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Promotional poster
Directed by Mark Steven Johnson
Produced by Avi Arad
Gary Foster
Arnon Milchan
Written by Mark Steven Johnson
Comic book:
Stan Lee
Bill Everett
Starring Ben Affleck
Jennifer Garner
Michael Clarke Duncan
Colin Farrell
David Keith
Jon Favreau
Joe Pantoliano
Music by Graeme Revell
Cinematography Ericson Core
Editing by Armen Minasian
Dennis Virkler
Studio 20th Century Fox
New Regency
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) February 14, 2003 (2003-02-14)
Running time 103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $78 million
Gross revenue $179,179,718
Followed by Elektra

Daredevil is a 2003 American superhero film written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson. Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, the film stars Ben Affleck as Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who fights for justice in the courtroom and out of the courtroom as the masked vigilante Daredevil. Jennifer Garner plays his love interest Elektra Natchios, Colin Farrell plays the merciless assassin Bullseye and Michael Clarke Duncan plays Wilson Fisk, also known as the crime lord Kingpin.

The film began development in 1997 at 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures, before New Regency acquired the rights in 2000. Johnson chose to shoot the film primarily in Downtown Los Angeles despite the Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan setting of the film and the comics. Rhythm and Hues Studios were hired to handle the film's CGI needs. Graeme Revell composed the Daredevil score which was released on CD in March 2003, whereas the various artists soundtrack album, Daredevil: The Album, was released in February.

Reviews of the film were generally mixed or average. Despite this, the film still enjoyed a profitable theatrical run and became February's second biggest release. The film was successful enough to allow a spin-off film, Elektra, which was released in 2005. A 30 minutes longer R-rated director's cut of the film was released in 2005, which included an entire sub-plot removed from the theatrical release.



The film begins in medias res with Daredevil clutching a cross at the top of a church, wounded. Daredevil clambers into the church and collapses as a priest who knows his identity approaches him in concern. The events that led to this scene are then shown.

As a child, Matthew Murdock lived in Hell's Kitchen with his washed-up boxer father, Jack Murdock. Matt's father constantly reminds Matt to get an education and make something of himself, and not wind up like him. One fateful day, when young Matt takes a shortcut home, he stumbles across his father beating up a man at the behest of local mob boss Fallon. Horrified, Matt runs blindly away from the scene, and runs afoul of a forklift which swerves to avoid him and accidentally pierces a barrel of biohazardous fluid, drenching Matt's face in the substance.

Matt is later shown waking up to learn that he is blind. However, despite his loss of sight, his other four senses function with super-human accuracy, hearing and touch in particular. While Matt uses his radar-like hearing to train his body, his redeemed father decides to fight again in the ring. Fallon then approaches Jack Murdock and orders him to throw an upcoming fight. When he does not, he is brutally murdered by a shadowy figure, later revealed to be the Kingpin, who drops a red rose. Matt is heartbroken by his father's death.

Many years later, Matt Murdock is operating as the vigilante Daredevil at night, and lawyer during the day, protecting Hell's Kitchen in particular. The Kingpin's numerous criminal activities have finally been picked up by the press, notably by journalist Ben Urich, so he decides to set up his former partner, Nicolas Natchios, making it appear as if he was the Kingpin. Matt is intrigued when he meets Nicolas's daughter, Elektra Natchios, and despite her initial distrust of him, the two soon begin a relationship. Shortly after, Nicolas and Elektra are attacked by the lethal and unstable assassin, Bullseye, who was dispatched by the Kingpin. Despite Daredevil's best efforts, Bullseye kills Nikolas Natchios and implicate Daredevil, enraging Elektra, who swears revenge.

Later, when Daredevil goes in search of Bullseye, he runs into Elektra, and reluctantly fights her. When Elektra impales Daredevil through the shoulder with one of her sai blades, she unmasks him and gazes at Matt in horror. Bullseye suddenly appears, and Daredevil can only watch helplessly with his radar-sense as Bullseye fights with, then kills Elektra. The first scene of the film is shown again, as Daredevil enters the church, intending to recuperate and recover his strength. Unfortunately, Bullseye tracks him down, and the two battle ferociously across the church. After Bullseye manages to knock the air out of Daredevil, he raises a jagged metal pipe to kill him. Using his prodigious hearing, Daredevil hears a S.W.A.T. officer cock his rifle and times it so that his bullet fires horizontally through both of Bullseye's hands, incapacitating him. Daredevil then violently throws the assassin through a church window, and watches him plummet to the ground with grim satisfaction.

Daredevil then goes to the Kingpin's Headquarters for a climatic battle. Despite his appearance, the Kingpin turns out to be a powerful fighter, and overpowers Daredevil throughout most of the fight. Daredevil loses sight of Kingpin, and bursts a pipe so that the rushing water would allow his radar hearing to see his enemy, and bring the tyrant to his knees. When Daredevil is about to deal the final blow, he contemplates what it means to be a hero, and offers the Kingpin a sardonic smile as he awards him his life. He informs the Kingpin that he is aware that he wont be imprisoned indefinitely, and as he leaves, tells him that he will always be waiting for him. Kingpin, having learned in the fight that Matt is the secret identity of Daredevil, threatens to expose him, however Matt counters by those words actually threatening Kingpin's own reputation for "being beaten by a blind man". Matt offers one final thought before departing, ordering the Kingpin to stay out of Hell's Kitchen.

