Great news, Marvel fans! It looks like DareDevil, the horned hero of Hell’s Kitchen, may be returning home to Marvel Studios, after the rights for the character stayed at 20th Century Fox for many years. Some may remember Fox’s 2003 feature film version, ‘DareDevil’, starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, and Michael Clark Duncan, and it’s spin-off film, ‘Elektra’, where Garner came back to reprise her role as Matt Murdock’s former love interest. Unfortunately for fans, and for Fox, the property has laid dormant since those films, and now with expiration date is fast approaching and no movie in site, Fox may just cut their losses and let Matt Murdock, and the rest of his Hell’s Kitchen companions, go.
For those who don’t know, back when Marvel was going bankrupt in the early nineties, they sold the rights to many of their characters to various studios, hoping to make enough money to keep their company afloat. At the time, they had no aspirations of making movies out of their characters, so they let them go. Many were bundled together, with hundreds of characters being let go with bigger characters, so many, like Silver Surfer and Galactus, were sold in a bundle with The Fantastic Four. Currently, Fox still owns the rights to DareDevil, the X-Men canon, and the Fantastic Four universe, while Sony still owns the rights to Spider-Man and Ghost Rider. Some rights have already trickled back to Marvel since they’ve become a studio, such as The Punisher and Blade, but none of the bigger characters. With DareDevil possibly on his way home, this is a big deal. He’s one of the bigger Marvel players, and to have him back may give Marvel not only a chance to bring another one of their characters to screen, but it may give them extra incentive to find a way to get the rest of their characters back under one roof.
Fox spent a good deal of time working on a new DareDevil film over the last year, hoping to retain the rights and beat the expiration date. David Slade was originally set to direct, but due to a scheduling conflict with his work on the new NBC show ‘Hannibal’, he was forced to drop out last month. Fox, in an effort to keep the rights, then took some pitches and had their sights on a few directors, including Joe Carnahan, who directed ‘The A-Team’ two years ago for the studio. He was going to do a film based on Frank Miller’s very popular 1980’s story line, ‘Born Again’, where Kingpin finds out who DareDevil really is and begins to slowly tear down his life piece by piece. But yesterday, he tweeted that his plans for the film were up in smoke, and that his DareDevil film was dead. Deadline reported that the studio really wasn’t feeling the character, or the direction it was headed, so they decided they’ll just let the rights lapse on October 10. Joe Carnahan recently tweeted the sizzle reel he made for the film, so fans could get a look at what could have been (This is a pretty PG-13 video, so be aware before clicking):
As you can see, Carnahan definitely had a very interesting take on the character, but I could see why Fox may have been hesitant to move forward with it. I am sad to see him lose his chance to take a swing at the character though, because Carnahan is currently one of my favorite working directors in Hollywood. I wonder if Marvel would give Carnahan a chance to direct the film once the rights revert back, or if they’d do their own thing. I’d bet on the latter, but I’d love to see Marvel bring Carnahan on board. This is definitely very interesting turn of events for not only the character, but for Marvel as well. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.
I’d actually really like to see DareDevil return in a TV show. I think the character would lend itself nicely to a series, being half lawyer procedural, and half vigilante superhero show. It would be cool, different, and Marvel could build it into their ever expanding Marvel Universe, and have the character appear in the movies they’re making as well. That’s something I would really like to see, and I hope that Marvel won’t sit on the rights once they get them back. I really want to see the character back on the screen again.
Are you excited to see DareDevil return to Marvel? How would you like to see the character return? Are there any other characters you’d like to see return to Marvel as well? Let me know in the comments below, here at Chip and Company!
- Daredevil Rights Will Return to Marvel, Watch Sizzle Reels from Joe Carnahan’s Unmade Adaptation (slashfilm.com)
- Looks Like ‘Daredevil’ Will Go Back To Marvel And Disney (deadline.com)