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C'mon Hollywood: Marvel getting Daredevil back? Let's do him some "blind" justice!

Aug. 21, 2012by:

I’ve been reading Daredevil for more than 20 years.He’s a unique character to the Marvel universe, one who constantly toes the line of justice as a walking conundrum with super sonic powers; As a lawyer by day, Matt Murdock prosecutes criminals with the rule of law, but by night he slips into red tights to beat the crap out of them. It’s an interesting dynamic and one that makes DD such an intricate character. With Hell’s Kitchen serving as his Gotham City, DAREDEVIL has always been rooted in the gritty, dark-alley, street-wise world, chock full of dangerous criminals, usually controlled by the ruthless Kingpin.

As a character, those are some of Daredevil’s defining characteristics, next to having the worst luck with women of any character in comics. His rogues gallery of baddies like the Kingpin, Bullseye, Elektra, Nuke, The Owl, Death Stalker, Typhoid Mary, etc., are a tremendous cast of cinematic greats in waiting, with plenty of room for exploration on the big screen. With all of those considerations in mind and the impending transfer of the character back to it’s parent company’s hands, I’m hoping to see a translation worthy of his rich history.

But, how to do it? We recently saw director Joe Carnahan’s sizzle reel, highlighting a unique take on the character with a ‘70’s set origin tale, ripe with the flavors of Frank Miller’s run on the comics, including the seminal “Born Again” storyline from 1985-1986. These stories took DAREDEVIL down some very dark roads of violence, tragedy, and pushed him to the very limits of his physical and mental state, making for one of the most satisfying arcs the character has ever seen. Carnahan chose wisely when focusing on this aspect of the character and it’s a welcome venue for a reboot.

What Marvel has here is a unique opportunity to not only establish Daredevil in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also to establish a history for ALL of their existing “street-level” characters (that they own, of course). By establishing Daredevil in the 1970’s, Marvel opens up the doors for a bevy of others to be introduced as well, helping to cement the continuity they have so vigorously built with their Phase one superheroes. “Marvel Knights” characters like The Punisher, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, etc. all fit squarely within this category.

The film could easily work as being completely set in the 1970’s, but I personally would rather see a flashback film the builds the origin, while showing an already established DAREDEVIL operating in Hell’s Kitchen. I know some will disagree with that, because it can be tricky, but I think it would help establish the character alongside the status quo of the cinematic universe. Either way, I think it would be unwise of Marvel to not explore hiring Joe Carnahan for the project and seeing if he can work within their regimen. With FOX, it seemed like they were less hands on, simply looking for “someone to do something,” rather than hiring someone on to establish a character in a broader setting. Now, that opportunity exists and what a tremendous thing it is.

Blending Frank Miller’s “The Man Without Fear” storyline with aspects from both “Born Again” and his early run on the book (i.e. the death of Elektra storyline) should be the focus, blending past with present in a manner that builds to modern day, while establishing an origin and history without giving us another by-the-numbers origin only story.The tendency would be to do an IRON MAN type tale, but I think that’s a mistake. DD is a much darker tale and deserves to be able to show the harshness and grittiness that’s been a staple of the series for so long.

When it comes to casting, I think some out-of-the-box choices are sorely needed for the role. Affleck did fine in the mostly lackluster 2003 adaptation, but the Affleck of today would be much better suited to the role than the one from 2003; meaning we need an older, wiser actor to be in the red tights. My choice has always been Aaron Eckhart, who has the look, stature, physique, and acting chops to embody Matt Murdock/Daredevil to a tee. Certainly there are other choices to consider, but going with younger (with the exception of flashbacks) is a mistake.In this instance, I think it would suit the film to follow the Robert Downey Jr. example of Iron Man, rather than the Chris Evans of Captain America.

Marvel has proven to be exceptionally adept at crafting their films thus far and I have no doubt that they will do the same for DAREDEVIL, considering many different options for how to bring the character back to the big screen proper. My hope is that they will seize the opportunity to establish a broader universe with some of it’s more grounded characters and give the devil his true due, by not only considering Carnahan’s vision, but taking it to the next level.  No matter what happens, my faith is firmly with Marvel and my fingers crossed that we’ll see The Man Without Fear grace the big screen with all the grit, character, and style he’s been built on for decades.