The credits cut back to a shot of Bullseye who is battered and is now recovering in the hospital then a fly is starting to annoy him and he reaches for the syringe and hits the fly with the syringe and a word comes from his mouth saying "Bullseye".


  • Ben Affleck as Daredevil / Matt Murdock, an attorney-at-law with a disability. He was blinded as a youth in a radioactive accident that also drastically heightened his remaining senses and gave him a "radar-sense", which allowed him to perceive his surroundings. After this, he makes a silent promise with his father to "stick up for the long shots". His father is killed not long after and at that moment, he vows to seek justice. At night, Matt becomes Daredevil, and takes justice into his hands. Affleck was cast in October 2001. Vin Diesel was considered to portray Daredevil before him, but he opted to take a role from another film.[1] Colin Farrell was also considered until Affleck signed.[2] As a fan, Affleck made sure he had read every single issue of Daredevil, commenting that it was about taking what he knew as a fan and faithfully getting it on the screen. Joe Quesada considered it "serendipity in action" that Affleck is the lead role, as when he and Kevin Smith did the Guardian Devil series, they had modelled it on Affleck.[3] Affleck said Daredevil was his favorite comic book as a kid,[4] and explained why he took the role by saying "Everybody has that one thing from childhood that they remember and that sticks with them. This story was that for me."[5] He also stated another reason, being "I didn't want someone else to do it, because I was afraid that they would go out and do it different from the comic and screw it up."[6]. Is the main protagonist of the film.
    • Scott Terra as Young Matt Murdock: As a youth, he has trouble with local bullies and a close bond with his father. This changes in different ways after the accident. Terra was officially announced as a part of the cast in March 2002.[7]
  • Jennifer Garner as Elektra Natchios: Daughter of billionaire Nikolas Natchios and the love interest of Matt Murdock. At a very young age she witnessed the murder of her mother, and since then her father has had her become highly trained in martial arts. For the role of Elektra, many actresses were looked into with considerations including Penélope Cruz, Salma Hayek, Natalie Portman, Lucy Liu, Jessica Alba, and Katie Holmes.[8] A short-list was eventually made, giving the choices of Jennifer Garner, Jolene Blalock, Mía Maestro and Rhona Mitra,[9] with Garner finally becoming the actress to land the role.[8] Garner said of the character, "I think she's strong and cool and beautiful and smart. She'd be a good role model."[10] Garner noted that the costume would be different as Elektra often wears red satin, but in the film she wears black leather. Garner explained "the red would never have worked for hiding a harness, and I know this sounds ridiculous, but you have to protect your skin a little bit. They throw me around so much on the rooftop [that] I got cut through the leather, so imagine if I hadn't had anything."[6]
  • Colin Farrell as Bullseye: An assassin with perfect accuracy and deep-rooted pride of it. Bullseye is hired by Kingpin to kill Nikolas and Elektra Natchios, but when Daredevil gets involved and causes Bullseye to miss his target, he makes it his own personal vendetta to take Daredevil down. Farrell was attached to the role in December 2001.[2] For the film, the traditional Bullseye costume was not used in the film, a reason for which Mark Steven Johnson credited Joe Quesada for talking him out of.[3] Also, Farrell was encouraged to keep his Irish accent as this version of Bullseye is from Ireland.[6] Farrell had to read Frank Miller's Daredevil comics to understand Bullseye "because the expression on the character's faces in the comic books, and just the way they move sometimes, and the exaggerations of the character I'm playing […] he's so over-the-top that you do draw from that. But it's not exactly a character you can do method acting for... you know, running around New York killing people with paper clips."[11]
  • Michael Clarke Duncan as Wilson Fisk / The Kingpin: The main antagonist of the film. By appearance, he is an overweight corporate head that takes the name Wilson Fisk, but in fact he is the sole person running organized crime, under the moniker of Kingpin. Kingpin is the murderer of Matt's father, and the man responsible for the hiring of Bullseye, with intention of having the Natchios family murdered. Michael Clarke Duncan signed on for the role in January 2002, though he had been attached far earlier.[12] When Duncan was cast, he weighed 290 pounds. He was asked to gain 40 pounds for the role in order to fit the physique of Kingpin. In order to do this, he would lift weights for 30 minutes a day, and power-lifted with one or two reps a day, as well as eating whatever he wanted. Despite this, Duncan's biggest concern was that he is black, whilst Kingpin has always been portrayed as white.[13] He spoke on the fan's loyalty to the source material by saying "they watch movies to say, 'Hey, that's not like the comic book.' But I want them to get past that and just see the movie for what it is and see me for what I am—an actor."[6]
  • Jon Favreau as Franklin "Foggy" Nelson: Matt Murdock's legal partner and best friend, he is also used as a form of comic relief. Favreau joined the cast in February 2002.[14]
  • Joe Pantoliano as Ben Urich: An investigative journalist whose articles notably relate to Daredevil, and the Kingpin. During the film, he goes on to uncover a lot of information about the two. Pantoliano was cast in March 2002.[15]
  • David Keith as Jack Murdock: Father of Matt Murdock and a boxer, he is murdered by the Kingpin when he doesn't take a fall for a fight. Keith was officially announced as a part of the cast in March 2002.[7]
  • Leland Orser as Wesley Owen Welch: The number two of Wilson Fisk, but he doesn't like to be involved in the activities of the Kingpin.
  • Erick Avari as Nikolas Natchios: The father of Elektra, who is murdered by Bullseye on behalf of the Kingpin.
  • Ellen Pompeo as Karen Page: The secretary at Matt Murdock and Franklin Nelson's law firm.
  • Derrick O'Connor as Father Everett: A priest of Matt Murdock's local church, where he sometimes goes to find solace.

