Michael Cuesta is born again…
The 59-year-old Latino director, who helmed the pilots for shows like Dexter and Homeland, will direct the first episode of Marvel Studios’ Daredevil: Born Again.
Production on the 18-episode Disney+ series begins this month in New York and marks the true integration of characters that began life on Netflix, when the streamer had a slate of Marvel series in the mid-2010s, into the popular and dominant Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Charlie Cox, who starred as Matt Murdoch, aka Daredevil, the man without fear, is reprising his role for the series after making brief and teasing cameos in Spider-Man: No Way Home and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
Vincent D’Onofrio is back as Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime — his first appearance in the MCU was a cameo in Hawkeye — and Jon Bernthal is returning as the hard-edged vigilante known as the Punisher.
Other actors on the call sheet include Michael Gandolfini, Margarita Levieva and Sandrine Holt, the latter of whom is playing Vanessa Fisk, the wife of Fisk. Michael Gaston (Chicago P.D., Mayor of Kingstown) is also in the series.
Born Again takes its title from a landmark Daredevil storyline published in 1986, written by Frank Miller and drawn by David Mazzuchelli. The show is deviating from that plot, although by how much is unclear. The Punisher, for example, made no appearance in the comic story. Daredevil versus Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin, remains the focal point.
Writers and executive producers Matt Corman and Chris Ord are behind the show, which is expected to bow in the spring of 2024. Cuesta is only directing the opening episode, according to sources. Other directors are being lined up to helm blocks of episodes.
Cuesta is one of the top helmers in the pilot game. In addition to directing the pilots for Dexter and Homeland, both acclaimed gritty dramas and for which he earned an Emmy nomination on the latter, he also directed the pilots for police show Blue Blood and procedural Sherlock Holmes mystery show Elementary.
Directing a pilot is an important task as it normally sets the casting, tone, and look of a series and is seen as a test for a show’s promise as well as a chance to put its best foot forward. And while in the streaming age many shows tend to be given straight-up series orders, helming the first episode remains equally as important.
Other recent series work for Cuesta includes episodes of Dopesick and Billions, and he also directed the action thriller American Assassin, which starred Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton.