Regardless of how you felt about Disney+’s She-Hulk: Attorney At Law or its meta finale, we can all hopefully agree that seeing Charlie Cox’s Daredevil leaving Jennifer Walters’ house after a night of superhero sex with his boots over his shoulder and a smile on his face is one of the best moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—though it was one that felt like a departure from the brooding Matt Murdock we usually saw on Netflix’s Daredevil. That shift was, of course, a conscious decision, and now Cox has spoken with GQ about what it was like returning to Daredevil and playing him as a more lighthearted guy than what people tend to expect.
Both Cox and GQ correctly point out that it’s really not that uncommon for Daredevil to be relatively cheerful in the comics (California, where She-Hulk was set, does often bring out his roguish, swashbuckling side), with Cox saying it was a “fun challenge” to “play with the tone” like that. He also revealed that, when they originally making the Daredevil show, he made an effort to have Matt Murdock’s lighter side not go “completely missed.”
It’s a narrow view of the character to say he’s always self-serious and gloomy, which Cox understands, and he also tells GQ that it was obvious to him that Daredevil would be “the butt of the joke” if he played it too seriously, and then nobody would be able to relate to his character. In his mind, it was important that Daredevil and She-Hulk were not just equally matched in a fight, but also in terms of “charm and charisma and wit.” (We would also point out that Daredevil being cheerier and more optimistic follows his arc from end of the Netflix series, even though we still don’t know how much of that is actually MCU canon.)
Elsewhere in the chat, Cox wisely sidesteps a question about things he can do with Disney that he “didn’t have an opportunity to do on the Netflix side of things” (because “it potentially gets in the minds of not only the fans but also the creators and the writers” when you answer questions like that and he doesn’t want to “muddy those waters”). What he does say, though, is that he welcomes the ability to use a little more CGI in action sequences, which She-Hulk dipped into a bit with Daredevil doing some comics-accurate gymnastics and complicated billy club moves that would only be possible with digital effects. Still, he says he doesn’t want to do “complete action sequences” that are made with computers and that “most of it should be stunt-coordinated and dune by a stunt performer” or the actual actor like they did on the Netflix show.
Cox said that when he first spoke with K.E.V.I.N. Feige about playing Daredevil in the MCU, the only projects that were on the table were his cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home and “an episode or two of She-Hulk.” Now, though, we know he’ll pop up in the animated prequel series Spider-Man: Freshman Year (which will presumably do some pro-Daredevil retconning for the MCU) and then in his own solo series called Daredevil: Born Again—and if K.E.V.I.N. is reading this, it would be nice to get Elden Henson and Deborah Ann Woll in there in addition to Vincent D’Onofrio.
Speaking of the Kingpin, we also heard that both he and Cox will show up in the Hawkeye spin-off Echo (which makes sense for lore reasons), but Cox just told Variety that he’s not allowed to say anything about Echo… so that’s a yes. Hooray for Daredevil fans! We’re being completely spoiled!