Stan Lee, Frank Miller and Kevin Smith, each notable for their work on the Daredevil comics, also have cameo roles throughout the film.[6] The Director's Cut version also features Jude Ciccolella and Coolio in a sub-plot removed from the theatrical version.


In 1997, 20th Century Fox optioned the rights from Marvel Enterprises, and Chris Columbus was chosen to direct the film. In 1998, Marvel was facing bankruptcy. During this time 20th Century Fox allowed the option to expire, so Disney began negotiations in order to acquire the rights. In 1999, the negotiations failed to work out so Marvel sets the project up with Sony's Columbia Pictures.[16] During this time, Chris Columbus and Carlo Carlei co-wrote a script together,[17] before Mark Steven Johnson got signed to write the screenplay. By 2000, Sony decided to cancel the project,[16] as the two companies reportedly couldn't come to an agreement over Internet rights.[18]

New Regency entered negotiations with a more satisfying offer, attaining the character rights from Marvel in 2000 to produce the film, with 20th Century Fox handling the distribution.[19] Mark Steven Johnson had to pitch himself again in order to show he's suitable for the job, and became rehired.[16] Johnson's script was turned in 2001, which was praised by Ain't It Cool News' Harry Knowles.[20] Prior to shooting, producer Gary Foster said that in comparison to other comic book-based films before it, this film would be "more character-driven ... darker ... edgier,"[21] whilst Marvel Studios Executive Kevin Feige felt the script was one of the strongest comic scripts Marvel had received.[22]

20th Century Fox wanted to start filming in Canada in order to save money. This plan was contended by Mark Steven Johnson, and the film's cinematographer, Ericson Core, after they found a preferred area for shooting around downtown Los Angeles' Arcade Building. Core noted that the appeal came from the "beautiful, old brick buildings and great rooftops," which they felt was perfect for a depiction of Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, in comparison to the studio's choice where the filming would be done in Montreal or Vancouver. Due to their insistence, coupled with Ben Affleck's disinterest in filming in Canada (after having filmed there for his previous film, The Sum of All Fears) they were able to overturn the studio's mind.[23]

A side-by-side view of the scene from the Guardian Devil graphic novel, and the film.

When the look of the film was being decided, Mark Steven Johnson opted to use direct scenes from the Daredevil comics. Joe Quesada's artistic take in Guardian Devil (Daredevil (vol. 2) #1-#8) was an influence on the film, with Johnson noting that they would "literally take out a scene from the comic book that Joe did […] Here's Daredevil on the cross, you know, it's that scene from 'Guardian Devil'. You just shoot that."[3] Throughout the film, Ben Affleck had to wear "cataract milky-blue" contacts, which would effectively make him blind. This was considered great by Johnson, as it would aid his performance.[24]

The sound plays an integral part in the film, as the superhero relies on it in order to form his 'radar sense'. Post-production sound was done by supervising sound editor John Larsen and sound designer Steve Boeddeker and is heard taking place immediately after Matt's optic nerve is seen mutating. The mutating of the nerve was done by Rhythm and Hues Studios, who also worked on the radar-sense which became referred to as "shadow world." Shadow world was made using just CGI except in a scene where Elektra and Matt Murdock are in the rain, the scene was done using CGI over film.[24]

The score to Daredevil was written by Graeme Revell, and was released on March 4, 2003.[25] He was attracted to the focus of "human-ness" on the Daredevil, torn emotionally and physically by his superhero status. Avi Arad asked Revell to concentrate more on the emotions of Daredevil and Elektra, whilst Mark Steven Johnson wanted to stay clear from any gothic and action movie clichés. Revell tried to avoid too much individual motifs but some characters would have an identifiable sound, like Bullseye would have guitar undertones, while Kingpin would have bass beats. Guitarist Mike Einziger of Incubus collaborated with Revell for any additional rock elements. Revell thoroughly enjoyed working with Johnson, describing the director as "positive" and "responsive" when it came to experimenting (as opposed to feeling "locked in a box of preconceptions") which he felt lead to "cool stuff." Varèse Sarabande put together the score record.[26]



Aside from expected TV commercials during such TV hits as Friends and Law & Order, as well as one in the second quarter of the Super Bowl, there was also a tie-in with Kraft, an in-store promotion at Wal-Mart, a marketing campaign with Hamilton Watch Company, who designed the watch Matt wears in the film,[27] and a weeklong Daredevil segment on Entertainment Tonight.[28] As part of an online form of marketing, a viral e-mail drive was started, where participants would be entered in prize draw where they could win things such as Daredevil t-shirts, Game Boy Advance games and cufflinks. To enter the drawing, the user to booked tickets for the film online, then passed an e-mail on to someone else, making them eligible. The idea was to encourage online ticket booking, which at the time was seen as a growing trend.[29] The Game Boy Advance game was released on February 14, 2003, and was created by Encore, a subsidiary of Navarre Corporation.[30] The soundtrack to the film, Daredevil: The Album, was released in February 2003.[31]

