With Daredevil coming to the small screen in 2015 courtesy of Netflix and Marvel we take a look at some of the actors and actresses that could pull of hte major roles on the upcoming series…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Now that Marvel has made a deal with Netflix to bring four characters to life with new series set to debut in 2015 with a minimum of at least 13 episodes, the time has come to cast our favorite heroes and villains for the upcoming shows.
The biggest rock star name among the four new series is of course Daredevil — the tale of a blind lawyer from Hell’s Kitchen named Matt Murdock who has his senses heightened after the accident that took his sight, also gave him some tremendous new abilities. He now prowls around in the night stopping bad from being done to good people while also trying to keep his real life centered with business partner Franklin ‘Foggy’ Nelson.
While Marvel (or Netflix for that matter) have released any information on who will be running the shows or how they will begin casting, there’s no better time than the present to look at some possible candidates to fill some of the most famous roles. From Daredevil to Elektra to Bullseye, the list of possibilities are endless but to ensure that there’s not another Ben Affleck/Michael Clarke Duncan situation, we’ve compiled a few actors and actresses that hopefully land on Marvel’s radar.
In a series about Daredevil, there’s no better place to start than at the top and casting this pivotal role is essential in the series ultimately making it on top or coming out a flop. The thing about Daredevil that makes him such a great character is the fact that in real life, Matt Murdock is a blind lawyer, who is fairly unassuming in his daily life. He’s not an imposing figure who would tower over everyone (which is where Affleck’s bad casting began because he’s north of 6’2″, which is like sasquatch sized in Hollywood). Daredevil needs to carry the kind of angst that makes him edgy when he puts the mask on and still carry that anger and rage just under the surface when he’s acting as an attorney in Hell’s Kitchen.
The top choice to fill the role of Daredevil is none other than Michael Pitt. While playing Boardwalk Empire’s Jimmy Darmody, he was calm and cool on the surface while tunneling a fountain of rage throughout his scenes on the show. He’s got the boyish good looks that match up with Murdock’s and he’s a quiet type on screen until it’s time to release his inner animal. Outside of Boardwalk Empire, check out the film Funny Games where Pitt plays a psychopath hell bent on tormenting a family for no other reason than he felt like doing it. There’s a creepy calmness in Pitt’s acting in that film that would seem perfectly translated into a character like Daredevil.
Pitt has done TV before so he’s obviously open to those sorts of roles, although he has been somewhat aloof in his choices and only seems to target projects that truly interest him so one can only hope he’s a comic book fan deep down inside and wouldn’t mind strapping on a latex suit and picking up a billy club.
Now if Pitt isn’t your cup of tea or isn’t interested in doing a superhero series, another name that comes to mind is Game of Thrones actor Richard Madden. He’s available (sorry Red Wedding) and he’s very similar to Pitt with his ability to pull off smoldering intensity while still maintaining his vitality and vigor in every scene. He’s also a ginger, although you’d neverknow it by his role on the popular HBO series, so he’s already a leg up on the competition given his natural red hair similar to that of Matt Murdock.
Franklin ‘Foggy’ Nelson
The role of Daredevil’s best friend and confidant is a very important role in the series as well. While Foggy won’t be joining Daredevil on the streets at night, he’s a moral compass for Matt at work and also provides some much needed comic relief in an otherwise very serious series. He always has Matt’s best interests at heart, despite the fact that Matt rarely listens to him. Foggy will be integral to the new show, and so his casting while secondary to the lead character of Matt Murdock, is still crucial to make this fly
An actor who can pull of funny as quickly as he could pull of serious, Josh Gad is the perfect embodiment of Franklin Nelson. Gad is a former star on Broadway where he worked and won a Tony award for his role in the hit from South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker called ‘The Book of Mormon’. He’s also played Apple visionary Steve Wozniak in the film ‘Jobs’ and has done a lot of TV in the past as well. He’s a fantastic sidekick and he would play that great opposite someone like Pitt or Madden if they were holding down the fort as Daredevil.
Matt Murdock’s former college flame turned deadly assassin Elektra Natchios almost has to show up in a Daredevil series at some point. Whether she would be used in season one or not is hard to tell, but hopefully if she is introduced it’s done so in a tactful manner and her entire story isn’t told over the span of two hours (yes, I’m looking at you Daredevil movie!). She’s a highly skilled martial artist, who can go toe to toe with the best, and she’s obviously not hurting anyone’s eyes in the looks department.
Deborah Ann Woll
I couldn’t picture a better choice for Elektra than current True Blood star Deborah Ann Woll. This fiery red head is capable of pulling off some pretty amazing scenes where she’s flirty and fun one minute and then turns the tables and goes venomous the next. She’s got the acting to play Elektra when she’s not in ninja mode, but she’s off the charts sexy when she locks eyes with anybody on screen. She’s young enough to pull off the martial arts, but old enough to play Murdock’s college girlfriend. Woll has been stuck playing a teenager for years on True Blood, but the reality is she’s 28 years old and a turn as Elektra could be the perfect next step for this up and coming actress.
