I’ve long felt that the 2003 Daredevil was a pretty unfairly maligned movie. Even though I’ve attempted to qualify my appreciation by claiming the director’s cut is far superior (it is!) the film still generated $100 million more than it cost and did a good job of setting up a “Born Again” storyline.
But a lot has changed since then. I highly doubt Ben Affleck wants to return to the role. Jennifer Garner made “Elektra,” which was terrible. And probably most significantly, Christopher Nolan made the Dark Knight trilogy.
That seems to be the inspiration behind Fox’s desperate plans to get a new Daredevil film in the works. As Variety reports today, Fox has been rushing to get something in production before the rights revert back to Marvel in October. And knowing Fox’s plans, Marvel appears to be dangling an extension offer in exchange for the rights to Galactus and the Silver Surfer, which are tied up at Fox thanks to the also-awful Fantastic Four sequel.
Variety describes Fox’s plans for the reboot as a “Frank Miller-esque, hardcore 70s thriller.” That description, while contrasting it with the Marvel / Disney approach, leaves the implication that such an approach would be a departure from the film franchise it’s rebooting, but that 2003 version was pretty freaking gritty — especially the director’s cut. Beyond the violence, to my knowledge, it would’ve been the first superhero film with an f-bomb.
I hope Fox takes the deal. As much as I love Daredevil, there’s really no room for him in the cosmic direction Marvel’s films are taking. I can’t go so far as to say I’d rather see Daredevil done poorly than not done at all, but hopefully “Frank Miller-esque” means something that’s a tribute to gritty films of the 70s and not something just downright stupid like The Spirit or Punisher War Zone.