Daredevil showrunner explains that brutal death, teases Iron Fist connections

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Apr 24, 2015, 6:34 PM EDT (Updated)

The first season of Marvel’s Daredevil has received almost universal acclaim since its debut on Netflix, and now outgoing showrunner Steven S. DeKnight has opened up about some of the big questions left unanswered.

Spoilers ahead for the first season of Netflix’s Daredevil!

First up, DeKnight addressed that absolutely shocking and brutal death that left thousands of fanboy jaws on the floor — the murder of seasoned newspaper reporter Ben Urich (Vondie Curtis-Hall), who has been a frequent mainstay of the Daredevil comics since his introduction back in the 1970s.

Late in the first season of the television series, Urich comes face to face with Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), who is none too pleased that the reporter paid his mother a visit while trying to dig up intel on Fisk’s past. The meetings seems civil enough, until Fisk jumps across the room and chokes the life out of Urich. It was a shocking scene, especially for fans who expected the character to stick around.

According to DeKnight, the story beat was organic to the world they’ve created, as Fisk had already proven he has no qualms when it comes to killing people who have crossed him. Plus, it represented a catalyst with real stakes to push Daredevil forward and galvanize sides leading up to the season finale. Here’s what he told The Hollywood Reporter:

"I’ve been known to kill off a character or two in my past (laughs). I wish I could take credit for this, but killing off Urich was decided before I signed on. I want to say it was Marvel’s idea. They really wanted to show that toward the end of the season because we knew we’d get some sympathy for Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), to have him do something truly terrible that would propel Matt into that final endgame in the confrontation with Fisk. And to let the audience know that the gloves were off: just because he was a beloved character in the comics, doesn’t mean he’s safe.

It’s one interpretation. It’s like writers doing a new run of the comic. It felt right for the story. Much like episode four where Fisk kills Anatoly, not because he did something to cross him in the criminal world, but because he embarrassed him on a date. Urich gets murdered because he committed the unforgivable sin in Fisk’s mind: he went to Fisk’s mother. The last thing you want to do with Fisk is at all involve, insult, drag through the mud the women in his life he loves. That will be a serious trigger for him."

DeKnight also touched on those mysterious nods to a more mystical world, which would fit with the upcoming introduction of Iron Fist in his own Netflix series in a few years. Though he obviously couldn’t say much, it seems the mysterious character of “Stone” and Madame Gao’s surprising super-strength (and note that her home is very far away) could definitely be easter eggs:

"I can’t say anything! Is it literal or metaphorical? It’s very much like a code the same way the MCU does after the credits, which isn’t something we can do with the way that Netflix starts the next episode after the credits. But yes, it’s obviously tying into a bigger picture…

There's obviously something going on there [with Madame Gao], as well as with the heroin she’s selling, stamped with the symbol of the Steel Serpent. Could that be another tie-in to Iron Fist? Time will tell. There is obviously more to her than meets the eye. I got a message from Ed Brubaker who asked, ‘Is Madame Gao Crane Mother?’ I can’t even tell you!"

The first season of Daredevil is streaming now on Netflix, and season two debuts next year.

What’d you think of the season? What’d you think of Urich’s death and the (potential) Iron Fist easter eggs?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)