Box office

Daredevil opened theatrically on February 14, 2003, on 3,471 screens.[16] The film took first place in its opening weekend, making $45,033,454. At the time, it became the second biggest February release, behind Hannibal.[32] By the second weekend the film saw a 55.1% decline in takings but managed to maintain the number one spot, beating new release Old School by $639,093.[33] By the third weekend release, Daredevil saw a further 38.5% drop in sales, and so fell to third place at the box office.[34] The film grossed over $102 million in North America, and over $76 million in the rest of the world, totalling the film's worldwide takings at just over $179 million, grossing over double its budget of $78 million.[35] Avi Arad addressed the top spot success by saying "we are five for five with record-breaking box office successes [with Blade, X-Men, Blade II then Spider-Man] and have two more Marvel releases slated for this summer [which are X2 and Hulk]. It's a testament to the broad appeal of these characters before mainstream audiences outside of the core comic fans. These super heroes have been successful within the Marvel pantheon for decades; it only makes sense that their translations to the big screen are just as fruitful."[36]

Due to the film's violent scenes, Daredevil was banned in Malaysia. 20th Century Fox had appealed to Malaysia's censorship board to change its decision, hoping that the film would be due for release in Malaysia on February 27, 2003.[37] Malaysian newspaper The Star also noted that the ban was due to the film theme being "focused on the dealings of a secret society," as well as some sensuality. The article criticized the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia for having these reasons to ban the film, but at the same time allowing films such as Final Destination 2, which contained violent content, and Infernal Affairs, which focused on the dealings of a secret society, before suggesting that the board should have considered banning The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers for "having scenes containing violence using weapons and hands," a direct quotation of which the article cited as being another reason why Daredevil was banned.[38]


Daredevil received mixed reviews from critics.[39][40] Review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 44% of critics gave the film positive feedback, based on 201 reviews,[39] with a 44% rating from selected "notable" critics.[41] At the website Metacritic, which assigns its own subjective rating out of 100 to each review, the film has received an average score of 42, based on 35 reviews.[40] Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film 3 out of a possible 4 stars and called the film good, despite noting the almost typical superhero background. Of the actors, he stated that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were suitable for their roles, whilst Michael Clark Duncan's presence alone was menacing. He finished by saying "I am getting a little worn out describing the origin stories and powers of superheroes […] Some of their movies, like this one, are better than others."[42] Houston Chronicle's Bruce Westbrook considered it "the best Marvel movie to date, it's as well-written and character-driven as some of today's Oscar contenders, and its story doesn't stall with hollow flamboyance."[43] The Austin Chronicle's Kimberly Jones praised the film, the actors, and felt that though an unproven director, "Johnson has just signed his meal ticket with this marriage of big brains, big brawn, and–most happily–big heart."[44]

Empire's Kim Newman gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, and felt people "will like the characters more than the film," before adding that there are enough strong moments to guarantee a good viewing.[45] The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw stated that the film held "unconvincing touches" but was more enjoyable than Spider-Man and as dark as Tim Burton's Batman.[46] BBC film critic Nev Pierce believed the film had spectacular set-pieces, but felt there was no strong narrative arc to keep the viewer interested.[47] The Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern considered the film to be neither original nor great but felt it maintained "many grace notes and interesting oddities."[48] The Globe and Mail's Rick Groen said the film was "not woeful, not wonderful, merely watchable."[40] The Philadelphia Inquirer's Steven Rea thought the film brought a variance of humour and violence, but felt it didn't work as well as it could have.[40] James Berardinelli felt the film was merely a satisfactory superhero film.[40] TV Guide's Frank Lovece noted that for a superhero film the characters are more grounded to reality, respectively, but also felt it was "a movie for grown-ups, not kids."[49]

Particularly negative reviews included the one by The New York Times' Elvis Mitchell, who said the film was "second-rate and ordinary,"[39] whilst Variety's Todd McCarthy considered it "a pretender in the realm of bona fide superheroes."[50] Time Out's Trevor Johnston praised Ben Affleck, feeling he "persuades us of the pain of sightlessness and supersensitive hearing," but also felt writer/director Johnson's construction fails all involved in the film.[51] Slate's David Edelstein believed Johnson copied a lot of Batman, and concluded by saying "that's not so bad: The movie looks best when it looks like other, better movies."[52] The Chicago Tribune's Michael Wilmington thought the film grabs the attention, but felt it doesn't reward it.[40] The New York Post's Lou Lumenick panned the film, describing it as a "mind-numbing, would-be comic-book franchise, which often seems as blind as its hero -- not to mention deaf and dumb."[40]

Director's cut

A director's cut of the film was announced for a spring 2004 DVD release. This version contained new additions like previously unseen footage and a removed subplot, and was to be a bit darker with an R rating. The film, released in 2.35:1 widescreen format, was release with DTS and Dolby Digital sound. The new version of the film has newly recorded commentary to accompany it, featuring Mark Steven Johnson and Avi Arad. A "Making of Director's Cut" featurette also accompanied the film. The release date of the DVD was later pushed back to November 30, 2004.[53][54] On September 30, 2008 the director's cut was released on Blu-ray.[55] The DVD release of the directors cut removed the wealth of bonus material included on the theatrical cut's DVD release, but it was restored for the Blu-Ray release (although the Blu-Ray release only contains the director's cut).

