Welcome to the Marvel Universe, Rosario Dawson! So far, Marvel’s “Daredevil” Netflix series is boasting quite the all-star cast. With Charlie Cox cast as Matt Murdock (which is very exciting news for fans of “Boardwalk Empire”) and Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk (which is very exciting news for everyone), the live action Hell’s Kitchen of “Daredevil” lore is attracting some grade-A thespians. With Rosario Dawson on board, Marvel has found a genre darling who makes this future event even more exciting. Dawson is fondly remembered as Gail, the Uzi-wielding leader of the Girls of Old Town in “Sin City”; she was Becky, the Mooby’s manager with a billion-dollar smile and a heart of gold, in “Clerks 2”; and now, she’s set make her Marvel Universe debut.
But just who will Dawson play? Many fans have already made their choices known, but are they on the right track? Marvel describes Dawson’s character as “a dedicated young woman whose quest to heal the wounds of Hell’s Kitchen brings Matt Murdock unexpectedly crashing into her life, while her own journey forever alters the course of his battle against the injustices of this broken city.” Will Marvel go the obvious route and have Dawson be the wielder of a certain pair of famous Sais, or will she play one of the many strong and complex women of the Marvel Universe that have yet to see any cinematic screen time? There’s also the possibility Dawson will play a wholly new character, a fresh addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that will make an impact as strong as a certain Agent Coulson did starting in the first “Iron Man.” Whatever the case, Marvel has itself a beautiful and talented female lead for “Daredevil.” With Daredevil’s former love interest Natasha Romanov present and accounted for in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, CBR runs down some other ladies that have impacted Matt Murdock’s world that Dawson could potentially bring to life.
Daredevil isn’t the only street-level Marvel hero coming to Netflix. Luke Cage and Iron Fist will also be joining Daredevil on Marvel’s newest media platform and Misty Knight is an enduring supporting character for both of those stalwart defenders of justice. Misty, a tough as nails private detective with a bionic arm, could possibly be introduced in “Daredevil” and go on to play a role in other Marvel/Netflix series. Misty fits right into the noir world of Daredevil and could serve as the glue that holds the four Netflix shows together. Dawson is known for her action oriented badass females, and Misty Knight epitomizes the classic woman of action.
She was Ronin, she was Echo, and now she’s dead, but while she was with us, Maya Lopez made quite the impact on the world of Daredevil and the Marvel Universe in general. The contrast of a deaf heroine to the blind Matt Murdock could be thematically and stylistically cool for new fans of “Daredevil” that first experience the hero via the Netflix series. Echo was first introduced by David Mack and Joe Quesada just prior to Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker taking over Matt Murdock’s adventures for roughly a decade. Dawson certainly has the acting chops to play the Echo, a skilled combatant with photographic reflexes. Echo’s origin ties deeply into the epic Wilson Fisk/Matt Murdock conflict as Echo goes from a sworn enemy of Daredevil to a lover, ally, and even a future Avenger. As a veteran of numerous films making a rare foray into television, it’s not such a stretch to imagine Dawson’s echo making the leap to Marvel’s premier film franchise.
While not quite as well known as some of the other characters on our list, White Tiger is certainly an intriguing prospect for the series. Angela Del Toro is the second hero to wear the mantle of the White Tiger; the first, Hector Ayala, was murdered and passed his mystic tiger amulet down to Angela, who swore to avenge her heroic predecessor. With a “The Defenders” series following the first seasons of “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist” and “Jessica Jones,” perhaps Marvel will want to consider expanding the roster for its second gathering of heroes beyond just its titular heroes. The female version of the White Tiger has certainly had a great deal of exposure in Disney XD’s “Ultimate Spider-Man” cartoon and as a member of the current “Mighty Avengers” comic. The physical and intense White Tiger would be right in Dawson’s wheelhouse and may just be a character Marvel wants to turn into their next breakout star.
For years, Karen Page was Daredevil’s true love. Dawson’s range could allow her to play Karen Page as both Murdock’s first love interest, the sweet and brilliant legal aid that had such a bright future, and the drug addled Judas that betrayed Murdock to Wilson Fisk in the classic “Born Again” storyline. There is an inherent tragedy to Karen Page, and any actress that took up the role of the most heartrending figure in Daredevil’s life would have to be ready to visit some dark places, something Dawson has done with gusto in the past. As one of the least physical of all the ladies in DD’s life, Karen Page could prove challenge, giving further credence to why Marvel turned to an actor like Dawson who is capable of bring such layers to the part.
