Save Daredevil

A Note. The interview involved several participants over email. Because of this, the group elected to respond to some questions as a collective. When they offered a collective response, I referred to them as “Save Daredevil.” Additionally, several of the participants requested a certain level of anonymity. We have honored this request by using only the first names.

Sometimes even superheroes need saving. Rare though it may be, it remains true. In fact, the Save Daredevil campaign is looking to do just that. Ever since Netflix announced the cancellation of the series while Season 3 was still getting huzzahs from fans and critics alike, the grassroots organization has pursued a variety of approaches in getting their message out: the DAREDEVIL series is a good thing and worth fighting for.

With Hulu electing to maintain their relationship with Marvel Television for shows like RUNAWAYS and Disney+ on the horizon, their remains hope in the group that DAREDEVIL will be able to find a new home. ComicsVerse spoke to several members of Save Daredevil via email. We wanted to see where they started, how far they have gone, and what they think the future holds.

Save Daredevil: Red costume
Charlie Cox may have taken on the chin, but Save Daredevil is confident he can get back into the costume. (Courtesy of Netflix)

Dedicated to Save Daredevil

ComicsVerse: What sparked such a deep connection to Netflix’s DAREDEVIL for you? Was there a particular character or moment that really made an imprint on you?

Shelby: I became a fan of Netflix’s DAREDEVIL immediately after the teaser/trailer for the first season was released. Charlie Cox’s performance and the grit shown in those couple minutes of trailer footage was enough for me to know that this show was something special and would change my life. And it has.

Kristina: My grandfather was born blind, and I was immediately transfixed at how good Mr. Cox’s performance was. As the show went on, I loved that it wasn’t a villain-of-the-week show. Rather, it felt like a 13-hour origin story. The long form definitely worked for this story. Also, I loved that it was geared towards a more mature audience.

Erica: I got hooked on DAREDEVIL watching episode 2 of season 1. I personally like it ‘cause you get more of Matt the human being instead of Matt the lawyer. You see a man pushed to the limit. Charlie’s performance in that episode from the air in his chest to acting blind. And obviously, the end fight scene is superb!

Leslie: I had been a fan of the character, but the Netflix show, without a doubt, intensified those feelings exponentially. The first season was so unique in its storytelling, in its look and feel. Casting Charlie Cox, who had already made a big impression as the romantic and fierce Owen Sleater on BOARDWALK EMPIRE, was a stroke of genius. He may not be a tall redhead, but he perfectly embodied Matt Murdock’s charming, tortured soul. His love for the character was infectious.

Phyllis: Between the brilliant casting, gripping storylines, cinematic production quality, and gritty world building, it was pretty easy to fall for DAREDEVIL as a show. Seeing how the show would build upon this amazing foundation with each season, easily one-upping its achievements from the last made this a series worth loving. But at the heart of it all is something very human and real and accessible. That explains why so many people connect to the show so deeply, even if it’s in different ways.

Ayesha: This was the first time I’d seen such an empowering portrayal of a disabled character. Matt Murdock didn’t let his blindness stop him from achieving his goals, and while his supersenses made him different from both sighted and vision-impaired people, they didn’t completely negate his disability. And yet he never gave up. No matter how many obstacles he faced. I couldn’t help but root for him as a character, and Charlie Cox’s performance was always compelling and beautiful.

Van: I’ve been reading DD since I was a kid. I adore Matt Murdock. Seeing this show respect the comic canon and tuck Easter eggs into season one was surreal. And validating on some levels, too. Every season felt like a love letter to the comics fans and they did it while embracing non-comic fans, but the thing that shocked me most was the quality of the production, the acting, the writing, the stunt work, everything was cinema grade and brilliant. Then they just one-upped themselves every season and continued to blow my mind!

Save Daredevil; The Trio
Elden Henson, Deborah Ann Woll, and Charlie Cox gather for a drink in DAREDEVIL Season 1. (Courtesy of Netflix)

CV: Many shows meet cancellation before their time. That said, rarely do such shows provoke as massive and as organized a response as the cancellation of DAREDEVIL. Even other similarly beloved cancelled too soon shows envy this response. What about the show do you think has sparked such loyalty?

Save Daredevil: First of all, the show itself is something truly worth fighting for: the superior quality of the production, consistently brilliant, thoughtful writing, high-caliber fight choreography, and captivating performances across the board made it a stand out right away. That it still stands out in 2019, especially in a genre that’s operating near peak saturation in TV and movies right now, says a lot. But we also believe there simply isn’t another superhero show like DAREDEVIL. It showcases a disabled hero with very human issues and struggles. Matt may have powers, but they’re not big and flashy. He’s very fallible, and loses…a lot. But he always gets back up and fights for justice, his city, his family, and it’s hard to love a show about a superhero like that without internalizing some of that good Stand and Fight morality.