Extra Tidbit: Who would be your choice for a Daredevil reboot at Marvel? My money is still on Carnahan with Eckhart in the lead.
Source: JoBlo.com

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8:49AM on 08/22/2012

Armie Hammer

and Jessica Chastain as Karen Page, please!
and Jessica Chastain as Karen Page, please!
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12:15AM on 08/22/2012
I'm one of those mentally disturbed people that enjoyed "Daredevil". I'm not well rooted in his history, comic book wise, but would welcome something gritty. I thought Carnahan's sizzle reel was all kinds of badass. End of the day, I'm down for more DD on the big screen...whichever way they decide to take the character.
I'm one of those mentally disturbed people that enjoyed "Daredevil". I'm not well rooted in his history, comic book wise, but would welcome something gritty. I thought Carnahan's sizzle reel was all kinds of badass. End of the day, I'm down for more DD on the big screen...whichever way they decide to take the character.
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9:33PM on 08/21/2012

Michael C. Hall

Michael C. Hall gets my vote.
Michael C. Hall gets my vote.
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2:42AM on 08/22/2012
That would be a pretty inspired choice, actually. Good call.
That would be a pretty inspired choice, actually. Good call.
-1
7:20PM on 08/21/2012
I've had Eddie Cahill in mind as Daredevil for a few years now
I've had Eddie Cahill in mind as Daredevil for a few years now
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7:04PM on 08/21/2012

We need the Punisher back

With Tomas Jane of course, but we need another actor to play DD.
With Tomas Jane of course, but we need another actor to play DD.
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5:09PM on 08/21/2012
I think i may be one of the few who enjoyed the first Daredevil movie & the director's cut was even better. Some have said since it's Disney that they will try to lighten it up, but they can use the Touchstone pictures tentpole,which was always used for the more adult oriented films anyway. I do hope that they still hire Joe Carnahan to direct it. Seems like the perfect director. All of his films have been awesome & yes even The A-Team was fun.
I think i may be one of the few who enjoyed the first Daredevil movie & the director's cut was even better. Some have said since it's Disney that they will try to lighten it up, but they can use the Touchstone pictures tentpole,which was always used for the more adult oriented films anyway. I do hope that they still hire Joe Carnahan to direct it. Seems like the perfect director. All of his films have been awesome & yes even The A-Team was fun.
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4:50PM on 08/21/2012
Mark Waid's current Daredevil run is the perfect example of how Marvel could (and should) go with this reboot: fun, imaginative, lighthearted but with a sense of danger to the stories.
Mark Waid's current Daredevil run is the perfect example of how Marvel could (and should) go with this reboot: fun, imaginative, lighthearted but with a sense of danger to the stories.
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12:35PM on 08/21/2012

Leave the death of Elektra storyline alone

Leave the death of Elektra storyline alone - it was already done before. Don't recap on anything that previous film did, just leave it be and move on. Tell another DD story - a good one. Born Again is a fine starting point - but leave Elektra out of it, or i think you'll run the risk of losing the audience. This film needs to be decidedly different from the last. Including Elektra again so soon would be like using Lex Luthor in Superman Returns - should have used a different character.
Leave the death of Elektra storyline alone - it was already done before. Don't recap on anything that previous film did, just leave it be and move on. Tell another DD story - a good one. Born Again is a fine starting point - but leave Elektra out of it, or i think you'll run the risk of losing the audience. This film needs to be decidedly different from the last. Including Elektra again so soon would be like using Lex Luthor in Superman Returns - should have used a different character.
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+3
11:49AM on 08/21/2012

DD is one of my all time favorites

I was really excited to hear the rights were going back to Marvel, but then it dawned on me. Marvel is REALLY busy with their other projects. I wonder if we will even get a DD movie in the near future.

Part of me thinks that if DD had stayed with Fox, we would have gotten a movie... maybe not a good one, but would've gotten one. But now that it is at Marvel, we just may not get one.
I guess it depends on how much faith they have in his appeal.
I was really excited to hear the rights were going back to Marvel, but then it dawned on me. Marvel is REALLY busy with their other projects. I wonder if we will even get a DD movie in the near future.

