The panel begun with the head of Marvel’s television department, Jeph Loeb, returning as moderator, only for him to immediately leave the stage to do something “unscripted”. As he returned, he brought with him Charlie Cox (Daredevil), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), and Mike Colter (Luke Cage), 3/4ths of Marvel’s upcoming Defenders series, minus Iron Fist who has yet to be cast. While the series is still at least two years away at this point, it was reminiscent of the first time the Avengers were all brought together on one stage. Jessica Jones makes the fifth live action Marvel television series currently airing, and as Loeb put it, the higher ups at Marvel have been working diligently to make a breathing world for the Marvel Cinematic Universe outside of the films.
Following this, Loeb introduced the first trailer of Daredevil’s second season. Taking a minute to recap the events of the first season, the rest of the running time was dedicated to quick flashes of what was to come in the second season, including a shot of Elodie Yung’s Elektra pulling a red mask that covered the lower half of her face, a troubled Matt Murdock asking the priest from the first season why he still felt guilty even though he managed to defeat the Kingpin, and a shot of Jon Bernthal’s Punisher from the back, walking down a hospital hallway. As the trailer wrapped up, Loeb brought to the stage Marvel’s CCO, Joe Quesada, showrunners Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez, Jon Bernthal, Elodie Yung, Elden Henson who plays the role of Foggy Nelson, Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page), and Daredevil himself, Charlie Cox. Members of the audience began yelling “QUACK! QUACK!” harkening back to Elden’s days as a “Mighty Duck” which got a crack out of me.
The panel started off with a question and answer session, with Ramirez and Petrie being asked if there was a place for dark and gritty content in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was the fan reaction following the first season that caused the showrunners to go even further into mature subject matter by incorporating Punisher and Elektra into the mix with season 2. The pair expressed their love of Matt Murdock and the world he navigates, and they hope to test it even further and introduce a darker slant with episodes to come.
The next question was addressed at Elodie Yung, asking her what it was like to join the world of Daredevil as Elektra. “Intense, exciting, and couldn’t be more happy to join” was her response, as she made sure to mention that in real life, she is a black belt in karate and practice Muay Thai, affirming the fact that she can “basically kick your ass”. This had a heavy influence in Marvel’s decision to cast her in the role as Murdock’s former ex-girlfriend turned assassin.
Following this, a fan inquired whether the role of the Punisher meant something special to Jon Bernthal, to which he responded that he realized how important the character is to fans and how important he is to the show overall, also mentioning law enforcement and the military’s love for Frank Castle. Bernthal sees taking the role as a huge honor, and also a huge responsibility, but gave his word that he would “give everything he has to the role”. Bernthal also added that there’s not a day that goes by where he doesn’t encounter 10 to 15 people on the street who remind him to “not fuck this up” when talking about the role of Frank Castle.
Deborah Ann Woll was then asked by Loeb whether a relationship between Karen and Matt would continue to develop in season 2, to which she stated that there was absolutely something there that would be expanded up in future episodes.
Charlie Cox was then asked what the role of Daredevil/Matt Murdock meant for him, to which he restated that the role originally seemed daunting, not only because of fan expectations, but also because the character was dubbed the “Man Without Fear”. The role has helped him to explore the definition of “courage” and create not only a vulnerable human being, but a vulnerable super hero at that. Cox also went into detail regarding training with a blind member of the American Foundation for the Blind, forcing himself to do household chores without the use of his vision in preparation for the role.
The trailer was then replayed once again, leading us into the second part of the night, the Jessica Jones Panel. On the stage were showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, Erin Moriarty (Hope), Eka Darville (Malcolm), Will Traval (Det. Will Simpson), Carrie-Anne Moss (Jeryn Hogarth), Rachael Taylor (Trish Walker), Mike Colter (Luke Cage) and Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones).
Erin Moriarty started things off by stating that the people she has worked with on the show have become like a second family for her, and promises her part of the season will be interesting to say the least. Eka Darville then chimed in by saying that there wasn’t a lot he could say about his character yet, but it’s a role that has changed his life and sitting at the panel itself just went to show how much of an impact becoming a part of the “Marvel family” has had. Carrie Anne Moss also considered filming a great experience and that after reading each episode’s script, she was astounded by the overall quality of the writing and she took great pleasure bringing the pages to life.
Rachael Taylor then added that one of the reasons she was drawn to the role of Trish, who may or may not become the Marvel superhero Hellcat this season, was the female bond she brought to the table with Jessica throughout the show’s first season. While having a strong friendship, the relationship between Trish and Jessica would also be flawed and complicated, filled with jealousy but also love for one another.
Mike Colter, who will be receiving his own series on Netflix as Marvel’s Luke Cage (some members of the audience even yelled, “Sweet Christmas!” when he was introduced, which is Cage’s go to phrase), signed on to the series and felt that he was signing on to receive a new best friend in the form of Marvel Studios. He sometimes felt that the company was all encompassing, urging him to sign all the right papers and move along the process as quickly as possible, Colter joked. He looked at it like a different world and was happy to be a part of it, even if he didn’t have the opportunity to work with a lot of the different actors and actresses that make up the cast.
Krysten Ritter then capped off the panel by briefly touching upon Jessica’s character, focusing on how damaged and horrific her past was. She also took time to thank David Tennant for his creepy portrayal as Zebediah Killgrave, the series’ antagonist. “He is magic, and watching him work, I learned a lot.” Ritter added. While Tennant was not in the audience that night as he was filming a project in London at the time, they did have a video of him thanking both the cast and the audience in attendance. From here, the premiere episode of Jessica Jones was played and you can find a review of it here.
[Update: The trailer for Daredevil: Season 2 has gone online, and you can watch it here.]