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SYFY WIRE Daredevil

Charlie Cox on Ben Affleck's 'Daredevil': The acting’s great, but the movie was 'tonally confused'

Cox saves his praise for Affleck as Matt Murdock… but pretty much nothing else.

By Benjamin Bullard
Daredevil 307 PRESS

Forget current events and world affairs: Actors, it turns out, have opinions on actual movies. Daredevil series actor Charlie Cox has feelings about the 2003 Daredevil film he studied to prep for his own role in the more recent Netflix show, and let’s just say they sound...genuine. You could even say, in fact, they’re less than Marvel-ous.

After delighting fans by reemerging for a brief cameo as Matt Murdock himself in Spider-Man: No Way Home, it’s safe to say Cox remains the MCU’s Daredevil. But that does an actor no favors when he’s asked to weigh in on a movie whose main character was previously played by someone else, so you’ve got to hand it to Cox: In a recent fan Q&A at this year’s Middle East Film & Comic Con (via People), he pulled no punches in either his praise (for Ben Affleck as Daredevil) or his criticism.

Chief among his gripes with the pre-MCU movie? “The suit sucks!” he half-joked, confessing he’d never seen Affleck in the 2003 version until being cast himself to play the role of Daredevil at Netflix. “I watched it once, and then I wanted to go and do my own thing,” he explained. “I hadn't seen it before I got the role. I watched it when I got the role.”

He definitely came away from the experience with some thoughts, though. Naturally, Cox knows a thing or two about playing The Man Without Fear, and equipped with that one-of-a-kind context, he has nothing but love for Ben Affleck’s earlier effort. Affleck, he said, “does a really good Matt Murdock,” reinforcing the thought later — just so we’re clear — “I like his Matt Murdock.”

But there’s plenty, even beyond the suit, that Cox doesn’t like, and he’s totally cool with sharing. “I don't love the movie,” he said flatly. “I feel like the movie tried to do too much and it was a little tonally confused.”

Not helping Daredevil’s case with Cox was the film’s attempt to cram tons of comic book lore into a single standalone movie. “They had everyone in that movie — they had Kingpin, they had Bullseye, they had Elektra, they had Karen Page, they had Foggy,” he explained. “It was saturated, and it's two hours. So that was part of that problem.”

Whether Cox’s critique resonates with every fan, at least we know he genuinely cares about his own Daredevil role. Not long after his No Way Home cameo lit up moviegoers, he admitted to being among the now-defunct Netflix series’ biggest fans. “I loved every single minute of making the show. And so, to be asked to come back and to be involved in any capacity is absolutely thrilling to me,” he said. “And I hope, I don’t want to sound greedy, but I hope I get to do loads more. I hope I get to be involved way, way more for many years. I hope it never ends.”

Whatever Daredevil’s future might be, his past isn’t hard to track down. Catch Affleck as Daredevil on Amazon Prime and other on-demand movie platforms, while we wait for the March 16 arrival of Daredevil the series — the one with Cox in the spotlight, that is — at its new streaming home at Disney+. If you want to check out the 2003 Daredevil film, it's airing a few times on SYFY in the next couple of weeks. Find it on the schedule here