The live-action rights to Marvel's Daredevil have taken an interesting path over the past couple of weeks. First, there were reports that Fox might trade the rights to Fantastic Four characters Galactus and Silver Surfer back to Marvel in order to get an extension on making a Daredevil reboots, before the rights reverted to Marvel Studios.
That speculation was quickly dismissed, and talked heated up on The Grey director Joe Carnahan's planned Daredevil reboot, whose biggest enemy was the ticking clock of starting production before Marvel regained the rights of the character (with a reported deadline of Oct. 10).
So with it looking just about certain that the live-action rights to Daredevil will soon be back at Marvel, the question then becomes: What are they going to do with it? Here are some possibilities, ranging from "that seems fairly likely" to "hey, why not?"
STICK TO THE BASICSJust because a reboot is happening doesn't mean it has to be dramatically different in terms of content from what came before, even if most fans aren't overly fond of the 2003 Daredevil movie. This summer's Amazing Spider-Man hit a lot of the same origin story notes as 2002's original, and the two Hulk movies ultimately had a lot in common. There' s every reason to expect a new Daredevil film could be along those same lines, re-introducing the character in a film that looks and feels different than the original, but ultimately draws upon the same type of source material.
Plus, Daredevil has the built-in advantage of one of the most acclaimed origin stories in comics: The Man Without Fear, by Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. Use that an template for a well-executed film in the Marvel Studios tradition, and you wouldn't have to go for anything too far outside the box.
MARVEL KNIGHTSBut just in case Marvel does want to go outside the box: Why not team Daredevil up with a few more street-level costumed vigilantes that they also have the rights to? Marvel Studios got the rights to the Punisher back post-Punisher: War Zone, meaning they could conceivably put together a live-action adaptation of the Marvel Knights team from the late '90s, bringing Daredevil together with Punisher, and maybe Doctor Strange, Cloak & Dagger, Shang-Chi or Luke Cage. Yeah, it's a pretty obscure concept, but it would be an efficient way to bring lots of beloved Marvel characters into the world of their films, and given that it was one of the first projects current Marvel chief creative officer Joe Quesada was involved with at the company, it's possible he's got a soft spot for it.
Need name value? Black Widow, one of the main Avengers characters, was also on that team.
A Marvel live-action TV series has been in the works in one form or another for a couple of years now, and things picked up a lot more steam with the news earlier this month that Avengers director Joss Whedon is helping to develop one at ABC.
Legal dramas certainly have a long history on prime time TV, so the adventures of Matt Murdock, lawyer-by-day and superhero-by-night, would seemingly fit in a lot more naturally than some other Marvel concepts. As a bonus, it's got the approval of current Daredevil comic series writer Mark Waid, who told us, "it's tailor-made for an adult crime show, particularly now that we've clearly defined Matt and Foggy [Nelson]'s legal practice as advisors and coaches to those who choose to represent themselves in court for whatever reason."
NEW AVENGER There's no higher profile way for Marvel Studios to debut their live-action take on Daredevil than as a part of the 2015 Avengers sequel. Unlikely? Sure. But there is precedent — he's been a part of the New Avengers in the comic books since last year.
Daredevil: Yellow was a 2001 miniseries by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale that spawned the entire "color" franchise at Marvel (Spider-Man: Blue, Hulk: Gray and the still forthcoming Captain America: White).While other acclaimed Daredevil stories of the past few decades might not quite work as a first film, since they draw heavily on the character's history — "Born Again," the Brian Michael Bendis/Alex Maleev run — Yellow takes place in Matt Murdock's early days as a much more carefree costumed adventurer, and could be an effective way of bringing an origin story of sorts to the screen while also potentially being a vastly different product, stylistically, than the 2003 film.
JOE CARNAHAN'S PLAN
Occam's razor also applies to superhero movie reboots: The best solution might be the simplest one.
Joe Carnahan was clearly excited about his gritty, '70s take on Daredevil that was in early development at Fox, even releasing a sizzle reel (watch it below) on YouTube after the deal seemingly fell through. For the most part, fans seemed pretty excited about it, too.
Though it would be radically different in tone from the Marvel Studios efforts thus far, maybe Kevin Feige and his crew see potential in Carnahan's vision, and that dream isn't quite dead. Time will tell.More from Newsarama:
- Which MARVEL Characters Might JOSS WHEDON Bring to TV?
- DAREDEVIL Back to Marvel; Director Posts Sizzle Reel
- Marvel 'Next Big Thing' - DAREDEVIL: END OF DAYS - LIVE!