It appears that Marvel Studios has secured the rights to another very popular comics character. While 20th Century Fox’s 2003 take on Daredevil was a bit of a misfire, the studio had been trying to move forward on a new iteration of the character in recent years. 30 Days of Night director David Slade came onboard to direct a Daredevil reboot in the spring of 2011, and Fringe scribe Brad Caleb Kane was subsequently tapped to pen the screenplay. Movement on the project was quiet for a full year, though, and the following summer Slade left the film to helm the pilot for NBC’s Hannibal.
When Slade exited the project, however, Fox was facing a ticking clock. The studio had to move quickly to get a new Daredevil movie into production before the rights to the character reverted back to Marvel. Well, a new Daredevil film failed to materialize in the ensuing months, and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed today that Marvel now holds to the rights to the character. Hit the jump for more.
When Slade jumped ship on Daredevil, Fox tried in vain to get an iteration of the film going with Joe Carnahan. The Narc director pitched a hard-boiled, 1970s-set take on the character, but it would have proven impossible to get that iteration of the story off the ground before the cutoff date, and Carnahan understandably wasn’t willing to start shooting without a finished script.
While we heard nothing about Daredevil after Carnahan’s bid to direct didn’t pan out, many assumed this meant that the rights had indeed reverted away from Fox back to Marvel Studios. The folks at Newsarama caught up with Kevin Feige at the Iron Man 3 junket and asked him if Marvel studios now had the rights to Daredevil, to which he replied “Yes.”
So what does this mean, exactly? Well, it’s no secret that Marvel develops a number of projects at a time, with some coming to fruition more quickly than others. Rumors have swirled for years that they have films based on Doctor Strange and Black Panther in development, and Edgar Wright’s long-in-development Ant-Man only recently got the greenlight as that film will now kick off Phase Three in the latter half of 2015. As such, Marvel Studios will likely start developing a Daredevil film now that they own the rights to the character, but there’s no telling when/if we might see it come to fruition.
Now that Daredevil is firmly under the control of Marvel Studios and Disney, we can also reasonably assume that a darker, gritter version of the character isn’t likely. Marvel’s slate of films have a very specific tone, and Iron Man 3 director Shane Black even recently suggested that the studios deterred him from gravitating towards the darker aspects of the Iron Man storyline “Demon in a Bottle.” Nevertheless, it would be pretty great to see a character like Daredevil folded into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I’m sure the studio will be moving forward very carefully when it comes to bringing the character back to the big screen.
What say you, dear readers? What kind of Daredevil film would you like to see from Marvel Studios?