It sounds as though Marvel’s Netflix TV show Daredevil has taken more than a few pointers from Gotham‘s breakout use of a pre-Penguin Oswald Cobblepot in its depiction of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk, better known as the New York crime boss Kingpin.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Marvel’s Head of TV Jeph Leob promised that “This season is about both the rise of the hero and the rise of the villain.”
Showrunner Stephen DeKnight added, “Fisk has very many different aspects so it’s not all, ‘I want to conquer the city and make a lot of money.’ In our story, we tell the story of how he met his wife Vanessa and how they fell in love — our antagonist actually has a love story.
“That’s the love story you’re following, the one you’re invested in, and seeing how that affects him and changes him. I think Vincent just brings such depth to it, his performance is just astounding.”
Explaining why they’re putting the emphasis on Kingpin rather than fan-favourite nemesis Bullseye, DeKnight explained, ““I wouldn’t say there’s no plans to include the character in the series.
“It’s not not to say he wouldn’t be in the series at some point. But I think if you try to jam in too many characters, it just becomes a mess. And [Bullseye’s] story was told in the last iteration of Daredevil that anybody saw.
“My feeling was, ‘Why repeat it?’ And honestly, if you’re looking for a juicy, multi-faceted crime drama, Wilson Fisk was the obvious choice to play the antagonist. Bullseye is a little more cut and dry. Not to say you couldn’t make him fantastic over 13 hours, but Fisk really felt like the right yin to the yang for Matt, and for what we wanted to do this season.”
That’s not the only evidence that Daredevil will sit closer to Fox’s Gotham than ABC’s Agents Of SHIELD, as DeKnight explained, “We really wanted to take our cue from [films like] The French Connection, Dog Day Afternoon, Taxi Driver, and make it very, very grounded, very gritty, very real.
“We always say we would rather lean toward The Wire than what’s considered a classic superhero television show.”
Added Loeb: “There aren’t going to be people flying through the sky. There are no magic hammers.”
Daredevil will air on Netflix in 2015. You can buy Daredevil: Born Again by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli for £10.34 at Amazon.co.uk. For more on the comics that have inspired the show, pick up our 100 All-Time Greatest Comics bookazine now!