Kevin Feige commented on this version of the film, believing "the people who had other opinions [of Daredevil] will be won over by this new version."[53] Reviewers like Empire's Danny Graydon seemed to reaffirm this opinion by considering this version a "considerable improvement on the original version," notably preferring the more violent undertones, a lesser focus on the romance, and the equal focus of Daredevil and his lawyer alias Matt Murdock and the subplot involving Coolio. Some gripes still remained though, as Graydon felt Affleck didn't suit himself in the Daredevil outfit, and that Michael Clark Duncan as the Kingpin was done in an over-the-top manner.[56] IGN's Jeff Otto & Andy Patrizio also deemed this version an improvement over the original. They felt this version was more loyal to the Frank Miller feel of the Daredevil world, with more focus on themes such as Murdock's struggle with his Catholic upbringing. On the whole they felt the film would be far more pleasing to the fans, and overall better than the theatrical release.[57]

Future: talks from sequel to reboot

Kevin Feige has stated "there are many more stories to be told with old Hornhead and we'd love to tell them someday."[53] Avi Arad has also said that a sequel will begin development once the rights go from 20th Century Fox to Marvel Studios.[58] Director Mark Steven Johnson showed interest in returning to direct with the Born Again storyline, as well as suggesting Mr. Fear as a possible villain.[59]

During 2004, Ben Affleck shot a cameo role for the spin-off film, Elektra, at the request of Daredevil co-star Jennifer Garner.[60] In October 2004, Affleck stated he would only return in the lead role if Fox would renegotiate to tell the darker stories of Daredevil, and showed interest in a Kevin Smith graphic novel which included Mysterio, as well as the Born Again storyline.[61] However, in November 2006 Affleck stated that he would never reprise the role, having felt "by playing a superhero in Daredevil, I have inoculated myself from ever playing another superhero... Wearing a costume was a source of humiliation for me and something I wouldn't want to do again soon."[62]

In July 2006, Michael Clarke Duncan showed interest in returning for the role of the Kingpin, but stated that he would not be willing to gain weight as he felt "comfortable" being down to 270 pounds. However, he jokingly showed willingness to change his mind if he was offered $20 million. Duncan suggested that the character is portrayed to have been training a lot in jail in order to become faster in combat against Daredevil, also working as a way to fit his weight loss into the story.[63]

In July 2008, Jason Statham had expressed interest in appearing as Daredevil in the future. Statham requested "just give me the chance, I would love to be Daredevil." Frank Miller commented in agreement "I think he should be Daredevil too."[64] In October 2008, 20th Century Fox executive Tom Rothman said that "a Daredevil reboot is something we are thinking very seriously about." Rothman added that "what it really needs is, it needs a visionary at the level that [The Dark Knight director] Chris Nolan was. It needs someone, it needs a director, honestly, who has a genuine vision."[65] In February 2010, reboot news was further reported by Deadline Hollywood who announced 20th Century Fox and New Regency are looking to develop the reboot with News Corp. Vice President Peter Chernin producing and David Scarpa writing the script. Intentions are said to move forward so that the film rights to the character would not revert back to Marvel.[66]

Further reading

  • Cox, Greg (January 7, 2003) (Paperback). Daredevil: A Novel. Novelization of the film. Onyx. ISBN 0451410807. 


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External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Daredevil is a 2003 film featuring characters from Marvel comics. A blind man whose remaining senses are superhumanly acute battles crime as the costumed vigilante Daredevil, the "Man Without Fear".

Directed by Mark Steven Johnson. Screenplay by Mark Steven Johnson.
Starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell, and Michael Clarke Duncan.
Tagline: When justice is blind, it knows no fear.


Matt Murdock/Daredevil

  • "I had lost my sight, but I got something back in return. My remaining four senses functioned with superhuman sharpness. But most amazing of all, my sense of sound gave off a kind of radar sense." (as narrator)
  • "High above the city streets, I trained my body and my senses. An acute sense of touch gave me both strength and balance, until the city itself became my playground." (as narrator)
  • "I waited outside the Olympic for my father. In some ways, I'm still waiting. Nobody cared much about the death of a washed-up prizefighter... nobody but me." (as narrator)
  • "I would keep my promise. I would help those that others wouldn't. I would seek justice... one way or another." (as narrator)
  • "Can one man make a difference? There are days when I believe, and others when I have lost all faith."
  • "Mister Quesada, I hope justice is found here today... before justice finds you."
  • "Hey - that light at the end of the tunnel? Guess what? That's not heaven. That's the C train!"
  • "I'm not the bad guy here, kid."
  • "When it rains, it's like there's a rooftop on the world. Each raindrop makes a sound the first time it falls on a surface. Just then, it's like I-I... it's like I can see again. And I-I just want to... I just want to see you."
  • "I tried, Father. I tried. This is who I am."
  • "This one's for you, Dad."
  • "If there are no eyewitnesses — you know, I mean, Bigfoot has eyewitnesses."
  • (sat on a burning pool table) Quesada!... Time to give the Devil his due!
  • Hell’s Kitchen is my neighborhood. I prowl the rooftops and alleyways at night. Watching from the darkness. Forever in darkness. A guardian devil.

Elektra Natchios

  • "My name's Elektra Natchios. Hmm!" (after defeating Matt in martial-arts bout in a park)
  • "Stay with me. Stay."
  • "You should know that the only reason I got dressed up for this thing was that I wanted to look beautiful for you. I wish you could see me tonight."
  • "It's just... good things don't happen to me very often. When they do, I get scared."
  • "You don't know how I feel. I want revenge."
  • "Remember me?" (dressed in leather fighting gear and brandishing a pair of sais.)
  • "I want to look into the eyes of my father's killer as he dies."
  • "He has to pay for what he's done."
  • "I'll find you."


