I’m not really for or against Hollywood rebooting superhero movies; as long as they’re watchable flicks, that’s fine – and if one of those reboots, as was the case with Nolan’s “Batman Begins”, can improve on what’s come before, I’m for it even more.
Mark Steven Johnston’s “Daredevil”, starring Ben Affleck as the blind legal-eagle with a latex fetish, is a fun film… with problems. The ‘director’s cut’ of the film rectifies some of the faults of the 2002 film but still, the flick lacked a solid screenplay – one that offered up a punchier third act – and the central characters weren’t as fleshed out as they should’ve been, resulting in a comic book movie that’s reputation could be better. What? you don’t agree? Did you much give a hoot about Daredevil or Elektra? No, me either – and therein lies a problem.
I’m fine with FOX making another “Daredevil” for the reason I mentioned above – there’s lots of room for improvement, and a do-over might help repair the scarred reputation of a once promising film franchise. But also, with Ben Affleck not going anywhere near this series again (he’s above it), there’s no choice but to reboot the series.
Before I wrote up this column, I emailed one of the other filmmakers that had thrown his hat in the ring for the job, a friend, who was hoping he might get to make his version “Daredevil” (his version, mind you, was probably never going to be greenlit by a studio hell-bent on making watered-down action movies – the pitch encompassed an ultra-dark, almost borderline-horror take on the character). While he never got far, he said that the word was “no pitch was even close to being the same”.
At the end of the day Fox chose David Slade (“30 Days of Night”, “The Twilight Saga : Eclipse”) to direct the film. It helped of course that Slade had a relationship with the Nakatomi Plaza; he had been talking to them about directing “Wolverine” before Darren Aronofsky got the job.
Slade’s pitch, I’m told, is said to be a “close cousin” of some of the other superhero movies out there in the market place (I believe he’s referring to films like “Thor” and “Captain America” which are bright, boisterous blockbuster types that skip on the gloom and go straight to the boom!) – which shouldn’t surprise anyone. “It’s a bit Batman Begins. The bad guy will learn who Daredevil really is and tries to destroy him – but not via the usual methods.”
And yes, with David Slade given the job, there’s “some kind of talk” about Robert Pattinson – who, with the “Twilight” series winding up, is going to be looking for a new well-paying gig – playing the part of Matt Murdock – - -which, I have to say, I don’t dislike the idea of (I think he has some chops under that pale exterior, and definitely has the right ‘look’). That’s just ‘talk’ though and knowing how these things work there’ll be hundreds of youngsters ran into the casting office to peer into a camera and speak before the studio makes their decision and/or makes a direct offer to someone like Pattinson (who I don’t picture jumping out of his skin to do a film like this; he seems more interested in art-house fare now).
Who do you guys think would make a good Daredevil? Someone like Pattinson (or one of the other “Twilight” guys?)?, maybe a Josh Lucas or Thomas Jane (someone older)?, or perhaps the studio goes after one of those youngsters that came close to snagging the ‘Spider-Man’ gig – before Sony handed it to Andrew Garfield – say, Josh Hutcherson or Logan Lerman? Comment below!