The latest Netflix show to wow audiences is Marvel’s Daredevil, a live action series in which attorney Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), who in a tragic accident was blinded as a boy but imbued with incredibly heightened senses, seeks to protect his neighbourhood of New York’s Hell’s Kitchen (post-The Avengers “incident”), in and out of the court room. Murdock sets up practice with his friend and partner Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), fighting injustice as both a respected lawyer by day, and masked vigilante at night.
The company behind the show’s waxing, melting blood red main titles, that reveal iconic images of the city of New York (bridge, water tower), the hooded Madam Justice, and Matt Murdock’s Catholic symbolism in a church’s angel statue, is Elastic, who have done titles for shows such as True Detective, Game Of Thrones, and The Americans. Showrunner Steven S. DeKnight told Collider:
“We had multiple companies come in and pitch, and they all had variations of the same idea, where you zoom in on an eye and you see a sonar map of the city. This company, Elastic, came in and had multiple pitches, and one of them was to have this dripping, fluid-like blood dripping over everything. Jeph and I sat up, like an electric shock, when we saw that. You’re always very polite in the room, but when they left, we were like, “We’ve gotta do that one!” Then, we showed it to Marvel and Netflix, and they loved it. They knocked it out of the park. I’ve seen all the episodes, and I’ve watched them back-to-back. Not once have I fast-forwarded through that opening sequence because it’s such a joy to look at.”
It was Elastic’s work on True Detective particularly that impressed De Knight and Marvel’s head of TV Production, Joseph Loeb. Composer John Paesano is responsible for the softly urgent score, beginning as if muffled sound waves, before strings and a singular piano key seem to “flesh out” Matt’s surroundings, finishing off with a thudding heartbeat, and the tease of Daredevil’s finished costume yet to come on the show.