Since Frank Miller’s iconic run on Daredevil, the character has been one of Marvel’s darkest superheroes. Daredevil, AKA Matt Murdock, is the defender of the NY neighborhood affectionately nicknamed “Hell’s Kitchen.” After saving some blind, old dude from getting hit by a truck, Murdock gains his powers when radioactive ooze falls off the truck and seeps into his eyeballs, blinding him. Soon after, his single-dad is murdered… and eventually nearly every girl Matt dates. Even though he becomes Hell’s Kitchen’s premier hero- his entire life is filled with death, deception and darkness. It is only a matter of time ‘till Daredevil snaps. That’s what the storyline Shadowland is about. After his archenemy, Bullseye, murders 107 people and enjoys every moment, Daredevil strikes an alliance with The Hand, a gang of super crazy murderous ninjas, and vows to finally take control of Hell’s Kitchen.
At this year’s inaugural Special Edition: NYC comic convention, I had the opportunity to chat with Andy Diggle, the dude who wrote one of Daredevil’s darkest runs, the Shadowland crossover, Daredevil Reborn, and a crapload of other comics. Diggle’s run was immediately followed by Mark Waid’s much lighter current run. I talked to Diggle about the contrast between his and Waid’s run, what he wants to see from the DD TV show, who he wants cast and even… BEN AFFLECK!
UTF: Hey, Andy, how are you?
I’m good, thanks.
UTF: Good. I just have a few questions. Mark Waid took over Daredevil after you and took him in such a drastic different direction. What are your opinions on that?
I think it’s probably just what the character needed at that point, to be honest. I got a lot of respect for Mark. He knows the character better than anybody. It had been a long run of very dark, gritty, doom-laden Daredevil stories by Brian Bendis, Ed Brubaker and then myself. I think when my run culminated with Daredevil Reborn it felt like it was … I really wanted to end it with a Matt Murdock story rather than a Daredevil story if you know what I mean. That kind of palate cleanser after all of that doom-and-gloom he’d been through. I think that after that like brightening it up and doing something that’s a little bit more positive is probably exactly what the character needed at that point. There’s only so many times you can hit bottom before it starts getting just a little repetitive.
UTF: It was a big bottom, though.
There you go. People, a lot of fans, wanted me to make it even darker. When it was revealed that the Beast which is this demon that the Hand worshipped in the Frank Miller run, I had him turn out to be the kind of guy pulling Matt Murdock’s strings. A lot of fans hated that. They wanted Matt Murdock to just be a murderer in his own right.
I’m like, “Really? Really?” because he’s a Marvel superhero. They tend not to go around murdering people. Maybe you have a problem about that. I think it’s because I’ve spent so many years writing dark, violent Vertigo books. I thought I can’t do that in a Marvel book, that level of darkness and cynicism. I think actually you probably can.
UTF: What would you like to see from the Daredevil TV show?
I don’t know. Just do it right, like getting the sense of almost balladic beauty to the movement. I think it’s going to be tough to follow up on TV, that kind of leaping from rooftop to rooftop vibe to it. It really needs that. If it’s just people in rooms talking, it could be great. To be Daredevil, it really needs that. In the city you almost need to be a character in its own right, I think.
UTF: Really, really. Would you do the darker version or more of a Mark Waid version?
I think somewhere in between, I think. I think something like the TV show Arrow I think strikes the right balance between superheroics and TV drama style. I’d go back to somewhere in that kind of ballpark is the way they’d want to pitch it.
UTF: Who would cast as Daredevil?
If it wasn’t for the action, I’ve always said that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who plays Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones. I always thought he’d make an excellent Matt Murdock. I don’t know if he could do a convincing American accent or not. He’s Danish or Dutch. I’m not sure. Yeah, they’ve talked about the guy from Dexter maybe playing him. I don’t know. He just doesn’t look dangerous enough to me, ironically, since he plays Dexter. I don’t know. Who do you think should play him?
UTF: I’m not sure. I’m not a good casting guy.
Those things are really important. It’s probably somebody we’ve never heard of. The ideal Matt Murdock is going to be out there waiting to be discovered.
UTF: Ben Affleck.
You know what? Ben Affleck would direct a really good Daredevil movie. I think he’s a terrific director. I really like his crime movies like Gone Baby Gone. I can imagine he’s not really eager to get back on that horse however.
UTF: Cool, thank you so much for your time.
You’re welcome. Thanks, man.