Streaming media company Netflix has renewed Marvel's 'Daredevil' for a second season, and that includes a changing of the guard for the showrunners.
According to James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly, the announcement of the show's renewal came with news that showrunner Steven S. DeKnight would step down from the series. The showrunners for season two will be writers Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez.
"A fair measure of the show's creative success can doubtless be attributed to DeKnight, who said he was trying to push Marvel's comfort zone, and made many unique storytelling moves," Hibberd wrote.
Hibbard added that Daredevil, which debuted last week, "received some of the best reviews of any superhero TV series." The next season is scheduled to be released on Netflix in 2016.
"While previous commitments unfortunately prevent me from continuing on with Daredevil into its second season, I could not be happier that Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez are carrying the torch," DeKnight said in a statement. "They were invaluable collaborators during our first season, and I for one can't wait to see what they do with the show moving forward."
Before he stepped down as showrunner, DeKnight talked with Bilal Mian of the Hollywood Reporter about making a show within Marvel's Cinematic Universe, or MCU. "Daredevil" focuses on the story of a blind lawyer named Matt Murdock (played by Charlie Cox) who puts on a mask at night to take on organized crime in the streets of Hell's Kitchen.
"This was [Marvel head of television] Jeff Loeb's brainchild," DeKnight said. "He had this idea for taking the street-level heroes from the Marvel Universe - characters like Matt Murdock, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Danny Rand who is Iron Fist - and really focusing in on them in a TV series where they're all interconnected like the MCU did with Iron Man, Thor and Captain America culminating in The Avengers."
DeKnight added that Loeb had "a gritty, grounded and realistic series" in mind, which reminded him of "those Daredevil comics we read as kids - the Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev runs." He noted that Netflix's format allowed them to shoot for a "PG-15" feel to the show.
"On a TV scale, you can't match what they do in the movies," DeKnight said. "What you can do is shoot for a premium cable feel and make things more 'PG-15' than you can in the movies. With Netflix, we could zero in on something specific, realizing that this isn't for everyone. It's not for younger audience members."
Mian asked DeKnight on how "Daredevil" would fit in with the MCU. He wondered if the show would have tie-ins similar to what ABC's "Agent Carter" and "Agents of SHIELD" had with "The Avengers."
"We have a very liberating reading format where we don't have to connect as strongly as 'Agents of SHIELD' or 'Agent Carter' did since they had a direct lineage from movies," DeKnight said. "With us, we exist in the universe. We reference the Battle of New York and Iron Man and Thor, but I've always approached it like it's a normal person living in the real world."
Mian observed that "the action in 'Daredevil' is brutal and sometimes hard to watch." He asked DeKnight if either Netflix or Marvel placed any editorial standards and practices in the show's production.
"There are no classic standards of practice like there are on network television," DeKnight answered. "They are fine going for the more mature audience. There is, however, some self-regulation on my side and Marvel's side. None of us wanted to take this to an R-rated show."
DeKnight admitted that although the Daredevil character had to be "grittier and a little more violent," he "didn't want to push it all the way to the envelope."
"We didn't want to go quite that far on Daredevil," DeKnight said, noting that AMC's "The Walking Dead" had much more graphic violence in comparison. "You'll notice a lot of the violence is visceral and impactful but more suggestive than graphic."
Mian then asked DeKnight how morality has helped define the hero in this Marvel series. DeKnight quipped that it played a "really important" role.
"One of the things that attracted me to 'Daredevil' as a kid was the fact that Murdock is built on one dichotomy after another," DeKnight said. "The most obvious one being that he's a lawyer by day sworn to uphold the legal system, and then by night he goes out and breaks all those rules. And on top of that, his father never wanted him to fight, and every night he goes out and fights."
DeKnight added that in the comic book version, Murdock is "a devout Catholic," which made for an interesting dynamic in season one.
"He's very new at being a vigilante; how far will he take it? It's a question he struggles with most of the season," DeKnight said. "I've always said he's one bad day away from becoming the Punisher, and that's something we wanted to look at in that moral quandary."