How Daredevil Season 3 Was Inspired By The Sopranos

daredevil season 3 wilson fisk
(Image credit: Image courtesy of Netflix)

When Daredevil premiered its first season on Netflix back in 2015, viewers were treated to a much darker superhero series than could be found on network TV. Whether Matt Murdock was delivering epic hallway beatdowns or the bad guys were battering the good guys, it was not a series for the faint of heart. The third season of Daredevil promises to return to some of that early darkness, and new showrunner Erik Oleson revealed that HBO's smash hit The Sopranos was an inspiration for the new batch of episodes, saying this:

I wanted to tell a thriller that is somewhere tonally between Season 1 of this show and The Sopranos. It is much darker, more character driven. The action sequences are violent and explosive, and very much Daredevil. And yet there are real stakes in every action sequence this season. There are emotional decisions that are being made. There are characters that will die. There are fights Matt will lose. It is not a predictable season. My hope was to draw inspiration from comics, the comics like Born Again and Guardian Devil. There are certainly moments that resonated for me tonally that served as inspiration. But it is an original story. I am not doing a direct translation from any comics. I think that would have been a mistake. I want to give the audience what they wanted, but not in the way they expect it. I want to make sure that everyone is really hooked with an original story, where they are deeply invested in the characters this season. And understand why the characters behave the way they behave and do they things that they do. I'm very much interested in bringing more contradiction and dimension to some of the characters

Daredevil's third season will be dark a la Season 1, but it won't just be more of what we got when the show first kicked off on Netflix. By combining the tone of Season 1 with the tone of The Sopranos, Erik Oleson could raise the stakes significantly. CinemaBlend visited the set of Season 3 to hear what Oleson had to say, and there are a lot of reasons to be excited about what's to come.

Fans clearly don't have to worry that the show is dialing down on the epic action sequences for the third season, which is at least proof that Matt's injuries from the end of The Defenders won't leave him on the bench too long. He may not have his Daredevil suit, but he'll still be the red devil when it comes to beatdowns on bad guys.

The very good or very bad news -- depending on your point of view -- is that Erik Oleson's comments indicate that some characters will bite the dust, and he likely wouldn't drop such hints if the characters who die are all Henchman #3 and Bystander #2. We may want to start worrying about characters that are major but not so major that they would prevent Season 4 and beyond, which are still very possible.

Personally, my fingers are crossed that Karen won't die. Given the fate of her character in the comics, she may not have much time left. While it may be good for a superhero series to kill somebody major off and leave them dead to raise the stakes and reduce resurrections, big deaths are rarely easy on viewers.

That said, it seems that Daredevil won't be pulling elements straight from the comics (or straight from The Sopranos, for that matter). The Born Again and Guardian Devil arcs clearly inspired aspects of Season 3, but the show won't follow either arc beat for beat. Even avid comics readers may not have much of an advantage when it comes to predicting what happens next. We'll have to wait and see.

Fortunately, we don't have all that much longer to wait. Daredevil Season 3 will debut in Netflix's lineup on Friday, October 19 at 12:01 a.m. PT. Wilson Fisk is on the way back, and Matt won't be the hero he was before what happened at the end of The Defenders, so it should be an interesting experience.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.