In addition to combating everyday street crime, Matt Murdock is going to have his hands full with a few larger-than-life villains in the Netflix Daredevil series. As most already know, the main antagonist of the series is Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. The Kingpin, who is said to be just as important a character as the titular protagonist, and The Shawshank Redemption’s Bob Gunton will be playing Leland Owlsely, better known to comic book fans as The Owl. Now another famous adversary from Daredevil’s early years might be making a big appearance: The Gladiator.
This revelation comes from Brazillian website Omelete, which visited the set last October. The Google translation from MCU Exchange isn’t the greatest, but there’s enough to understand. According to the outlet, Gladiator (whose real name is Melvin Potter), will be the designer of a highly resistant suit for Wilson Fisk to wear and also work on Fisk’s armored cars. The Omelete folks were able to get a good look at Potter’s workshop, where several scenes will take place. The original article also states that while most of the uniforms he develops are for villains, he’s also created some superhero costumes, so maybe this is where Matt will get his classic crimson costume.
There’s no word on if the MCU Potter will be fighting Daredevil directly, but if he’s built Fisk a combat suit, it sounds like this guy is more of a weapons designer standing on the sidelines rather than someone whose going to fight the hero directly, although if Daredevil does stop by that workshop, don’t be surprised if Potter has a few unique weapons on hand to use against The Man Without Fear.
In the comics, Potter was a costume designer who was obsessed with the ancient gladiators. Wanting to become a masked criminal, he built himself a decked-out suit of armor, which included wrist-mounted circular blades that would spin at high speeds. After battling Daredevil many times during the ‘60s and ‘70s, Potter went straight for awhile, but he was eventually blackmailed back into a life of crime and was soon sent back to prison.
The article also gives more information on the villains we already knew about. Rather than being the typical evildoer, Daredevil’s Kingpin is a man who is also trying to improve Hell’s Kitchen and is far from the “grotesque and exaggerated character” seen in past incarnations. As for Owlsey, he has finally been revealed to be Fisk’s financial advisor, so we probably won’t be seeing him gliding around or wearing bird-like talons.
We don't have much longer to wait to find out. All of Daredevil’s episodes will be released on Friday, April 10 over at Netflix.