There’s eventually going to come a day that Marvel Studios is going to make a hiring decision regarding their live action superhero properties that the geek community is going to disagree with. Fortunately for all of us, today is not that day, because a report out of The Wrap is saying that they’ve found the man they want to write their upcoming Daredevil series for Netflix, they’re currently in negotiations to get him signed to take the job, and—my god—they couldn’t have possibly picked a more perfect person to offer the gig to.
Seeing as Daredevil is the most recognized and most loved of the four characters Marvel announced they were making 13-episode Netflix series for, his series was the one that was destined to get the most scrutiny, and his was the one that was going to have to recruit the most exciting name to pen the scripts in order for fan enthusiasm to continue to build rather than wane under the uncertainty of the creative direction the world’s reddest superhero would be going in. Well, taking those pressure into consideration, Marvel wasted no time in going out and getting the TV writer who has maybe the most nerd-cred of anyone with television experience right now—Drew Goddard.
How is Drew Goddard perfect to write the Daredevil series? Let us count the ways. First and foremost, he’s just a really experienced television writer who has a history of writing high quality episodes of high quality shows. Over the course of his television writing he’s been on staff for and gotten multiple writing credits on genre heavyweights like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Alias, and Lost. If you were going to create a Mount Rushmore for TV shows that have appealed to comic book fans, using a teenage girl, a vampire whose hair goes straight up, that lady who’s married to Batman, and a smoke monster probably wouldn’t be terrible picks for the four faces.
The second reason Goddard is perfect to be the man to decide the new direction for Daredevil is his history with Joss Whedon. Have you heard of this Whedon guy? He’s only the writer and director of the Avengers films and basically the architect of the entire Marvel Film Universe as it currently exists. Given the fact that Marvel aren’t dummies and have been tying everything they produce together, there’s no doubt that these Netflix series are going to be existing in the same universe as all of the Marvel movies and ABC’s Agents of SHIELD, and seeing as Goddard has already worked with Whedon on Buffy and Angel, as well as co-wrote his directorial debut, the phenomenal The Cabin in the Woods, with him, there probably isn’t another writer on the planet who could more easily slip into the Marvel team and get on board with the tonal and storytelling direction they’re moving in.
Thirdly, Goddard is the right man for this job simply because he just seems to be a big ol’ doofy Daredevil fan. The Wrap article that broke the news of his casting pulled a quote that he gave Collider earlier in the year that read, “You’re talking to a guy who had quotes from ‘Daredevil’ painted on his wall while growing up. Even when I was 18, I still had the blood red door with the, ‘I have shown him that a man without hope is a man without fear.’ That was what I loved, and so it’s the sort of thing that if we can find the right project, I would love to do it.” One would think that this is probably that “right project” he was talking about. Talk about a dream job.
If there’s a negative that could stem from the hiring of Goddard to write this project, it’s that Marvel has gone so big with the writer of the first of their four series, that surely whoever they hire for Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones is going to feel like a letdown now, unless some sort of series of miracle hires take place. Perhaps that was always going to be the case, seeing as Daredevil is clearly the marquee player out of these four, but for fun why don’t we take a look at a few writing hires that could keep the momentum of goodwill moving in Marvel’s direction in the future? The jerks didn’t even give us time to fantasize about who we would hire for Daredevil, after all. If I was king of the forest and had my pick of any three television writers to take on the rest of these Netflix series, here’s the moves I would make.
The Jessica Jones series is probably the easiest to hire a fantasy writer for. The character, who is best known from her lead role in a Marvel comic titled ‘Alias,’ is an ex-superhero who gives up the game in order to put on plain clothes and continue working in the seedy criminal underbelly of the Marvel Universe as a standard, no-frills detective. Seeing as this show will most certainly be about a girl detective, it doesn’t take much imagination to come up with the idea for hiring the guy who wrote the greatest girl detective show the world has ever seen (barring maybe Murder, She Wrote), Rob Thomas. Now that he’s getting some closure on his cancelled-too-soon TV series Veronica Mars by capping off the character in a movie, perhaps his talent for fleshing out female characters and building arching mystery tales could best be utilized working for the juggernaut that is Marvel.
Despite the fact that Luke Cage is super strong as has skin that’s as tough as steel, he’s a street-level character who comes from a troubled past and mostly deals with eccentric, shady criminal types. Because of that, his series is going to need to be written by someone who not only has a handle on action plots, but who also has the ability to recreate the voice of the common man in pleasing and authentic ways. Given that criteria, who would be better for the job than Ted Griffin, who created the phenomenal and woefully short-lived detective series Terriers? If you were one of the few who were able to get past Terriers’ confusing and unfortunate title and actually give the show a chance, you know that the answer is no one. No one would be better. Whether it’s for Marvel or not, we need to get this guy a shot at a new TV series, ASAP.
Iron Fist might be the hardest of these four characters to pull off in a TV series, because his origin is a pretty high-concept one that involves battles with dragons and the earning of magical kung-fu powers. In order to make the character work, you’d have to get a writer who has the ability to mix a little silliness in with his action, while not letting all of the stakes go out the window in the process. Who better for this job, then, than Ben Edlund, who is not only the creator of the profoundly silly superhero The Tick, but who also has a history of working with Marvel overlord Whedon? He’s written great episodes of Firefly and Angel, and outside of the Whedon camp he’s penned a bunch of episodes of the well-liked Supernatural. There might not be a better qualified writer of genre television on the planet at this point.
How do you feel about these picks? Surely there’s got to be someone else who’s great out there I’ve forgotten. And surely the lack of diversity in the list could be improved upon—especially seeing as these series have made an effort to curtail Marvel’s diversity problem by focusing on a black dude and a lady. Maybe white males still have enough of a dominance over television writing that these three really are the best picks for the jobs though? I mean, there aren’t many things that we have left at this point. It’s basically nerdy TV shows and hockey, and that’s it.