Speaking of challenging roles, the potential inclusion of Typhoid Mary in “Daredevil” would force any actress to play two separate entities in order to bring the most unstable woman in Daredevil’s world to life. Ever since writer Ann Nocenti introduced the dual personality killer in the ’80s, Typhoid Mary has become one of the most delightfully twisted characters in the Marvel Universe. Dawson would have to channel “Orphan Black’s” Tatiana Maslany by essentially playing two separate characters, but she certainly has the chops to pull it off. Other than Elektra, Typhoid Mary is arguably the most memorable of the many fatales that make up Daredevil’s dark world and her special brand of insanity could bring a very disturbing character to Marvel’s burgeoning TV universe. In addition to having worked for the Kingpin and romantically entangled with Matt Murdock, she’s also one of the deadliest killers in the Marvel Universe. Her brief appearance in the critically-reviled “Elektra” film did not do justice this fascinatingly deadly and disturbed killer. Dawson can do intense and wild, and things just don’t get more fevered than Typhoid Mary.
Originally introduced in September 2008’s “Daredevil” #111 and created by Ed Brubaker, Marko Djurdjevic and Clay Mann, Lady Bullseye has since become a major part of the Daredevil mythos. She might seem derivative, but the Lady has become a worthy adversary for Matt Murdock. Lady Bullseye makes for a stunning visual and could be a serious opponent for the live-action Daredevil. Perhaps Marvel wants to deviate from the 2003 “Daredevil” film and not hit the same beats that were already covered by Fox in their Ben Affleck vehicle. Using Lady Bullseye instead of Bullseye would be an unexpected and daring surprise, a gender twist that could introduce the world to this intriguing and relatively new character. Whether the Lady appears in lieu of Bullseye or alongside the master assassin, one thing is for sure: with the danger, beauty and intensity that Lady Bullseye exudes, it’s a part tailor-made for Dawson.
Another non-powered lady, Milla Donovan was Matt Murdock’s true love in the Bendis/Brubaker era. She was a brave and supportive woman to Matt in some of his darkest days. Sadly, Milla also attracts tragedy like a magnet. Milla was used as a tool to hurt Daredevil by Typhoid Mary, Bullseye and Mr. Fear, and she suffered for it with a slow descent into madness. If the show explores Daredevil’s more recent history, Milla would be the woman to spotlight as her life and tragic plunge into madness defined the dark era of the 2000s. Dawson could really spread her acting wings by not only taking the role of a free spirited blind woman, she could also, no doubt, portray the psychological break that Milla experienced after becoming Matt Murdock’s bride.
“Heal the wounds of Hell’s Kitchen.” If one wants to take that literally, they need only turn to Night Nurse, the magnanimous healer of costumed crusaders introduced in Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s 2006 “Doctor Strange: The Oath” miniseries. She may have started out as a supporting character for Doctor Strange, but Night Nurse has appeared in many street-level Marvel titles and could be another option to serve as the glue that holds together the different Netflix series Marvel will soon begin rolling out. If Dawson is Night Nurse — and we realize that is a big if — is an appearance in the “Doctor Strange” film out of the question?
While everything up to this point has been based on informed speculation, smart money still has has Rosario Dawson stepping into the red boots and head scarf of Elektra. Ever since Frank Miller’s glory days on “Daredevil,” the world of Matt Murdock has been defined by the moment where the seemingly unstoppable master assassin Elektra Natchios was violently murdered by Bullseye. Daredevil and Elektra’s star-crossed romanced is the stuff of comic book legend and fans have been waiting a very long time to see this iconic moment in all its live-action glory. Yes, the 2003 film gave it a shot, but many fans found the film’s portrayal of Elektra (and her solo film) to be wanting. Dawson has proven she can do tough, and even brought another of Frank Miller’s killer ladies in “Sin City” to life. As Gail, Dawson channeled all the hard-boiled, deadly noir deliciousness that has defined Miller’s works. Many would love to see Dawson take another crack at an even more famous Miller creation and bring Elektra to life in all her murderous glory.
If Marvel really wants to raise some eyebrows, perhaps Dawson could be portraying the most important confidant in Matt Murdock’s life. Nowhere is it etched in stone that Foggy has to be male or unattractive. If Marvel really wants to differentiate this “Daredevil” project they could potentially pull off some extreme changes. Dawson has the comedy chops necessary to be Matt’ legal partner, and the gender swap alone would certainly create some buzz for what is sure to be one of the biggest events of 2015. This is really a long shot we know, but what if? Who would have thought Lucy Liu would be make a good Watson, and yet she nails it on “Elementary.” Stranger things have happened than a female Foggy.