Development Hell: Daredevil: End of Days, a miniseries depicting the hypothetical deaths of Daredevil and his "biggest secret", was in development since at least 2009. Thankfully, the series is finally being released starting late 2012.
Network to the Rescue: The title had been faltering since Marv Wolfman left the title. By the time Frank Miller had become penciler, sales were getting so bad that other executives advised Jim Shooter to cancel it. Shooter disagreed, having (correctly) guessed that Miller would revive interest in the title.
Periphery Demographic: Stan Lee was concerned that the visually-impaired community would complain about a comic book with a blind superhero. However, he received letters from visually-handicapped support charities, who had read the comics to their clients, thanking for his initiative for creating such a positive example of a blind person who has a successful and exciting life.
According to Shooter, Miller wanted to quit the title shortly after becoming penciler due to his dissatisfaction with then-writer Roger McKenzie. Shooter managed to talk him out of it, and editor Denny O'Neil later promoted Miller to writer.
The Owl was going to be the main villain of X-Factor, and there were clues planted towards it, until Apocalypse was created for that role.
Before the Netflix show, there had been several attempts at a Daredevil TV show. In the 70's there was a pitch for a live-action series starring Daredevil and Black Widow, but it wasn't picked up. In 1985, ABC was on board to air to air an animated series featuring Daredevil and a guide dog named Lightning, but a dispute with someone at Marvel led to it being dropped. In 1999, Fox Kids was approached about an animated series, but it was pushed back to air alongside a potential live-action movie that was never made.
A Daredevil video game was being developed in 2004 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Initially featuring a series of fight scene vignettes emulating the comic stories, the game was reworked as a Wide Open Sandbox game to take advantage of Daredevil's radar abilities, then was reworked as a level based game where the radar abilities became more useless in the game's narrower environments. The game was cancelled, along with an Elektra game planned as a followup.
Ability over Appearance: The Kingpin, traditionally a large, bald white man◊, was played by Michael Clarke Duncan. He was the best actor with the size that they could find, and even then, he had to gain some weight and wear padding for the role. Ironically, the Kingpin was originally supposed to be black in the comics, but an editor thought it would be racist to have a black villain. This carried over into the short-lived Mainframe animated Spider-Man: The New Animated Series series on MTV, to the point of actually having Michael Clarke Duncan voice the character. Incidentally the most famous Kingpin before that, Roscoe Lee Browne of Spider-Man: The Animated Series was also black.
Deleted Role: A subplot with a character framed for murder by a corrupt cop and played by Coolio was removed, primarily to make the film shorter, and get it a PG-13 rating. However, Coolio was featured in trailers for the film. The subplot can be seen in the director's cut of the movie however.
Disowned Adaptation: Stan Lee disliked the film, because he felt the film was "too tragic" and didn't follow how he wrote Daredevil. It should be noted though, that the film was taking inspiration from Frank Miller's influential run instead of Stan's. Though Kevin Smith claimed that Stan at the very least liked it more than most people.
Doing It for the Art: So determined was Mark Steven Johnson to land the directing gig, he spent $7,000 storyboarding his screenplay.
DVD Bonus Content: Features the standard extra features, such as a director's commentary and other behind the scenes features but one of the unique features at the time of release was an Audio Description track for visually impaired people. Several cast and crew members insisted on it.
DVD Commentary: The DVD includes a commentary track in the most literal sense. While most blind people are familiar with a commentary track describing the action onscreen allowing them to "watch" a movie, back then, those tracks were not typically included on wide-release videos and DVD. Daredevil includes the commentary track for the blind — fitting, as Daredevil is a blind superhero — which explains the actions onscreen as they happen.
It's an interesting experience to "watch" the movie with your eyes closed and that commentary on to get a feel for how the blind see movies.
There's also a funny moment when director Mark Steven Johnson openly admits that an effect looks terrible—towards the end when Daredevil awkwardly leaps upwards between two buildings onto a roof—and tells the audience to look away for thirty seconds and then come back.
Dyeing for Your Art: When Michael Clarke Duncan was cast, he weighed two hundred ninety pounds. He was asked to gain forty pounds for the role, in order to fit the physique of Kingpin. In order to do this, he would lift weights for thirty minutes a day, and power-lifted with one or two reps a day, as well as eating whatever he wanted.
Executive Meddling: Why the theatrical version was met with a mixed reaction, but the director's cut was more warmly received. Fox smelled potential spin-off with Elektra, so an entire subplot concerning Matt Murdock's "lawyer by day" persona (with his case eventually leading him to the Kingpin) was removed completely. His internal struggle with his vigilante justice clashing with his faith additionally take a backseat to increased screen time for Elektra and their love angle, and the film cut down on the intended Darker and Edgier tone. As a result upon its release, Daredevil nearly became the first film to not cross the $100 million domestic barrier after a $40 million opening, and Elektra completely tanked. Thankfully, the director's cut Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
A different form occurred on the DVD release, where both the cast and crew insisted that an Audio Description be included, making it one of the first films to do so.
Ben Affleck does not look back on this experience fondly. Although he was an avid fan of the original comics, he hated how the final product turned out. He also stated that wearing a costume was "a source of humiliation". Considering his taking up Batman's cape and cowl, though, it may have been the backlash from the Hollywood Hype Machine more than anything.
Averted with Writer/Director Mark Steven Johnson - you would expect him to dislike the theatrical cut of the film due to Executive Meddling that left an entire subplot on the cutting room floor, but on the Daredevil: Director's Cut DVD, he states that whilst he likes some of the scenes added to the theatrical cut, he feels the Director's Cut was a superior film due to keeping various elements cut from the original release.
Scully Box: Used on Michael Clarke Duncan of all people. While he is every bit as imposing as his comics counterpart at 6'5", They still had to make him appear more imposing when next to Ben Affleck, who stands at 6'4". Helped by the fact that Duncan is far more muscular than Affleck, making him seem bigger.
Unintentional Period Piece: Notice all of the Nu Metal and Post-Grunge peppering the film's soundtrack (particularly multiple tracks from Evanescence, whose career was made by the film and whose very presence ties this to the early/mid 2000s)? And all the Hellbent For Leather? At the same time, however, a lot of the core plot and stylistic elements were atypical for the time; its Deconstruction of the life of a (mostly) unpowered vigilante with a day job and the predictable outcome of a bloodthirsty, vengeance-obsessed antiheroine with lots of ability, but no actual experience with serious life-or-death street combat barking up the wrong tree on her first night on the job stood in stark contrast to the idealistic bombast, campiness, or hokey faux-gritty action that other superhero movies from that time period showed, and while it definitely dates itself, many of the elements were surprisingly forward-thinking.
The director's cut was intended to be included on the original DVD release, but ultimately the idea was dropped due to lack of disc space.
The original intention was for the film to be more realistic action instead of the Wire Fu and CG-laden Roof Hopping. While in production, the hype of Spider-Man with its big action sequences had them rework the fight scenes to be comparable.