DD reboot lies in the hands of...Galactus?
Back in 2003, Fox released Daredevil, starring Ben Affleck. These days, I'm kind of torn when it comes to the film. When it first came out, I really enjoyed it. At that time I only knew who Daredevil was, but I had never read any of the comics. My interest in the film drove my interest in learning more about the character and led me to the Kevin Smith story arc 'Guardian Devil' that had launched the second volume of the comic a few years earlier. From there I was hooked, and quickly picked up as many Daredevil stories (past and present) as I could. As I read more and more of the comics, I began to realize just how off the Daredevil movie actually was. It had some nice nods to various plot lines and creators from the comics, but the story wasn't all that great and there were multiple completely ridiculous and unnecessary scenes. People like to bash Ben Affleck's role in the film, but I still think that his portrayal of Matt Murdock/Daredevil wasn't bad. The script was the real culprit. The Director's Cut that released to home video was better, but still couldn't quick make up for the weak script. But even then, a poor DD flick was better than Ghost Rider, Punisher, Ang Lee's Hulk, and maybe even both Fantastic Four movies (in my opinion).
That brings us to the current conundrum. The film rights to Daredevil are currently held by Fox, which has until October 10 to begin production on another DD flick. If they don't, the rights revert to Marvel. There have been two articles released in the past 24 hours with varying takes on this situation, both very interesting for DD fans such as myself. The first is an article from Variety. The gist is that Fox has had talks with Director Joe Carnahan about potentially rebooting DD, adapting the classic Frank Miller/David Mazzuchelli "Born Again" story that has been in limbo since David Slade dropped off the project. Marvel is supposedly offering to extend the deadline for Fox on the Daredevil rights in exchange for getting rights back for Galactus and the Silver Surfer (both tied up in the Fantastic Four franchise that Fox also holds the rights to). The only problem is that Fox has already announced plans to reboot the Fantastic Four on the big screen, and in any medium - comics, films, what-have-you - the financial potential of FF trumps DD any day. Why would Fox give up two of the most well known characters in the FF corner of the Marvel Universe just to keep hopes alive for a DD reboot? The second article in question is from Deadline, and states that Fox insiders claim that there have been no such talks with Marvel folk.
So...what does this all mean? It means that unless some film executives can make up their minds in a pretty short time frame, the movie rights to Daredevil could return to Marvel. As a huge DD fan, I think this may be the best situation. I love the idea of "Born Again" being adapted, and Carnahan (much like Slade before him), seems like he'd be a good fit. But time is running out and that seems less and less likely by the day. If rights revert to Marvel, there is no question in my mind that we will eventually get a well made Daredevil film. Marvel Studios hasn't dropped the ball on any of their films since they started with Iron Man in 2008. There are only two problems with this (and fairly small ones in my opinion): 1) Marvel already has their next wave of motion pictures planned out, so unless he got shoehorned into The Avengers 2 somehow, we'd have to wait a few years to get a Marvel produced Daredevil movie. And 2) due to it's violent and mature content, the possibility for a "Born Again" adaptation would most likely fall by the wayside. It just doesn't fit in with the tone of the rest of the Marvel cinematic universe that they have built. Like I said, fairly small problems considering the upside of Marvel regaining the rights and the future hopes of a DD flick done properly. As a hardcore DD fan, it just bothers me that Marvel is willing to use DD as a bargaining chip in order to 'trade up' to the rights of Galactus and Silver Surfer. I understand that I'm in the minority and that Daredevil is small beans compared to those two. It would just be nice if he were valued the same way.
So as good as a possible "Born Again" adaptation sounds, here's hoping that Fox thinks with their wallets and holds on tight to the Galactus/Silver Surfer rights instead of rushing another poor Daredevil film into production (we all know that the odds of a rushed film being any good are slim). Then, with a little luck, we could be assured of a quality Daredevil film sometime down the road.