Season one of Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix was chugging along well when the unthinkable happened… a long time comic character Ben Urich (Vondie Curtis Hall) was viciously beaten to death by Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) around nine episodes in. Urich has been a constant in the Daredevil universe for years… so when he was killed, it told readers all bets were off.
Charlie Cox who plays Matt Murdock talked at Wizard World Pittsburgh (Thanks to Screengeek) about the death and what it did for the series and all the Marvel / Netflix series.
I know that as a show, they don't try to take storylines that are already written. We want to be our own thing. One of the reasons they killed Ben Urich, which was such a great shock for me, but the reason I think they do it because the people who love the show are great fans and have read the comics and we need them to know this is not a safe place and the drama is going to affect you as well. You don't know what's going to happen. If we kill Ben Urich, what does that mean? We could do anything potentially.