Part of me thinks that if DD had stayed with Fox, we would have gotten a movie... maybe not a good one, but would've gotten one. But now that it is at Marvel, we just may not get one.
I guess it depends on how much faith they have in his appeal.
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11:36AM on 08/21/2012
Carnahan's idea of setting the movie in the 70s is a good idea. However, I think Daredevil has a great potential to make an awesome TV series, preferably by HBO. If done right, it could be a hit. As to who should be Daredevil, my money is on Guy Pearce.
Carnahan's idea of setting the movie in the 70s is a good idea. However, I think Daredevil has a great potential to make an awesome TV series, preferably by HBO. If done right, it could be a hit. As to who should be Daredevil, my money is on Guy Pearce.
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+14
11:10AM on 08/21/2012

No seventies.

The movie should kick start a bunch of movies that are set within the same continuity as The Avengers, but exist in a darker world. This, The Punisher, and Blade are all recent licenses that Marvel have gotten back in the fold, that could work towards building that other, shady, darker half of the Marvel Universe. I think this would make for an interesting addition to a Marvel Phase 3, if there ever is one.

These characters should barely (if ever) interact with the heroes in the Avengers
The movie should kick start a bunch of movies that are set within the same continuity as The Avengers, but exist in a darker world. This, The Punisher, and Blade are all recent licenses that Marvel have gotten back in the fold, that could work towards building that other, shady, darker half of the Marvel Universe. I think this would make for an interesting addition to a Marvel Phase 3, if there ever is one.

These characters should barely (if ever) interact with the heroes in the Avengers movies, but be aware of the existence of them and their adventures. These films should be violent, set mostly during the night and free of excessive CGI (spectacle belongs to The Avengers). I like the idea of it having the more realistic and down-to-earth feel of a seventies crime drama as, let's be honest, Marvel does need to start adding a kind of variety to their movie making style at this point if they want to expand as an actual film-making company and do justice to the genres of their characters. However I disagree that it needs to be set in the seventies to achieve this. The Punisher being shot as a Dirty Harry-style movie, instead of the grindhouse/80's action movie's they been shot as in the past, would compliment this move perfectly (Blade could probably be the series that has the grindhouse feel actually). I don't think the death of Elektra should be crowbarred into the first movie, because as well as being a re-hash of the 2003 film, Elektra needs her own opportunity to grow and work as a strong independent character with a genuine reason to exist that isn't just to be killed. Her death should be a meaningful loss instead of being the sole plot point and reason she's included in the movie. A bit like Rachel's was in TDK I guess, that character initially served an independent and important role BEFORE her death became a prominent plot point, her death was not the sole reason for her inclusion in that series.

As for who should play daredevil? I dunno. Ryan Gosling maybe, off the top of my head? But anyway, yea, there's my thoughts.
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6:35PM on 08/21/2012
I think those are all great suggestions. And, while I think it would be cool to kickstart the film in the '70's via flashback, it would still work best as a modern day film. When Marvel established their "Marvel Knights" line years ago with DD, Punisher, etc. they started a good thing. Having this alternate, street-level existence where guys like DD, Punisher, Elektra, Kingpin, Luke Cage, Blade, etc. exist within the same universe as The Avengers is pitch perfect Marvel and follows their
I think those are all great suggestions. And, while I think it would be cool to kickstart the film in the '70's via flashback, it would still work best as a modern day film. When Marvel established their "Marvel Knights" line years ago with DD, Punisher, etc. they started a good thing. Having this alternate, street-level existence where guys like DD, Punisher, Elektra, Kingpin, Luke Cage, Blade, etc. exist within the same universe as The Avengers is pitch perfect Marvel and follows their model that's been established for decades.

We don't need The Avengers to crossover with The Punisher (which never works in the comics), but simply having them all exist in the same world is pretty bad ass and makes it a more enriching environment. I think Marvel would be smart to rope Carnahan into a cinematic version of their Marvel Knights line and create a "Phase One" for it, featuring DD, The Punisher, Power Man and Iron Fist, and Blade, Dr. Strange, etc., leading to a Heroes For Hire pic or some other type of team-up.

No matter which way they go, I just hope they stick with the "big picture" approach they applied to the current Phase one projects. It's a great opportunity to bring some of the "darker" characters to light.
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