With ten years between the ill-received <i>Daredevil</i> film starring Ben Affleck and this week's official confirmation from Marvel Studios that they have <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/film/kevin-feige-daredevil-marvel-studios.html>regained the film rights to the property</a> from FOX, now is the perfect time to play armchair casting director and put forth our dream cast for a rebooted, in house film of Hell's Kitchen's fearless protector. <p>Here are Newsarama's picks for some of the roles that would undoubtedly need filling in a new <b>Daredevil</b> film!
Parenthood and legacy are important themes in many major superhero franchises, from Spider-Man, whose Uncle Ben's death inspired him to fight crime, and Batman, whose parents' death did the same. Daredevil is no different. <p>Raised by a single father after his mother became a nun, young Matt Murdock learned to stand his ground, to fight for his beliefs, and to never let his disadvantages stand in the way of his strengths. <p>With a guy like Bruce Willis, known for being tough as nails in what would probably amount to a cameo as Battlin' Jack Murdock, there's little question as to the impact such a casting choice could have. And with her ability to portray a quiet intensity coupled with her natural wit, Jessica Lange would do wonders as Sister Maggie, Matt Murdock's estranged mother who, as a nun, has occasionally served as a living conscience for the hero.
Jared Harris has a quiet, bookish demeanor that has often belied the tougher, almost sinister nature that rears its head in his roles in <i>Fringe</i> and <i>Sherlock Holmes</i>. While it's true that those roles are villains, the attitude that Harris could bring to tough-as-nails investigative journalist Ben Urich is undeniable, and seeing Harris channel some of that inner turmoil into a more heroic role would be a welcome change of pace. <p>As one of Daredevil's closest allies, and one of the few people who keeps Matt Murdock's secret, Ben Urich has something of a symbiotic relationship with the crime fighter. Each of them feeds the other much needed information, and each gets into places the other can't. Harris has the kind of well-worn charm that would allow him to effectively bounce off of our pick for Daredevil, and the fact that he can get physical if need be is icing on the cake.
The Owl may be a little silly, but as Daredevil's first original villain, he's fairly important to his mythos. And, with a gifted physical actor like Andy Serkis in the role, the Owl would be great played as an eccentric rival to Kingpin's criminal empire. <p>Serkis has a knack for playing characters that are both eccentric and posh, required ingredients for the Owl. He's also not afraid to get ugly and weird, and while going the Danny DeVito/Penguin route would be more than a little over the top, the Owl has never been at a loss for strangeness.
The role of Daredevil's mentor Stick requires someone who can straddle the line between homeless ninja and respected sensei. Vincent Cassel might just be that person. With a renowned ability to sway between grotesque intensity and alluring charisma in a single role, Cassel has the kind of commanding attitude that takes a young blind orphan and turns him into a man without fear. <p>Cassel is also an avid practitioner of Capoera, the Brazilian art of dance fighting, as seen in <i>Oceans 12</i>. With that kind of physical skill, he'd be perfectly poised to be believable as the man who trains Daredevil in the ways of acrobatics and martial arts, and the use of his radar sense.
Elizabeth Banks has the kind of unassuming charm and wit that would make her the perfect foil for a well-characterized Matt Murdock. Anyone playing a character like Karen Page, who started out as an integral part of Murdock and Foggy Nelson's law firm, has got to be able to hold her own alongside the picks we've got for those two character, and Banks has the chops. <p>Banks also has enough of an edge to play the other, not so nice facets of Karen Page's character, from the acerbic radio personality, to the down and out drug addict, if it comes to that. On top of that, she's got those striking looks that hit the perfect balance of girl next-door, and big city woman that fit Karen Page so perfectly.
Erin Cummings hasn't had a breakthrough film role yet, but her roles in shows like <i>Dollhouse</i>, <i>Star Trek: Enterprise</i>, and <i>Spartacus: Blood and Sand</i> make for a pretty compelling resume. Cummings also has a physical presence that would allow her to go toe to toe with Daredevil and Bullseye and come out on top. <p>As a counterpart to Daredevil, Elektra has to be physically imposing, beautiful, and charismatic, and Cummings has those things in spades. With her dark, alluring features, and a physical pedigree that rivals Elektra herself, Cummings would be a perfect fit.
This one may seem a little out of left field at first, but considering an early thirties cast, Rogen is kind of a no-brainer. He's got a comedy background, making Foggy's role as Daredevil/Matt's comic relief, and he's even got some experience with action oriented roles in <i>Green Hornet</i> and <i>Pineapple Express</i>. <p>Rogen can really sell the idea of an everyman drawn into a larger than life world of superheroes and crime lords by drawing on the strength of his charisma and his proven on screen chemistry with some of our other picks. He'd be spot on as the moral glue that holds Daredevil together, and maybe even as a partner in fighting crime, if it comes to that.
Anyone who has seen Michael K. Williams as the brutally badass Omar on <i>The Wire</i> can attest to his ability to portray a character with crazy, killer instinct and the intensity he can bring to any role. <p>All of those adjectives add up to a pitch perfect Bullseye, an unparalleled assassin who takes more than a little joy in his work, and who is Daredevil's greatest nemesis and opposite number.
The word "heavy" doesn't even begin to describe Michael Chiklis's demeanor and attitude. Fans of his long running performance on <i>The Shield</i> can attest to his power and intensity, and with a role like the Kingpin, Chiklis could truly let loose and use his natural charisma to really sell Wilson Fisk as Daredevil's ultimate adversary. <p>It's true that Chiklis already had a superhero turn as the Thing in a pair of ill-fated <i>Fantastic Four</i> films, but with one member of that cast already cherry picked for other Marvel films, it's not that much of a long shot. Also, while Chiklis's performance as the Thing wasn't exactly solid gold, a less family friendly role like Kingpin would give Chiklis a lot more breathing room to let his dark demeanor come through. <p>Of course Chiklis is nowhere near the 'girth' of the comic book Kingpin, but then who is? If Hollywood can make average height actors look like Hobbits and dwarves, maybe they can use their CGI magic to increase his waist size.
OK, OK, Joseph Gordon-Levitt may be a fan favorite to take the mantle of a certain caped crusader after his role in <i>The Dark Knight Rises</i>, but all camps have denied that possibility, so we're snatching him up for our dream cast. <p>JGL may have darker hair than Matt Murdock - too bad there's nothing science can do about that, right? - but his roles in <i>Inception</i>, the aforementioned <i>Dark Knight Rises</i>, and <i>Looper</i> show different sides of JGL as an actor that could culminate in not just a perfect Matt Murdock, but a perfect Daredevil as well. <p>Gordon-Levitt has the ability to balance a dark, almost brooding side with a good-natured sarcasm, and no other actor in Hollywood can match JGL's acrobatic prowess, qualities essential to any successful portrayal of the acerbic Matt Murdock and his fearless alter-ego, the high-flying Daredevil.