Spider-Man: No Way Home was full of jaw-dropping moments. From Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire returning as their respective Spider-Men to the sheer unnerving nature of Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin, most fans were on the edge of their seats until the credits rolled. However, the movie also featured a long-awaited introduction into the MCU - Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock, better known as the hero Daredevil.
No Way Home wasn't the first time that Cox appeared as the blind lawyer. He was the lead actor in Netflix's Daredevil series that began in 2015 and lasted three seasons through 2018. After the show was forced to end when Disney officially acquired the rights for the character, Cox admitted that he had made peace with the fact that he may never get to portray Daredevil ever again.
Now, in 2022, the character has already been introduced into the MCU and is ready to go. Daredevil, along with the other Marvel shows that debuted on Netflix, will officially be coming to Disney+ on March 16.
What will come next for Cox is unclear, but he has recently commented on what it is like being back in the role, as well as where he would like to see his character go when he does show up next.
Charlie Cox's Love for Practicality
During a panel at Middle East Film and Comic Con 2022 in Abu Dhabi, Charlie Cox sat down to discuss what it was like to make an appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home, as well as the direction he wants to see Daredevil go in the future.
In the interview, Cox was asked about the moment in No Way Home when he reflexively caught a brick that came flying through the window at Peter Parker's head. When asked if it was done through CGI or if he actually caught something, Cox revealed that he "had to catch something," and then alluded to his time on-set of Daredevil, where they "didn’t have any CGI:"
Yeah, I had to catch something… It was like a green CGI ball… I think maybe we did a couple [takes] without [it]… There was a question about… they weren’t 100% sure what they wanted it to be. It was going to be a brick, but it was going to— it might have been something else… so, we had to do it a few different ways. But on the show when we did stuff like that, we didn’t have any CGI, so it was always practical. So it was quite fun to be able to do it and not have to worry about actually doing it.”
Due to Matt Murdock's blindness, his character has to rely on his other senses in order to operate at the high level that he does. In No Way Home, he catches the brick without even looking at it, and when asked how he prepares for a scene like that, Cox referenced Season 1 of Daredevil when he had to perform a similar stunt:
“So there’s a scene in episode four of Season 1 of Daredevil. Rosario Dawson throws my sweater at me and I catch it like that. It took forever, and it was my idea and I felt really guilty because… I was like wasting everyone’s time, so she would say the line and then… one of the ADs would be like, ‘Three, two, one, go!’ And she’d throw it and I’d try and catch it, but it’s so cool in this, I’m so proud of it… but yeah, It’d be nice to not have to worry about that all the time.”
The Daredevil actor then discussed how it is easier for him to perform stunts using practical effects instead of CGI because "he doesn't have superpowers." He went on to say that he likes when a scene "feels real and dangerous," and admitted to something he would like to do in the future with one of the character's main weapons - his batons:
"The thing about DD is he doesn’t have super powers, per se. He’s not invincible, he’s not super strong, so… This character lends itself really well to practical stuff… For me, it feels better when it feels real and dangerous. But then there are things… to be true to the comics, like what he can do with his baton. That sense of aim that he has, to be able to take it out and bounce it across, hit a wall and then hit someone. That’d be cool to do that stuff."
On the topic of the batons, Cox revealed that it is hard for him to "get them back in" their casings without looking since they are such a snug fit. In the future, he hopes that he won't "have to worry about that:"
"One of the problems I always have is the little casing that the batons go in. I can take them out really well but I can’t get them back in because it’s really difficult and I have to look. But, of course, Daredevil would never look and there’s so many times where I’m like, ‘Oh man…’ So it’d be cool to not have to worry about that all the time."
Daredevil Going Old-School
Before CGI became standard practice in filmmaking, everything was done with practical effects. Obviously, there are cases in which stunts have to be performed that are way too dangerous for even the most skilled stunt actors to do, and with the use of CGI, those things are much more accessible now.
However, Cox is right in saying that Daredevil can get away with a larger amount of practical filming since he isn't swinging through New York City or swimming at great speeds on the ocean floor. Budgets for television series have always been significantly less than blockbuster films, so his experience on Daredevil has definitely prepared him to do anything he needs to do without CGI.
Many other actors have expressed their love for practical effects over recent years, and many have claimed that when everything around them is a green screen. It can even make it tougher for them to get into character and act with nothing around them.
Marvel Studios is known for their top-notch CGI, which is needed for the large-scale scenes and movies that they produce. However, when it comes to the street style of fighting that Daredevil is known for, they may be a little more lenient and let Cox act in a more practical environment.