On August 13th, Joe Carnahan’s proposal to remake a Daredevil film got shut down. Or, as the director of The Grey, Smoking Aces, and The A-Team put it via Twitter, “the clock ticked down at Fox, that’s why it went tits up.” 20th Century Fox holds the rights to the franchise, with said rights expiring in October of 2012. With the lack of a proper script and the failures of both the original Daredevil film and Elektra, I guess I can understand the hesitation. Too bad though. The teaser trailer that Carnahan released, created by master editor Skip Chaisson ( Man on Fire, Black Hawk Down ), looks like funky fun. Set in the early 70’s, Carnahan’s idea was for a “retro, red-suited, Serpico-styled superhero,” with gritty old school backdrops and tight Curtis Mayfield style soundscapes.
From what I’ve gathered in pieces within articles cast around the web, the film proposal was based around the Daredevil ‘Born Again’ story arc written by Frank Miller and drawn by David Mazzuchelli. It was written back in 1986 covering issues #226-#233 by Marvel, but, is now available in a complete 246 page edition. Since we probably won’t be getting a visual experience of the story anytime soon, this graphic novel is a great resource, easily fitting into ‘greatest ever’ lists in superhero fan world. It is a dark and emotionally complicated work, fitting to those of you familiar with, and new fans of, the recent Batman phenomena.
I’ll give you a quick rehash. Lawyer Matt Murdock’s ( Daredevil by day ) former secretary and girlfriend goes to Hollywood to become an actress. This doesn’t work out for her. She instead turns into a porn star and a heroin addict, eventually selling out Daredevil’s secret identity for a crack rock. The Kingpin, a mob boss ranked as one of the most dreaded comic book villains of all time, gets wind of this bit of information and proceeds to destroy the blind hero’s career, firebombing his home, brutally beating him, and then tossing him unconscious into the river for good measure. Yes, he survives and slowly recovers, but, what was left of his life is all but gone. Kingpin, realizing Murdock survived, is pissed. He then hires a guy named, Nuke, a super soldier created with the same procedures as Captain America, to find and destroy him. A climactic, destructive, and extremely bloody battle ensues, and not with so happy an ending for either sides of the conflict.
My summary of the comic may seem trivialized, but in no way shape or form to I intentionally do this. Not being one who typically goes for the superhero genre in my graphic novel tastes, this story does stand out. So far the response has been strong for the trailer above, and if it is not to be Daredevil as the focus of that style, I’m sure a soul funk 70’s hero could be on the horizon for a future film endeavor.
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