In the latest disappointing-but-unsurprising confirmation that the studio has lost the plot when it comes to their take on the Man Without Fear, Marvel is reportedly going to great lengths to ensure that their upcoming Daredevil: Born Again has absolutely no connection with the hero’s previous Netflix series.
Word of Marvel’s outlook towards the upcoming Disney Plus series was first made public courtesy of professional Hollywood stuntman Chris Brewster, who most notably served as the stunt double for both Chris Evans in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Charlie Cox in all three seasons of the original Daredevil, during a June 21st appearance on the Ikuzo Unscripted podcast.
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Amidst a discussion regarding his time working on the fan-favorite Marvel series, co-host Peter Dzakovic made note of the fact that Brewster would not be working on Born Again before going on to ask his guest whether or not his absence was “something that can change?”
“Because it seems, at least to me, that you are, it seems, the go-to-guy for Marvel [stunt] visuals,” he added, making reference to the veteran stunt man’s further studio credits as either a stunt coordinator or performer on Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Agents of S.H.I.E.LD., The Defenders, The Punisher, Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Ms. Marvel.
Admitting that “It’s probably too late to change it now,” the veteran stunt man further buried any hopes of his return by revealing that, “Marvel has told every person working on that show that they don’t want Born Again to look anything like the Netflix Daredevil series.”
Met with shock and disappointment by Dzakovic and his co-host Luka Vucic, Brewster admitted that he shared in their frustrations, asserting, “Trust me, not only did I work on the show, I was one of the biggest fans of the show. I think that the Marvel Netflix Daredevil was a masterpiece.”
“I think that the casting was perfect,” he explained. “I think that every showrunner, every person who worked on that show, was a genius. It was an incredible experience and in my opinion, and like most people agree on, it was Marvel’s best streaming show. I think that Charlie and Vincent absolutely crushed it as their characters. I think that every person who worked on the show absolutely nailed it.”
Sadly, while Brewster had nothing but praise to lavish upon Horn Head’s Netflix adventures, he conversely lamented how, “I think that, now that the MCU has taken over the character, they are really, really hurting it.”
“If you watched She-Hulk, they turned Daredevil into a cartoon,” he said. “It’s all animated and it looks bad. I love CG to enhance real movement, but if you don’t have any real movement, it just becomes a cartoon. It’s just CG. There’s no weight to it.”
“And what always made the action on Daredevil so good is that it was visceral,” Brewster then asserted. ” You felt what Charlie was feeling. Between his performance, and just being in there, in the action. And anything that you saw, we really did, you know. We had to put somebody on a wire. [When] We needed something to enhance the movement we would [use CG], but it was never a cartoon. It was live-action. And you will never match the energy that live-action has.”
“So I think you know, that She-Hulk was a massive step-down as far as the movement goes and the action,” he told Vucic and Dzakovic. “Echo isn’t out yet but I’ve heard it’s just as bad. I’d heard they were going to Batgirl it because they weren’t happy with it, and now they’re doing reshoots and they’re planning on airing it – but I think that could also do with the fact that there’s a strike, and there’s not a lot of content right now, so they’re like ‘Well, we have it made already’.”
Returning to the topic of Daredevil’s Disney Plus outing, Brewster recalled, “Ultimately, Born Again, I had no doubt that they were gonna reach out to me. Charlie specifically requests me on everything, he always goes out of his way and fights for me to be there, and he asked them over and over to bring me in, and I never even got a phone call.”
“Ironically, nobody who worked on seasons one, two, or three, went back,” he noted before, in the hopes of truly driving the point home, reiterating, “They really, truly don’t want it to be anything like the Marvel Netflix Daredevil, “So, nobody that worked on the original series, other than the cast that they’re bringing back, is coming back.”
“There were some truly, truly wonderful people who worked on that show, and I think they really added to the magic of that show, and I think that Marvel’s making a big mistake,” the stuntman concluded. “But what are you going to do?”
Notably, this is not the first time that Daredevil’s upcoming change of character has been hinted at by those involved with either of his Netflix or Disney debuts.
Speaking to the series’ direction during the 2022 D23 Expo, Cox himself revealed that Born Again “is a Season 1, it is not Season 4, so it is a whole new thing. Which I think is the way to go. If you are going to do it again, do it differently.”
“I haven’t seen a script,” he added. “My feeling is, based on the title ‘Born Again,’ I think that the sense is it is a new beginning, it is going to be different, it is going to be totally different. It is going to be new stories, and new ideas.”
The actor would further confirm this change in direction during a later interview with NME, asserting, “This has to be a reincarnation, it has to be different, otherwise why are we doing it?”
“My opinion is this character works best when he’s geared towards a slightly more mature audience,” he detailed to the magazine. “My instinct is that on Disney+ it will be dark but it probably won’t be as gory.”
Asked if he had any words for the many fans who found themselves disappointed by Born Again’s decision to embrace a lighter tone, Cox replied, “I would say to those people, we’ve done that.”
“Let’s take the things that really worked, but can we broaden?” he continued. “Can we appeal to a slightly younger audience without losing what we’ve learned about what works?”
Likewise, D’Onofrio told Newsweek earlier this year that Born Again “is going to be very, very different than the Netflix show, and it’s so exciting because what we’re doing is quite something.”
“I think it’s something that people are not going to expect,” he elaborated. “But, always with these Marvel old comic stories that are being revisited and reinvented by us actors, and the writers, the main thing is to answer the fans.”
“To give them what they want but try to be original in some way at the same time, and so that’s what we’re doing on the show,” the actor further detailed. “It’s definitely an original way to look at this, and it’s really deep, really emotional.”
At current, Daredevil: Born Again is on track to hit Hell’s Kitchen sometime in 2024.