Wizard World Pittsburgh: Notes from the Daredevil panel

cox-and-henson-at-wizard-world

Daredevil stars Charlie Cox and Elden Henson came to my neck of the woods this past weekend, visiting Pittsburgh as part of the Wizard World Comic-Con that ran Friday through Sunday. The Daredevil Q&A panel was easily the highlight of the Sunday schedule, especially when you consider that the Sam J. Jones panel was cancelled at the last minute and that the Evan Peters Q&A quickly devolved into a series of smitten fangirls proclaiming their love for him and asking overly generic questions (mostly about American Horror Story as opposed to X-Men, interestingly enough).

Fans at the Daredevil panel came prepared, however, posing a series of insightful inquiries that a game Cox and Henson did their best to answer. One woman, after identifying as a Catholic, asked the actors to speak to the religious undertones of the show and their comfort level with that.

“The last 10, 15 years we’ve seen so many superhero films and TV shows,” Cox said in reply. “They’re everywhere, which is great. You see these heroes go out and beat up bad guys — save the world, save the universe, whatever it is. But it was really fun for me to read a script where you see that happen and then you see the characters come home and sit with their feelings about it, you know? It’s just such an odd dynamic, and I love this idea that Matt goes out and he believes in what he’s doing and he believes he’s making a difference and he’s bringing down these bad guys. But then he goes home and he feels bad as well because he’s hurting people and he’s questioning whether he has the right to do that. I think probably the most interesting inner-dilemma that he deals with is should he be Daredevil because he has this gift, these powers, and they are God-given, and therefore it’s God’s will that he be engaging in vigilante justice? Or does he have no right to do that? Is he kind of playing God? And the idea that no one can know the answer to that I think is really interesting.”

Another fan wanted to get Cox’s take on the recent movement to have more disabled characters played by disabled actors. It’s clearly a tricky topic for Cox, who let’s not forget plays a blind vigilante on the Netflix show. (And you can tell he struggles with it if you watch the below video.) But I thought he handled it about as well as could be expected.

“It’s hard obviously for me to talk about, being given this opportunity to play this role,” Cox responded. “But I think that whenever possible that should be something that is prioritized. I think one of the things Netflix is really good about is trying to cast people from the correct ethnic background. In their show Narcos, I think they’re casting a lot of people from South America or getting South American actors involved as much as possible, even though it’s not always the cheaper option, which is of course what everyone thinks about. Um, yeah, wherever possible … I would really admire a company that was willing to go out of their way to make sure that happens.”

Also during the panel, Cox said he and Henson haven’t been invited to any talks about crossing over the Netflix shows with the Marvel feature films. (Although Henson made it clear that he loves Chris Pratt and really wants Foggy to show up in a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel.) Answering a question about other Daredevil comic arcs he’d like to see adapted, Cox said that the TV show “wants to be its own thing” and that the decision to kill off Ben Urich in season one was a warning to comic fans that they shouldn’t presume to know exactly what’s coming down the road. He did add, however, that he thinks Bullseye needs to show up at some point. (I believe we’re all in agreement on that, right?)

Cox and Henson will next appear as Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson in The Defenders, Netflix’s big superhero team-up series that just began filming in New York City.