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Generally, any time the lead actor in a live-action Marvel property is announced, it’s big news. However, there was a relatively subdued reaction to the announcement that Charlie Cox had been cast as the title character of the new Marvel television show about Daredevil, part of the Netflix miniseries that will culminate in a Defenders miniseries. Part of that may be due to the fact that this isn’t a movie, but I think it’s even more related to the fact that Cox is a relative unknown, someone about whom most comic fans don’t have a strong reaction.
Cox is a British actor whose most prominent roles were as Tristan Thorn in the 2007 film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and as Owen Slater in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. Cox appeared in 23 episodes of Boardwalk Empire. He also had a small role in the first episode of the popular series Downton Abbey and a number of other roles in British TV movies. Although Cox has a boyish face, he’s actually 31-years-old. Cox doesn’t have an immediate resemblance to the way Matt Murdock is normally drawn, but I’m sure the costuming will go make a big difference.
Somewhat quietly, the Daredevil show has also replaced showrunners. The show was originally to be run by Drew Goddard (Cabin the Woods, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer), who was also slated to write a number of episodes. It now looks like Goddard will instead take on the Spider-Man spinoff Sinister Six movie project for Sony Pictures. Goddard is still an Executive Producer and has written the first two episodes for the Daredevil series.
The new showrunner will be Steven DeKnight, who recently was the Executive Producer of Starz series Spartacus: War of the Damned and mini-series Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. He has superhero TV show experience as a producer/writer on Smallville. DeKnight also has Whedon-verse experience (always an asset in Marvel Studios), having been a producer/writer on Dollhouse and Angel and a writer on Buffy. So DeKnight seems to have a good balance of experience on both action and character-driven shows, which will hopefully move the Daredevil show in the right direction. Reportedly, current Daredevil comic scribe Mark Waid is somehow involved in the show as well, which would be an excellent addition.