Despite a wave of sweepingly positive reviews, I wasn’t initially sold on Netflix’s latest and possibly greatest series yet, Daredevil.
After a slew of forgettable sequels topped off with the disappointing Age of Ultron, Marvel hasn’t exactly given us a reason to have much faith lately. But as it turns out, Daredevil sets a tone and style that’s in a world of its own.
The show is being touted as “Marvel for adults,” and for good reason. Between the amazingly choreographed combat scenes and graphic violence – Daredevil sets a new standard for the franchise.
It’s quite a jump from the sugarcoated films that usually come out of Marvel Studios. But seeing as Marvel controls their top creatives as strictly as Kim Jong Un controls his country, there’s one big unanswered question.
How did Daredevil get away with this?
Well for one, Netflix grants plenty of creative freedom. Cindy Holland, the head of original content at Netflix, stated the following quote in an interview with Hollywood Reporter:
“We view our job as helping support the creators to fulfill their vision, not ours. We view ourselves as the objective outsider.”
This quote is so beautiful that I would easily get it tattooed on my bicep. After all, Disney and Marvel have an ugly track record of having unreasonable restrictions over their creative teams.
It’s what happened with Ant-Man’s former director Edgar Wright, and what caused him to walk out. Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon has been very transparent about the studio battles he fought. Not to mention, Disney has also gotten nasty with theaters distributing Age of Ultron.
But remember, Daredevil isn’t controlled directly by Marvel Studios. And this time, Disney’s ABC Productions is merely a production partner, not the head honcho.
[quote_left]”“We view our job as helping support the creators to fulfill their vision, not ours. We view ourselves as the objective outsider.””[/quote_left]
The show operates through Goddard Textiles (the creator’s company), ABC Productions, and Marvel Television (a sub-division of Marvel Studios).
Drew Goddard – the guy behind the Daredevil show – has been involved in some of the most iconic shows and most unique movies of the past decade. Besides creating and writing for the Daredevil series, Goddard’s got his name on the likes of Lost, Alias, Cloverfield, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Then, there’s Netflix.
Netflix can rescue shows from their evil overlords just as well as they can bring shows back from the dead. They grant their creatives quite a bit of freedom in allowing them to make the content that they want to create. Just look at Orange is the New Black, which could easily pass for the Internet equivalent of an HBO show.
It’s pretty simple. When you grant directors and writers more creative freedom, you get a better product. Netflix’s loose restrictions combined with a creative team bursting with experience and vision has led to one hell of a show. And while it’s not perfect, it’s well-done and different.
It’s different from other Marvel products.
It’s different from other superhero shows.
And it’s different in that it doesn’t dumb itself down for the sake of wider audience appeal.
Most importantly? The difference is working.