  • "More peanuts, please."
  • "I... missed. I NEVER miss!"
  • "The Devil is mine!"
  • "He... made me... miss."
  • "Hey, orphan - let's play!"
  • "I want a bloody costume!" changed to "I want a fucking costume!" in the directors cut.
  • "You're good, baby, I'll give you that. But me? I'm magic."
  • "'Man without fear' (chuckles) Looks like I found something you're afraid of. Let's bring on the pain! Let's bring on the noise!"
  • (after Daredevil lets a bullet go through both of Bullseye's hands) "My hands! You took away my hands!"
  • (last line of the film) "Mmm... bulls-eye."
  • "First one's a warning...padre"

Wilson Fisk/the Kingpin

  • "I want you to create a paper trail. One that can be traced to Natchios."
  • "The press want a Kingpin, so I'll give them a Kingpin. Get me Bullseye."
  • "Nobody's innocent. Nobody."
  • "I'm just saying goodbye, old friend. Just saying goodbye."
  • "There's an old saying that too much pride can kill a man."
  • "I was raised in the Bronx, Wesley. This is something you wouldn't understand."
  • "It's a shame you came here wounded. I would've loved to fight you in your prime."
  • "Business. That's all it ever is, is business."
  • (after he pulled off Daredevil's mask, and is laughing) No, I don't believe this. No, no. The blind lawyer from Hell's Kitchen?

Franklin Nelson

  • "There are alligators in the sewers! Don't ride my ass about the alligators. I got a friend in Sanitation, okay? He's seen them!"
  • "She's... hideous. I don't know if its a fungus or some kind of congenital birth defect, but as your attorney in this matter I advise you to take no further action."
  • "As your attorney in this matter, I advise you to marry the woman immediately."
  • "Wilson Fisk is in the HIZZY!"
  • "That place is gonna be crawling with people - rich people! People who pay their legal fees with money, not with fish, or with-with-with wheels of cheese, or with sports supplies! I'm gonna fill you in on a little secret, Matt. This doesn't look like a law office, okay? It looks like the set of goddamn "Sanford and Son". Every time I walk in I'm waiting for Lamont to come down the stairs!"
  • "Look at me, Matt. I'm a 'plus one'. 'Plus ones' don't get anywhere by themselves. They need somebody to bring them. That's why it's 'plus one'."
  • "What happens to that lie-detector of yours when it detects your own bullshit? It must really bury the needle, huh?"
  • "Do you or do you not concede that there are alligators in the sewers? Please answer the question."


  • "You don't hit nothin' but books, get me? You be a doctor or a lawyer. Not like me." ~ Jack Murdock
  • "You can do anything if you're not afraid." ~ Jack Murdock
  • "Go ahead, fight me! I dare ya!" ~ bully
  • "I'm not too crazy about the outfit, either." ~ Father Everett
  • "The truth is, Mister Murdock, is that Miss Sutton enjoyed every minute of it." ~ Jose Quesada
  • "To the justice system, right? Of course I beat it. Kingpin's got my back, bro." ~ Jose Quesada
  • "Matt, it's Heather. Are you there? Of course you're not there. You're never there. At least, not for me. Look, I didn't want to do this over the phone, but it's not like you've given me any choice. I mean, It's been three months, and I've never even seen your apartment. Every time we sleep together, I wake up in the morning alone. I mean, Jesus, where do you go at three o'clock in the morning?" ~ part of "Dear John" message on Matt Murdock's answering machine
  • "This ain't your neighborhood no more! Kitchen belongs to the Kingpin, now!" ~ Thug
  • "New York is not a safe place tonight. That's all you need to know." ~ Nikolas Natchios
  • "What do you want, Urich? Does all this make you happy? Looks like you got your story." ~ Detective Nick Manolis
  • "They say the Kingpin doesn't just kill you, he kills your whole family. I think your girl's in trouble." ~ Ben Urich
  • "You said to look out for anything weird, yes? Well, it's some pretty weird shit right here, man, right?" ~ Kirby, the forensic assistant


(Jack "the Devil" Murdock is visited before a match by the gangster he used to work for.)
Fallon: Jack, it's been a while.
Jack Murdock: I don't work for you no more, Fallon.
Fallon: Jack, you never stopped. Did you really think you won all those fights on your own? You're forty-two years old! Miller, Mack, Bendis — they're all my fighters... just like you. And now it's your turn to take a fall. Think about your boy, Jack. I'm sure you'll do the right thing.

(Reporter Ben Urich arrives at a crime scene.)
Detective Nick Manolis: You're wasting your time, Urich. There's nothing to see here.
Ben Urich (watching EMT's carry a stretcher away): Jose Quesada... (2 more EMT's carry off another stretcher) and the rest of Jose Quesada. Whole lot of nothing, huh, Nick?
Manolis: You keep running those stories and we're gonna end up with a bunch of copycat vigilantes who are gonna get themselves killed.
Urich: Are you here to confirm that Daredevil is responsible for this, Detective?
Manolis: Come on, Urich, stop bustin' my — (breaks off as Urich holds up a tape recorder) There is no proof that your so-called Daredevil was involved, nor that he even exists. Got it?