When DAREDEVIL was canceled, we’d already lost IRON FIST and LUKE CAGE, so we knew the writing was on the wall. But it was clear that DAREDEVIL’s cancellation in particular had nothing to do with quality, audience size, or fan fervor, and everything to do with corporate infighting and streaming service wars.

Loyal fans watched for three seasons as Matt, Foggy and Karen formed a beautiful, albeit rocky bond, and just as they were about to get the band back together the rug was cruelly pulled out from under them, and us. In a show so focused on justice, this felt distinctly unjust and some of us decided we would not go down without a fight. Marvel Netflix wanted us invested in these shows. So we invested. And we’re still invested, and we’re not going anywhere. We’re here to fight for what we love and for the cast, crew, and creative team of DAREDEVIL to have the opportunity to realize their vision and end the series on their own terms.

Save Daredevil: Black costume
Several of the Save Daredevil group point to Season 3 as their favorite season. (Courtesy of Netflix)

CV: Even as you fight for the show, celebrating it has been emphasized. There remains a real sense of joy connected to DAREDEVIL with all of you. For each of you, do you have a favorite moment? A favorite season?

Shelby: That is the hardest question ever! My favorite moment is from S1 and it’s also my favorite DD quote, when Matt tells Claire, “You can’t give in to the fear.” It’s a quote that has stuck with me and that I do my best to live by. My favorite season is most definitely S3.

Kristina: My “favorite moments” would be an entire dissertation, so I won’t go there.  But Season 3 was remarkable.  It had a singular focus and never let up until the final episode.  – Kristina

Erica: It is REALLY hard to pick just one moment from all the incredible seasons. I personally love the fight scenes. Chris Brewster and the rest of the stunt team did such a fantastic job with them. And my favorite season will have to be season 3. Matt grows a lot in this season from the lowest of lows, to beating Fisk and becoming himself again.

Leslie: Each season is so different. I love so many things about them. But if you twist my arm, it’s Matt and Foggy’s caring and heart-rending relationship that captured my heart. If we are lucky enough to get more seasons, I’m going to need a lot more of them in friendship mode. Also, I’d be remiss if Chris Brewster and the thrilling and masterful fight choreography didn’t get a mention. We fight for Chris as much as we do Charlie as his presence is elemental to the Daredevil we love.

Phyllis: I have the hardest time choosing favorites so I won’t try to do it here. Instead, I’ll show some appreciation to the show in general – it’s managed to come out with three very different seasons under three different showrunners but still feel like it was all part of a singular and thoroughly engaging narrative. That really amazes me and reminds me that every season has been an incredible accomplishment!

Ayesha: I love all of DAREDEVIL. There are scenes and moments from all three seasons that I love and adore. If I had to pick a few favorites, the 11-min one take prison fight from s3 ep4 is one, the rooftop arguments between Punisher and Daredevil from s2 ep3 are another, but the standout has to be the Daredevil Kingpin showdown from the s3 finale. Season 3 had a kind of magic I’d rarely witnessed before in a TV show.

Van: The campaign has always wanted to make sure the cast and crew felt appreciated for what they’ve achieved, and that has been remarkably easy to do. Much easier than trying to name a favorite scene. I see the show more as three acts in one story rather than seasons, I cherish it all for different reasons, but I especially love how the stunt work helps to define the characterization of Matt Murdock and Daredevil: the season one hallway fight to return a little boy to his father, or the rooftop philosophical argument with Frank Castle that turned into a multilevel battle, or the ebb and flow in that last three-way fight between Fisk, Dex, and Matt. Phil Silvera, Chris Brewster, and their stunt teams gave us such incredible storytelling for three seasons and #SaveDaredevil would like that to continue.

Save Daredevil: Bullseye
Wilson Bethel looks as though he just heard the news about not getting a chance to go full Bullseye. (Courtesy of Netflix)

Save Daredevil in Action

CV: How did the billboards in Times Square campaign come together? Beyond that specific campaign, this group has organized so well. How did that come to be? Especially given how you sprung up from just random individuals across the country and internationally?

Save Daredevil: For the Times Square campaign: We’d already planned and announced our first official in-person meetup for the #FandomWithoutFear — a moniker coined by one of our team to rally DAREDEVIL fans who wanted to be involved with #SaveDaredevil — and it just so happened a very generous and passionate DAREDEVIL fan halfway around the world wanted to donate the screen time in Times Square for us to commemorate that event! We simply made sure to create an amazing ad for the space. That it got as much press as it did went way beyond our wildest expectations but we’re also grateful it connected with so many fans and got the word out about Save Daredevil!

When it comes to the group behind the campaign and how we organize, we’ve been fortunate to attract many smart, talented, and inspiring individuals who all shared a love and passion for Daredevil and just don’t know the meaning of the word quit! Everyone has played a crucial part in keeping the engine of the campaign running, whether it’s helping to manage our social media presence (we have multiple people across all of our platforms!), tweeting on a consistent basis about #SaveDaredevil, strategizing for big campaign events, editing website copy, finding the latest industry news that relates to our cause, or simply dropping in some words of encouragement for the day.

