meet some of Foggy’s family, including his Dad and brother.
Karen’s world without Matt is one with a lot of guilt and unresolved feelings. She’s also never really had a home, Woll said, and it has left Karen “adrift”. She’s holding onto Matt being alive as hard as she can because the opposite would be “too hard to take”.
Jay Ali plays an FBI agent, and he gets put in charge of Wilson Fisk, basically, and it goes “really well”, Ali laughed.
Loeb spoke to D’Onofrio about the Kingpin making a “deal” with the FBI that would largely work in Kingpin’s favor somehow. D’Onofrio said, “Yeah, I like playing this part”, to laughter. Kingpin notices a “thread of disease” in a certain person, and “pulls on that thread” and he knows that if he pulls hard enough, he’ll get what he wants, which is Vanessa back in his life. Then he’s “complete”. Then there’s a little “gnat” that bothers him, D’Onofrio explained, to applause.
The villains in these stories are “antagonists” who are the heroes of their own stories, and from Fisk’s point of view, everything would be going really well if Daredevil would just “leave him alone”.
Cox said it’s weird to be the main character and also a “gnat”, but it’s an honor to be a gnat to Vincent D’Onofrio. He feels lucky that D’Onofrio wants to “come play with us”. Though he is antagonistic, of course.
Loeb asked Oleson about the “action” aspect of this season, and about whether anyone was going to “hit each other” in the show. Oleson wanted “real consequences” for violence, and for Matt to occasionally lose a fight. But the show is built on awesome action, and Oleson teased that they will “top” the hallway sequence from season one this season, to applause. There’s an action sequence with “one take”, Oleson said, and people are going to love it.
There’s also another FBI agent called “Dex”, Loeb explained, and the FBI has to bring someone in to handle this situation, and it is the beginning of a “relationship” dealing with Fisk. Bethel, who plays “Dex” said that this is the beginning of a “weird” relationship. Unfortunately for Dex, he gets taken under Fisk’s wing, Bethel said, and it’s not that “positive” in result.
Footage and Loeb confirmed that Dex is an “origin story” for an “iconic character”, Bullseye. Wilson was allowed to say “who he will become”. Benjamin Poindexter will ultimately become Bullseye. Bethel had a bullseye drawn on his forehead with a sharpie, to laughter.
Asked about looking at Dex’s life, Oleson said that Bullseye is one of the great characters in comics, and here they wanted to be “character driven”, so telling the story of how a real person ultimately ends up becoming that iconic character was a big deal to him. It’s a person “teetering” between light and darkness, and this heroic person becomes a villain due to Fisk’s psychological manipulation. “It gets very weird”, Bethel confirmed.
Oleson said Marvel let them go more deeply into Bullseye’s character than they expected, he said. D’Onofrio was asked about his interaction with Dex and Bullseye, as well as Bethel. D’Onofrio joked that he and Bethel “looked into each other’s eyes and…” to laughter. D’Onofrio described Bethel as “having a lot of guts”. They put in 100% effort each take, with “some intense moments on set that were thrilling”, D’Onofrio said.
Ali said that it’s a world where you have to “pick a side” between good and evil, and we know “where this guy’s going to go” and that will impact his character, too. “I’m sure it’ll all be fine”, he joked.
Asked about creating Fisk’s iconic voice that has played so well with fans, D’Onofrio said that as a method actor, he chose a real memory and experience from his life, and channeled it into a sound, “low and gutteral” which became the basis of Fisk’s voice.
On October 19th on Netflix, we’ll see the show drop for season three.
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