Dare­devil s3

SMALL SCREEN SENSES BIG CHANGE AFOOT IN DARE­DEVIL S3…

Total Film - - Contents -

We join Char­lie Cox on set of the third sea­son of Net­flix’s mighty Marvel show.

Char­lie Cox is kneel­ing down in the gloom, prac­tis­ing his safe­crack­ing skills. “Whose idea was it to do this in the dark?” he quips, fid­dling with the dial. The lack of light, of course, isn’t re­ally an is­sue for his char­ac­ter, blind lawyer Matt Mur­dock, aka NYC su­per­hero Dare­devil. It’s early March and Small Screen has ar­rived in Brook­lyn to watch a key mo­ment from Sea­son 3 of the Net­flix/Marvel show.

Episode eight – of 13 – sees Mur­dock and new­comer FBI agent Rahul ‘Ray’ Nadeem (Jay Ali) scop­ing out an apart­ment. But to tell you whom it be­longs to would con­sti­tute a ma­jor spoiler… What is clear is that Mur­dock has re­cu­per­ated from his near-death ex­pe­ri­ence – buried un­der­neath a col­lapsed build­ing – at the end of

The De­fend­ers, the 2017 minis­eries that brought to­gether Dare­devil and fel­low he­roes Jes­sica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage to fight su­pervil­lain or­gan­i­sa­tion The Hand.

“The sea­son picks up months af­ter The De­fend­ers,” ex­plains in­com­ing showrun­ner Erik Ole­son. “Matt is badly in­jured from what hap­pens

at the end of that show. He starts the sea­son un­able to be Dare­devil to the ex­tent that we’re fa­mil­iar with, be­cause his in­juries have re­duced his abil­i­ties. He’s grap­pling with that.” Af­ter be­ing nursed back to health in a con­vent, the Catholic-raised Mur­dock be­gins to wres­tle with his faith in S3. “I think he has started to ques­tion the benev­o­lence of a god, of a higher power,” says the Bri­tish-born Cox, who notes that he and Ole­son spent time be­fore shoot­ing talk­ing about how Mur­dock’s been shaped by events.

JUS­TICE FA­TIGUE

Con­flicted, em­bit­tered… this is not the crime-fight­ing Matt we know from ear­lier episodes. “In a third sea­son, you want to do some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent,” ar­gues Cox. “You don’t want to be the same. I’m re­ally in­ter­ested in the char­ac­ter’s at­ti­tude to­wards ev­ery­thing: to­wards him­self, to­wards his friends, to­wards his life, and how that changes.” Chief among his friends, of course, is fel­low jus­tice-seeker and one-time law-firm part­ner, Franklin ‘Foggy’ Nel­son (Elden Hen­son). “I think Foggy is def­i­nitely a lit­tle bit haunted by what he thinks is Matt’s death and def­i­nitely blames him­self for it,” says Hen­son. “What’s been ex­cit­ing for me is to just see Foggy step out from Matt’s shadow a lit­tle bit and be­come his own man.”

The sea­son’s fo­cus on change is re­flected off-screen too, with Ole­son ar­riv­ing to take over as showrun­ner from Sea­son 2’s Dou­glas Petrie and Marco Ramirez. Ole­son’s last gig was head writer/pro­ducer on the last sea­son of Ama­zon’s The Man In

The High Cas­tle. But it’s his per­sonal back­ground – his fa­ther worked in the in­tel­li­gence ser­vices – that’s im­pact­ing Dare­devil’s lat­est arc.

“I grew up in the spy world and am a stu­dent of trade craft,” says Ole­son. “Wil­son Fisk… I’m treat­ing him like a spy­mas­ter this year.” Yes, that’s right. Sea­son 1’s main vil­lain, the crim­i­nal King­pin (played by Vin­cent D’Onofrio) is back on the streets af­ter his spell be­hind bars.

“We all have his­tory with him,” notes Deb­o­rah Ann Woll, who plays Mur­dock’s ally Karen Page. In her case, that in­cludes gun­ning down Fisk’s right-hand man James Wes­ley in Sea­son 1. “That’s re­ally scary and won­der­ful,” Woll adds. “Es­pe­cially for a fe­male in the se­ries. It puts Fisk and Karen on a level to­gether that I re­ally like.” De­spite draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion from the work of leg­endary ’80s Dare­devil scribe Frank Miller, Ole­son says the sto­ry­line is an orig­i­nal. “It is one which will hope­fully scratch the itch of all of the su­per-fans out there be­cause there’s a lot of stuff they will recog­nise and jump out of their chair scream­ing, ‘Holy shit, I just can’t be­lieve they just did that.’”

NUN’S THE WORD

The­mat­i­cally, says Ole­son, this sea­son will be about fear. “It’s my be­lief that we are all trapped by our fears and only when we face our fears are we able to be our best selves.” For Mur­dock, his great­est fear would be to lose his pur­pose, says Cox. “One of the things he’s clung to is this pur­pose that he has; try­ing to nav­i­gate that pur­pose has been an emo­tional strug­gle.”

Fur­ther ad­di­tions to the cast in­clude Hart Of Dixie star Wil­son Bethel (the in­ter­net’s ablaze with the ru­mour that he’s play­ing sharp-shoot­ing as­sas­sin Bulls­eye). Then there’s Joanne Whal­ley as nun Sis­ter Mag­gie (no con­fir­ma­tion yet on whether Mag­gie is also Matt’s mother, as in the Miller-cre­ated Born Again sto­ry­line).

As for Ali, his FBI agent is at­tempt­ing to get Fisk to rat on other crim­i­nals to se­cure his prison re­lease. “What’s go­ing on with my char­ac­ter’s sit­u­a­tion is very rel­e­vant to what’s go­ing on in the world to­day,” he says, when he steps off set and out of the dark­ness. “How some­one in power can ma­nip­u­late some­one who is not in power.” Now, can some­one turn on the lights? James Mot­tram

DARE­DEVIL SEA­SON 3 LAUNCHES LATER THIS YEAR ON NET­FLIX.

‘HE HAS STARTED TO QUES­TION THE BENEV­O­LENCE OF A GOD’ CHAR­LIE COX

Deb­o­rah Ann Woll also re­turns as Karen Page.

Back in the black ban­dana of Sea­son 1.

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