(A vigilante superhero in the confessional.)
Matt Murdock: Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It's been a week since my last —
Father Everett: What the hell are playing at, Matt? You didn't come here for forgiveness. You came for permission, and I can't give you that.
Matt: Justice isn't a sin, Father.
Father Everett: No, but vengeance is. You see it every day on the street: violence begets more violence. Is that how you want to live your life? A lawyer during the day, and then judge and jury at night. Is that what you want?
Matt: Somebody has to do something.
Father Everett: But why you?
Matt: Because I can. Because I'm not afraid.
Father Everett: Well, I'm afraid for you, Matthew. Look, a man without fear is a man without hope. May God have mercy on you for your sins and grant you Everlasting Life, Amen. (sighs) I'm not too crazy about the outfit, either.

Franklin Nelson: Your client, Mister Lee, he made his first payment today.
Matt Murdock: That's great. You should be very happy.
Franklin: Yeah, it's fantastic. He paid in fluke. Fluke is a fish, Matt. Did you know that? Because I sure as hell didn't.
Matt: Mister Lee is a good man, and he-he doesn't have a lot of money, and he goes fishing on the weekends.
Franklin: Yeah, well, I go salsa dancing on the weekends, but I don't shake my ass to pay my phone bill, you know what I'm sayin'?
Franklin: We need some better clients. I'm tired of these pro bono cases.
Matt: What is your problem with our clients? We have good, honorable clients, decent people. What's your idea of better? Define "better". Huh? What would be a "better" client?
Franklin: "Better" means rich and guilty, okay? Remember how they taught us in law school how to create a moral vacuum, so you can represent people who aren't all necessarily innocent?
Matt: That was your best course, as I recall.
Franklin: Yeah, well, you don't have a moral vacuum, Matt. You're completely vacuumless.

Matt Murdock: Uh, I was just looking for some honey. Could you help me out?
Elektra (without looking up): Right in front of you.
Matt: Well... could you be a little more specific?
Elektra: What, are you —
Matt: Blind? Yeah.
Elektra: Oh, I am so sorry!
Matt: It's okay. (extends a hand) Matt Murdock.
'Elektra: (shakes hands) Nice to meet you, Matt Murdock.
Matt: Nice to meet you, uh... I didn't get your name.
Elektra: I didn't give it. (she exits the coffee shop.)
(Matt follows Elektra, tracking her by scent to a park.)
Elektra: What do you want?
Matt: I just wanted to get your name. I didn't want any trouble.
Elektra: Look — I don't like being followed. So don't. (She turns to storm off.)
Matt: Uh, wait a minute, wait a minute. Wait a second, take it easy! (He catches Elektra's hand.)
Elektra: And I don't like being touched! (She throws a punch; Matt counters and pins her arms.)
Matt: What don't you tell me what you do like, and we'll start there. Okay?
(Elektra throws more punches and kicks, which Matt dodges. The two separate, remove their jackets, and strike martial arts poses.)
Elektra: You sure you're blind?
Matt: Sure you don't wanna tell me your name?
(Later, during a pause in the fighting.)
Matt Murdock: Does every guy have to go through all this just to find out your name?
Elektra: Try asking for my number.

Kingpin: What's wrong, Wesley?
Wesley: Have you seen the papers today? Somebody's been talking.
Kingpin: Somebody always does.

Matt Murdock: Where'd you learn how to fight like that?
Elektra Natchios: My father. He had me study with a different sensei every year since I was five years old.
Matt: Sounds like he wanted to turn you into some kind of a warrior.
Elektra: No. Just not a victim.

Matt Murdock: I said I was sorry. What do you want?
Franklin Nelson: Details. You owe me that.
Matt: Her name's Elektra Natchios.
Franklin: She sounds like a Mexican appetizer.
Matt: It's Greek, genius. Her father's Nikolas Natchios.
Franklin: The billionaire?
Matt: Yeah, see? Yes, the billionaire.
Franklin: Well, then, as your attorney in this matter, I advise you to marry the woman immediately.
Matt: I'll take it under consideration.

(Matt Murdock arrives at his office and is greeted by his secretary.)
Karen Page: This just came by messenger. It's your invitation to the Black and White Ball at the Grand - plus one. (she smiles expectantly)
Franklin Nelson: Plus one? All right! Guess I gotta rent a tux.
Franklin: Natchios owns the Grand Hotel. And Elektra's the reason you were invited to the ball.
Matt: She's out of my league. I'd rather just end it before it starts.
Franklin: That's gotta be some kind of record, Matt. You just completely bypassed the whole relationship phase. You went right into the breakup. Trying to save some time, huh?

(Walking on the street at night, Matt Murdock stops and sniffs the air.)
Matt: So, does this mean you want a rematch?
Elektra: I knew I'd find you. How did you know I wasn't a mugger?
Matt: Muggers don't usually wear rose oil or high heels. At least, this far from Chelsea.
(Matt has taken Elektra onto a rooftop.)
Elektra: Wait a second - exactly how many women have you had up here?
Matt: Uh, you're my first.
Elektra: Good answer.
Matt: I thought that was the right answer.
Elektra: Look at this! It's so beautiful!
Matt: I know. This was my favorite view of the city when I was a kid. I really wanted you to see this.

Ben Urich: Cool color. {commenting on Matt's cane)
Matt: I wouldn't know.

