Although there will be spoilers for Season 1 in this article, the writers and stars of "Daredevil" made sure not to give anything away for the second season of their popular Netflix series. The Season 2 red carpet premiere of the Marvel and Netflix collaboration was filled with answers like "we’ll see" and "not to give anything away," unsurprisingly stipulated by Marvel, which has a reputation for keeping details under wraps for all of their productions.
The second season of "Daredevil" is highly anticipated for two main reasons: The success of the first season and the new characters featured in the second. The first season was Netflix’s first collaboration with Marvel and followed the disastrous "Daredevil" feature film starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner from 2003. Expectations were low and many fans were unsure of what to expect. Luckily, Marvel and Netflix were able to give fans a dark and gritty show combined with great writing, characters and action. Charged by the popularity of "Daredevil," Marvel’s "Jessica Jones" was also met with acclaim, again setting high standards for the second season of "Daredevil" and the upcoming "Luke Cage" premiere later this year.
The two new characters added to the new season are Elektra Natchios and Frank Castle. While Elektra (played by Elodie Yung) is an old flame of Matt who walks the line between ally and antagonist, most of the hype is centered around Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher, who may prove to be Matt’s most formidable opponent yet. After the death of his family, Castle begins to hunt down and mercilessly kill criminals wherever he can find them. Struggling with the morality of Castle’s decisions, Matt will also face the fact that he is not unlike Castle, and that their goals are essentially the same.
All the cast members and writers were very excited for the addition of Jon Bernthal ("The Walking Dead"), who is taking on the role of Frank Castle in the new season. Amy Rutberg, who plays Foggy’s ex-girlfriend Marci Stahl, said she was most excited to see him in the new season. And although Deborah Ann Woll said she was on Team Daredevil, she definitely saw that the Punisher had "an appealing argument."
Showrunners Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie are also amped, because they felt that the Punisher is a natural choice for Matt to grapple with in the new season. Ramirez said, "The Punisher kind of existed in the back alleyways of ‘Daredevil’ Season 1, so why not bring him out?"
When Bernthal was cast, fans were very supportive as well. On the positive fan reaction to the casting, Bernthal said, "There was such an overwhelming response when I got cast. It was very humbling. I was unbelievably grateful and touched by it." It did increase the pressure though, especially since Vincent D’Onofrio gave an acclaimed performance as Wilson Fisk in the last season.
But for Bernthal, D’Onofrio’s performance was one of the reasons he wanted to join "Daredevil" Season 2: "Vincent is one of my favorite actors; he’s an American treasure. The ability that he had to make a guy who’s clearly villainous but also relatable is incredible. I said, ‘If this show can go into that level of nuance and that level of richness and character, this is a show I really want to be a part of.’"
Despite his excitement to be a part of the show, Bernthal said it wasn’t that easy to get into the mindset of a very dark and almost dead inside character: "My method of working definitely took me to a dark place. It required some serious isolation and pretty dark days."
And this may have been the perfect time for him to take on this character. Doug Petrie said that in the new season, "We’re throwing things at Matt a lot faster, because in Season 1 he was becoming a hero, and now he learns what is it to be a hero, and we’re just throwing him challenges and temptations and moral conundrums faster than a juggler can catch pins."
The Punisher will be the biggest challenge that Matt will deal with in Season 2. But it wasn’t just the perfect time for Matt Murdock to try something new, but also for Bernthal himself. He said that he "could not have played this role if I wasn’t a husband and a father. Until you truly understand what it’s like to love something more than yourself, that you would happily give your life for someone else in this world, can you begin to understand what it’s like to lose that love?"
Although the second season will circle around Daredevil vs. the Punisher, Matt still greatly relies on Karen and Foggy to help him through things, although they also have new challenges of their own. When asked about Foggy’s role in the next season, Elden Hanson said, "Ultimately, when Foggy is happiest when he’s with Karen and Matt at Josie’s having a drink. But [their relationships] begin to evolve and change in the new season."
However, Foggy "still feels kind of betrayed from Matt in the first season," and their disagreements will "bubble up to the surface" in the second season. On the other hand, Karen’s dark and troubled past might make some cameos as well, since Karen is also hiding the fact that she murdered Fisk’s righthand man in the last season. Deborah Ann Woll said, "We’re definitely going to continue to pick our way into [Karen’s backstory] and hopefully, drop some small hints or maybe some big hints. But in the beginning of this season, she’s trying to be the best version of herself that she can be."
Matt himself will certainly experience more bleeding and a constantly broken-down body, which can already been seen in many of the second season teasers and trailers. Petrie said, "We torture Matt as hard as we can, and then we beat him to death, and then we do it for six more weeks." He made it clear that "It won’t be a less bloody season. He’s not called the Enabler, he’s called the Punisher."
That very name, the Punisher, seems to set the tone for the new season. This darker atmosphere is set to pervade the second season of the show, as we can expect more difficult decisions and bloodier scenarios. When asked about inspirations for the second season, Marco Ramirez said, "Obviously all the comics are still there, but from a cinematic perspective ‘The French Connection’ and ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ and ‘Mean Streets.’" These gritty film noir influences should make for another great ride.
"Daredevil" Season 2 will be released on Netflix on March 18.