In a creative landscape where you can’t swing a cat without hitting a superhero movie or TV show, it’s becoming harder and harder to rise above the din. Much to the surprise of many, this year saw Daredevil do just that. This success can be attributed to any number of factors with hindsight being 20/20: Charlie Cox assuming the role of the titular hero, the amazing cinematography, the incomparable performance from Vincent D’Onofrio as the Kingpin. But in the end, it boils down to the work of Joss Whedon protégés Drew Goddard and Steven DeKnight.
Goddard’s resumé is extensive to say the very least, having worked as a writer for Lost and Alias, before moving on to both write and direct meta-horror masterpiece, The Cabin in the Woods. Steven DeKnight has a similarly impressive body of work that includes Spartacus, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Angel. With their powers combined, the duo took Daredevil from “obscure reclamation project” to “cultural phenomenon.” All this made it that much more upsetting when it was announced neither would be returning as writers for Season 2.
First, the positives. Both Goddard and DeKnight parted from Daredevil on amicable terms. Goddard left to focus on writing for Sony’s Spider-Man villain spin-off, Sinister Six, while DeKnight was invited to join Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Zak Penn, and others in the Transformers writing staff. That being so, Goddard is still hanging around as an executive producer and consultant, making it so his unique creative touch still lingers in the wake of stepping down from a more hands-on role. The future still is bright despite the loss of both men, put into the more than capable hands of Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez.
The new showrunners have resumés worthy of the people they’re replacing. Petrie’s writing credits include Buffy, Pushing Daisies, and American Horror Story, while Ramirez has spent time on Sons of Anarchy, Orange is the New Black, and Da Vinci’s Demons. It’s a history of solid shows with amazing writing that gives us hope for the next season of Daredevil. Given the fact that a large majority of Marvel writers and showrunners come straight from the Joss Whedon school of screenwriting, it looks like we’ll be getting talent of that caliber in Petrie and Ramirez.
Goddard and DeKnight are difficult acts to follow, especially for a show like Daredevil that’s been heralded across the board as the imagining of the Man Without Fear that he’s always deserved. We’ve seen what can go wrong thanks to Ben Affleck’s try at the role back in 2003, and subsequently everything that can go right this year. With a clear roadmap of dos and don’ts and talented successors in Ramirez and Petrie, things are boding well for Marvel’s most intriguing and unique series.
The original team behind Daredevil will almost certainly be missed. Much of this blow though is softened by equally talented replacements. Marvel has big plans for their collection of Netflix shows, with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders all on tap. Once we get to The Defenders, it’ll be more important than ever to have consistent, established creative minds on board for the long run. Thanks to Petrie and Ramirez (among others), we can rest easy in the future of both Daredevil, and the assortment of heroes fighting alongside him.
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