Daredevil has a rogue’s gallery of villains just like most superheroes that have been around as long as he has, but none are bigger than his arch nemesis Wilson Fisk aka The Kingpin. A massive, mountain of a man, Fisk is the mob boss who continuously pops up on Matt Murdock’s radar both in his law practice and at night when he’s protecting the streets as Daredevil. In a perfect world it would have been James Gandolfini playing this role because he was the perfect Tony Soprano, which was an even more menacing version of The Kingpin, but alas we lost him this year and we are all saddened by that fact. But who else could fill that role? Who has the acting chops to play the big bad of the Daredevil universe?
Now the first thing that people are going to say when seeing Clancy Brown’s name is the fact that’s he’s not a physically imposing figure like Kingpin is supposed to be. But the problem is if you cast a role based purely on physical stature, you end up losing many times when it comes to the actual acting. Beyond anything else, Kingpin is a mastermind who orders up hits like you and I order up pancakes. He’s a vicious, maniacal mob boss who shows no fear in the face of Daredevil or any other authority figure that stands in his path. For proof that Brown can pull off that kind of role just check out his two season run as Brother Justin in the HBO series ‘Carnivale’.
Brown also has the deep, bellowing voice that echoes in a scene and he’s got a look in his eyes that’s undeniably evil. He’s also an imposing 6’4″ tall, which helps him stand opposite someone like Pitt, who stands 5’11”. A highly underrated powerhouse, Brown could definitely stand out in a role like the one he’s play as Wilson Fisk. Maybe ask him to pack on some pounds to pad out the role, but overall it’s about acting and not looks but the great part is he can pull off both if given the right material and space to work.
While he’s pretty high up on the wish list, Michael Chiklis could definitely pull off Kingpin as well. His role as Vin Mackey on The Shield should pretty much sum up everything he’d need to do to play this part, and he’s just a fantastic actor on top of it all. Of course we’ll forgive him for playing The Thing in two awful attempts to get The Fantastic Four on screen, but between that and his part on the short lived series No Ordinary Family. He’s got the look of Kingpin down already and given the right material he could kill this part and end up with a few more award nominations (and hopefully a few wins) as well.
One of Daredevil’s greatest enemies, Bullseye never misses his mark when it comes to tormenting our lead character and if he makes an appearance in the new series that can’t be off target either. It’s going to take someone to play him who is capable of dark and disturbing mixed with a healthy dose of sociopathic. Bullseye isn’t a character we’ll ever know much about with his home life or how he got to be where he is, but when he arrives he’s a tour de force of violence and mayhem. A couple of different ideas come to mind for Bullseye if he appears in the new Daredevil series
Best known as Quinn on the Showtime series ‘Homeland’, Rupert Friend has already played a morally questionable spy and international operative so it’s not a far reach to see him take on the role of an assassin like Bullseye. If Homeland is still ongoing it’s hard to imagine him taking on a series like Daredevil, but he wouldn’t be the first actor to pull double duty for the right role. If Friend isn’t available there’s another name that could be perfect for Bullseye…
Ben Foster is no stranger to superhero roles having played Warren Worthington aka Angel in the third X-Men film a few years ago, but it’s a film like ‘Alpha Dog’ where he showcases the perfect level of insanity and physical presence he would need to play a killer like Bullseye. His crazy, wide eyed look is second to none and he can get down right scary when the cameras are rolling, and Foster would need that kind of psychosis to get into the role of Bullseye.
Daredevil and Foggy’s secretary and eventually love interest for Matt Murdock would seem like a sure thing for the upcoming TV series. Page has an undying crush on Murdock (at least in the comics) and it would be interesting to see how she interacts with Foggy and Matt at work, giving a little more depth to the characters when Daredevil isn’t on the screen. She eventually becomes involved with Murdock, hooked on drugs, and all kinds of other scenarios so whoever plays her will need to have a range of acting talents in their arsenal.
Actress Rebecca Hall would be great in this role and for evidence of that check out her portrayal as a bank manager turned hostage turned unknowing pawn in the 2010 film ‘The Town’. She’s wonderfully emotional, which is absolutely necessary for the role of Karen Page given the fact that she’s no super hero or heroine, and Hall can also stand toe to toe with other acting heavyweights like Ben Affleck (in a role he was actually meant to play) or Jeremy Renner. Granted, Hall hasn’t done a lot of TV in her life but she’s got the chops to play this part if the producers decide to add Karen Page to the mix.
Reporter Ben Urich is a great side character in the Daredevil universe, and given the wide range of ways this series could go in terms of past stories from the comic books being told he would be a great addition to the cast. Urich is unassuming as all reporters seem to be in the comic book world, but he’s got the aged wisdom of many years behind the typewriter to see through a haze of bullshit that clouds the pages of his paper when covering the crime scene in Hell’s Kitchen.
Veteran character actor Mitch Pileggi has played in everything from The X-Files to Grey’s Anatomy to Sons of Anarchy and every single time he’s been spot on in the role he’s played. Adding reporter and journalist to his acting resume could be a fun role for Pileggi, and he would be a perfect Ben Urich on screen.
So there you have it folks our list of the best and brightest out there that could fill the roles of Daredevil and his cast of characters for the upcoming TV series. Whether one or none of these actors and actresses actually end up landing any of these roles is unknown, but it’s at least a jumping off point for what everyone hopes will be a stellar show debuting on Netflix in 2015.
Who did we miss? Who did we get wrong? Leave your comments below and tell us who should be playing Daredevil in the upcoming series