I’m one of those weirdos who likes 2003’s much-maligned Daredevil. This is neither a popular opinion n0r something normally acceptable to say in public but thanks to the new Daredevil and his buddy Foggy (aka Charlie Cox and Elden Henson), I feel a bit more comfortable about it.
Cox and Henson attended this weekend’s Wizard World Convention in Pittsburgh and the former was asked if he thought it was hard to win over fans again for the Netflix series after the critical failure of the film.
“I actually don’t. I actually think it’s the other way around. When I got cast in Daredevil, a friend of mine, who I was having tea with said he heard that I got that Daredevil role and I was like “Yeah, yeah. Super excited!” and he said “The bar is low. By the way, I don’t agree with that. I actually really, really liked the film and thought Ben Affleck did a really good job. I think the film is tonally a bit confused [but] I actually really enjoyed it. I think that if you make Spider-Man, and I don’t know much about the other characters to be honest, but if you make Spider-man, for example, you can make a movie for kids and adults and it can have that kind of humor because I think it’s true to the characters for the most part. Daredevil needs to be on a platform like Netflix because the source material is so dark and so complicated and so sinister at times. I think what benefited us so much was that Netflix wanted to make the show with Marvel and we were able to embrace those darker tones.”
Henson chimed in as well:
“Just so everyone knows out there – it’s not easy to make a movie. It’s really hard. No one sets out to make a bad movie or disappoint anybody. I think they were [just] making these types of superhero things in a much different way back then.”
This isn’t the first time Cox has spoken about the film. In a podcast interview in February 2015, he spoke consistently and candidly about liking the film despite its flaws, noting that Colin Farrell and Ben Affleck’s characters appeared to be in different movies. Stan Lee had a similar opinion, that they “wrote the whole thing wrong” and made the superhero “too tragic.”
For a guy who has had his balls busted plenty by fellow film geeks for my affection for the original, Cox articulates well the tonal confusion that makes it such a schizophrenic (but enjoyable!) movie. I remember as a kid admiring the kind of noir grittiness it had but, upon rewatch with age, cartoonish elements like the Elektra/Matt playground “fight” and Colin Farrell’s Bullseye are completely out of place. The Director’s Cut improves on, if not curse, several of the original version’s flaws. While we wait for Cox and Henson to return in next year’s The Defenders (and Daredevil season 3 after that), I recommend giving it a watch.