No matter how big or small the contribution, everyone manages to operate on the same page because it’s not about any one person, it’s about the goal. It no longer feels like we’re random individuals spread out across the globe, but like a team of real people in one room, communicating frequently and positively and supporting each other every day.

And by setting this as the standard for our main team, we’ve seen how it’s rippled out into the greater fandom, and how quickly the Fandom Without Fear has taken up the baton of positivity, unity, and enthusiasm as well. We didn’t start with a huge group, but it certainly feels like one massive team up now.

Save Daredevil: Priestly Consultation
Charlie Cox seeks the counsel of Peter McRobbie. (Courtesy of Netflix)

CV: How has it felt to see your message reach so far? It has not just been fans. We have all seen several of the actors in the show name checked and highlighted Save Daredevil.

Save Daredevil: We’re grateful for all of the actors who have spoken up on our behalf. They’ve donated their time and voice and status to help our cause and it’s humbling, and beautiful. We love the cast so much and we know they were as shocked, frustrated, and heartbroken over the cancellation as we all were.

The early support we received from cast members like Amy Rutberg, Geoffrey Cantor, Sunita Deshpande, Royce Johnson, and Peter Halpin was extremely validating for our campaign and crucial in kickstarting some momentum. It set the stage for Vincent D’Onofrio stepping in to tweet his direct support of our website — a surreal yet incredible gift. With Charlie Cox’s endorsement during Ace Comic Con, where he directly acknowledged our #SaveDaredevil team members during his panel and encouraged everyone in the audience to sign the petition, that was a moment that gave us a real sense of — we’re really all in this together right now.

It wasn’t just fans acting in our own self-interest. This is something that means a lot to the actors and everyone who worked on the show. And the positive feedback we’ve received from those below the line is just as important as the comments we’ve gotten from the actors, because we’re fighting for all of them.

What’s Next

CV: In a perfect world, what would you hope would be DAREDEVIL’s fate? Do you want it as an ongoing on some other service? One big final season? What’s that dream resolution?

Save Daredevil: In a perfect world, we would love to see Marvel and Disney sit down with Netflix to renegotiate and release the show (and the rest of THE DEFENDERS-verse) from its existing contractual stipulations. We appreciate business is business and cancellations are par for the course. However by holding these characters — and others — hostage for at least two years, Netflix is punishing talent and creating animosity and mistrust amongst consumers. Reassessing that strategy could go a long way in rectifying that. With Disney in control of Hulu now, and more Marvel content on the horizon, DAREDEVIL would fit in perfectly. And it would be an effective way to lure new subscribers as they grow internationally.

We’d love to see Hulu host the previous seasons and allow the existing team to come back and pick up where they left off. Ideally with as many seasons as needed to fulfill their original vision and conclude the story on their own terms. But even if it’s just one last season to wrap up storylines and let everyone find closure for these characters, that would be acceptable too. We just don’t want any reboots. We’re invested in this cast, these writers, this crew, and our showrunner, Mr. Erik Oleson.

Save Daredevil: Kingpin
No one wants to speak for Vincent D’Onofrio. That said he looks to be a man who can go for another round. (Courtesy of Netflix)

CV: Disney + is looming closer. Hulu is still holding on to and renewing its Marvel programming. How does this inform your group’s next step? Where and how are you focusing your energies?

Save Daredevil: We’ve invested a lot of time and energy into building a sustainable strategy for the campaign. It will get us through the next two quarters of the year. That includes planning exciting campaign events and finding new and fresh ways to engage the existing fan base supporting us, as well as those discovering us for the first time. Day to day, we’ll continue to maintain a consistent and positive presence online in order to help build awareness of #SaveDaredevil and to keep the hope alive for the fans. There are still so many people out there who have no idea what’s going on. We love finding those people and engaging with them.

Right now, our campaign has a specific focus on Hulu. Disney has become the majority owner and Hulu has plans to go international. So it feels like a potential home for our mature-rated series. But we’re aware these things shift and change. A lot of our strategy depends on the information that comes out of Marvel, Hulu, and all the major players. We don’t have copies of the contracts. We have no way of knowing what’s being discussed behind closed doors. Until Marvel says, definitively, that they’re unwilling or unable to continue the series, or Charlie and Vincent bow out of their roles, we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and adapt to new possibilities.

3 Comments

  1. Mo

    April 15, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    #SaveDaredevil

    Reply

  2. Adriane Lopes

    Adriane Lopes

    April 9, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    #SaveDaredevil

    Reply

  3. Casie Martinez

    Casie Martinez

    April 9, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Save Daredevil Please

    Reply

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