The hunt is on for the Man Without Fear.
On Wednesday, Marvel announced that their upcoming Netflix TV shows will shoot in New York City. The deal commits Marvel to shooting 60 original one-hour episodes of television in NYC, the city that already provides the backdrop for much of the Marvel Universe.
It all begins with “Daredevil,” before moving onto subsequent series like “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist,” “Luke Cage” and the “Avengers”-modeled team-up called “The Defenders.” With “Daredevil” entering production this summer, we expect casting announcements could sound out any day now — which is why we’re getting ahead of that noise, and offering up nine of our own choices to play Matt Murdock while we still have the chance!
Here they are, in no particular order:
He was once up for “Captain America,” and later up for “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Clearly, the man who once played Jim Halpert on “The Office” is on Marvel’s radar. Krasinski could make his mark here as Murdock, a character who has recently been portrayed in a lighter tone than the shadowy Frank Miller-ish days of yesteryear. But Krasinski has dramatic chops, and could bring soulfulness to Murdock in his darkest hours.
The red-head connection helps. The fact that the “Friday Night Lights” and “Breaking Bad” actor’s star is in the rise certainly doesn’t hurt, either. Remember that he’s supposedly up for “Star Wars,” unless Adam Driver just snagged his role. Assuming he hasn’t already booked a trip to a galaxy far, far away, Plemons should consider another Disney-sponsored vacation as Marvel’s new Daredevil.
Another “Friday Night Lights” actor, and another man with some Marvel-ous experience, having played Gambit in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” What, you forgot about that movie? Yeah, us too. He was also in “John Carter.” Remember that one? Yeah… well, look, Kitsch has a lot of promise, as he showed week in and week out on “FNL,” and again as recently as Peter Berg’s “Lone Survivor.” He’s sly and sexy and mysterious, all qualities that would work well as Daredevil.
Speaking of “Lone Survivor,” how about Kitsch’s co-star, Ben Foster? He’s another actor with “X-Men” experience, having played Angel in Brett Ratner’s “The Last Stand.” (Weird, we don’t remember that one, either.) Foster brings intensity and focus to every single project he’s involved with; no matter the quality of the resulting film, Foster is always a winner. That intensity could be just what Marvel’s first Netflix series needs.
While we’re talking about “X-Men” expats, let me just let the erstwhile Scott Summers chill on this list here. I won’t rest until Marsden’s back in tights, plain and simple.
Is the “Gattaca” actor too big of a name for Marvel to net-up for Netflix? I don’t think so. If Kevin Spacey can do a Netflix show, so can Ethan Hawke. On top of that, he would be fantastic as Murdock. He can be playful, he can be angry, he can be charming — he can be whatever he needs to be. Hawke is a chameleon of an actor, not unlike Murdock’s own dual role as a superhero and lawyer.
Admittedly, this is a weird one. The massive presence formerly known as General Zod is usually cast in heavier roles than Murdock — and that’s exactly why I’d love to see him “dress down” and play a guy who uses his powers for good, and doesn’t always have such a chip on his shoulder. Besides, can you imagine Shannon under that mask, confronting criminals in the dark alleys of Marvel’s Hell’s Kitchen? I can, and it’s terrifyingly awesome.
Some fans are talking about him for “Doctor Strange” right now. I am into that. I am also into McConaughey as Murdock. The accent might not work as well for Murdock as it would for Strange, but everything else is a winner. He would imbue the Netflix campaign with the same star power and energy that Robert Downey Jr. gave when kicking off the Marvel Cinematic Universe as “Iron Man.” Besides, as “True Detective” has made clear, regular episodic doses of McConaughey are good for the soul.
Neil Patrick Harris
Let’s close out with another left-of-center choice. With “How I Met Your Mother” wrapping up, NPH’s schedule is about to open up; assuming he isn’t already tied up with an unannounced commitment. Why not consider him for “Daredevil”? Harris matches the sharp wit and fun-loving energy of Mark Waid’s take on Murdock better than any other actor on this list. He isn’t normally in the conversation when it comes to action-oriented, drama-heavy roles. Given the chance, I feel he could pull it off.
Who do you want to see as Daredevil?