Franklin Nelson: Oh-oh-oh! Look at that! Wilson Fisk is in the hizzie! Come on, we might never get a chance like this again. Come on, let's go! (to Fisk) Mister Fisk? Mister Fisk, it's Franklin Nelson from Nelson and Murdock —
Wesley: Excuse me. You want to talk to Mister Fisk, you make an appointment. Okay?
Wilson Fisk: It's all right, Wesley. (to Nelson) I know who you are. You're the blind lawyers from Hell's Kitchen.
Franklin: Actually, actually he's the blind one. I'm deaf.
Fisk: (chuckles) Give them a card, Wesley. I'm always on the lookout for new blood.
Matt Murdock: I'm sorry, Mister Fisk, my partner's a little overzealous. We can't represent you.
Fisk: Why's that?
Franklin: Yes, why is that, Mister Murdock?
Matt: Because we only handle clients who are innocent.
Fisk: (chuckles) "Innocent", he says. That's pretty funny. You know, I've learned one thing in all my years in this business.
Matt: What's that?
Fisk: Nobody's innocent. Nobody. Have a great time at the party. (Fisk and Wesley exit.)
Franklin: I just... Matt, for one night I just wish, I just... (he spots Elektra, in an evening gown, on the balcony.) Matt, I just wish I could give you my eyes for one night.

(On the dance floor, Elektra reaches up to remove Matt's dark glasses.)
Elektra: Do you mind?
Matt: Uh, no, I just... sometimes it makes people uncomfortable, that's all.
Elektra: Not me. But you should know that the only reason I got dressed up for this thing was that I wanted to look beautiful for you. I wish you could see me tonight.
Matt: Me, too.

(Nikolas Natchios is watching Elektra on the dance floor; Wilson Fisk approaches him from behind.)
Fisk: I think she's happy. I haven't seen her smile like that since her mother died. Poor girl — right in front of her eyes.
Natchios: Why do you have to bring that up now?
Fisk: History has a way of repeating itself.
Natchios: What are you saying?
Fisk: Just saying goodbye, old friend. Just saying goodbye.

(At Nikolas Natchios' funeral.)
Matt: I know how you feel.
Elektra: You don't know how I feel. I want revenge.
Matt: Revenge won't make the pain go away. Trust me. I know.
Elektra: There's no place for me now.
Matt: Yes, there is. Stay. Stay with me. Please.

(Wilson Fisk enters his office to find Bullseye sitting at his desk.)
Fisk: Now how did you get past my security?
Bullseye: Oh, you mean that guy? (chuckling, he points to corpse on the floor.)
Fisk: Was that really necessary?
Bullseye: Necessary? No. It was fun.
Bullseye: The Devil is mine.
Fisk: really? I've heard that before, all too many times. But answer me this: how do you kill a man without fear?
Bullseye: By puttin' the fear in him.
Fisk: Ah — I like that. But first, give Elektra all my best.

Ben Urich: Matt, it's Ben Urich.
Matt Murdock: I know who it is. What do you want?
Urich: I got a lead on my story. I think that Natchios was set up by the real Kingpin.
Matt: Why are you telling me this?
Urich: They say the Kingpin doesn't just kill you. He kills your whole family. I think your girl's in trouble. I thought you might know somebody that could protect her.

(Elektra, armed & suited up in leather, attacks Daredevil intent on murder.)
Daredevil: Stop! It wasn't me! It was a hitman named Bullseye. I didn't kill your father!
Elektra: Liar.

(Father Everett finds Daredevil, badly wounded, in the church; Bullseye enters in pursuit and sends a throwing star into the wall above the Father's head.)
Bullseye: The first one's a warning... padre.
Daredevil: Is there a back door out of here?
Father Everett: Yes.
Daredevil: Take it.
Father Everett: What about you?
Daredevil: I'm gonna finish this.
Father Everett: You can't fight like this, son!
Daredevil: Have faith, Father. Isn't that right?

Bullseye: Fisk was right about you. He said you wouldn't go easy.
Daredevil: Fisk? Fisk is the Kingpin?
Bullseye: Yeah. That whole red rose thing? He loves that shit. It's not my style. He hired me to kill Natchios, and to gut your pretty girlfriend too. But me, I'm going for the hat-trick. I told him I'd do you for free.

Wesley: There's been a problem.
Wilson Fisk: Bullseye failed.
Wesley: Correct.
Fisk: Send the guards home.
Wesley: B-but sir —
Fisk: I was raised in the Bronx, Wesley. This is something you wouldn't understand.

Matt Murdock: You killed the only two people I ever loved. Why?
Wilson Fisk: Business. That's all it ever is, is business. I was working for Fallon at the time. Your father was supposed to throw a fight. And your girl was in the wrong family at the wrong time. It's all business. (long pause) And you've been in my business for too long!
Fisk: You hear that, blind man? Sirens. They're coming for you.
Matt: For me? Didn't you hear? The word's out on the Kingpin. They're coming for you. I can hear the police radios from here.
Fisk: No, no. I swear, I'll tell 'em who you are.
Matt: Yeah? Go ahead. Tell 'em. Tell all the guys at Ryker's all about how you got beat by a blind man. It'll be like blood in the water.


Ben Affleck - Matt Murdock/Daredevil
Jennifer Garner - Elektra Natchios
Colin Farrell - Bullseye
Michael Clarke Duncan - Wilson Fisk/the Kingpin
Jon Favreau - Franklin Nelson
Joe Pantoliano - Ben Urich
David Keith - Jack Murdock
Derrick O'Connor - Father Everett
Leland Orser - Wesley Welch
Lennie Loftin - Detective Nick Manolis
Eric Avari - Nikolaos Natchios
Paul Ben-Victor - Jose Quesada
Scott Terra - young Matt
Mark Margolis - Fallon
Ellen Pompeo - Karen Page
Kevin Smith - Jack Kirby (Forensic assistant)

See also

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