For as many new stills and hearsay as Marvel’s Netflix series ‘Daredevil’ darts around, we still haven’t seen very much of the series itself, nor gotten a strong sense of its characters. Now, showrunner Steven S. DeKnight has opened up to explain ‘Daredevil’'s place and tone within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as preview the rise of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin, and potential appearances from fan-favorite villain Bullseye.

Speaking in segmented interviews with Entertainment Weekly, both DeKnight and Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb offered up a few new details of the hotly-anticipated Netflix series due to hit in mid-2015, particularly its place among the existing movies and TV series. Calling it “very, very grounded, very gritty, very real,” DeKnight specified that ‘Daredevil’ would take its cue from crime dramas like ‘The Wire,’ leaving the more epic superheroics to the ‘Avengers’ that occupy a vastly different part of New York than Hell’s Kitchen.

Says Jeph Loeb of the setting within the MCU:

Within the Marvel universe there are thousands of heroes of all shapes and sizes, but The Avengers are here to save the universe and Daredevil is here to save the neighborhood. It’s a very unique look at Hell’s Kitchen in New York, where Matt Murdock grew up and continues to defend it from people who would harm the people that live there.

It does take place in the Marvel cinematic universe. It’s all connected. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we would look up in the sky and see [Iron Man]. It’s just a different part of New York that we have not yet seen in the Marvel movies.

A more grounded setting and tone will also bring with it a more grounded villain, as Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ looks to flesh out the rise and characterization of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk. That isn’t to say that subsequent years of the series couldn’t accommodate more outlandish villains like the sharpshooter Bullseye (DeKnight wasn’t interested in repeating anything from 2003's movie adaptation, but will keep the character in mind for future seasons), though DeKnight found Fisk a natural yin to Matt Murdock’s yang in telling a multi-faceted crime drama:

Fisk has very many different aspects so it’s not all, ‘I want to conquer the city and make a lot of money.’ In our story, we tell the story of how he met his wife Vanessa and how they fell in love—our antagonist actually has a love story. That’s the love story you’re following, the one you’re invested in, and seeing how that affects him and changes him. I think Vincent just brings such depth to it, his performance is just astounding.

Not only that, but the show’s New York Comic-Con 2014 panel revealed the inclusion of Vondie Curtis-Hall as reporter Ben Urich, ‘Man of Steel’ star Ayelet Zurer as Vanessa (not yet Fisk), and Bob Gunton as Leland Owlsley (The Owl).

Apart from taking place in the same cinematic universe as ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,’ we know that each Marvel Netflix series will shoot 13 episodes, culminating in an eight-episode team-up with ‘The Defenders’ miniseries and bringing the total to 60 episodes (to start). Drew Goddard was replaced as showrunner by ‘Spartacus’ vet DeKnight, though Goddard remains a consultant.

‘Daredevil’ remains one of the more hotly-anticipated projects of 2015, even as Marvel has yet to set an official release date, but what say you? Are you disappointed the Man Without Fear’s new series won’t majorly connect to any of the ‘Avengers’’ adventures, or push the adult content of Netflix’s lacking restrictions? What do you want to see when ‘Daredevil’ introduces a new phase of Marvel’s cinematic offerings?

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