‘Daredevil’ reboot gets a screenwriter, settles on ‘Born Again’ storyline

06.08.11 6 years ago 12 Comments

Marvel Comics

Has 20th Century Fox finally turned a corner in terms of the way they’re handling their various superhero properties?

Anyone who sat through “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “X-Men: First Class” would have to ask that question, because they are such radically different ways of handling the same basic material that it doesn’t seem possible that the same people are behind both films.

David Slade, one of the directors who came close to directing “The Wolverine” before Darren Aronofsky got the job, obviously made a strong impression on the upper brass at Fox, because they ended up hiring him for “Daredevil” instead.  While some might view that project as tainted goods, Slade seemed genuinely excited by the opportunity, and he’s been playing his cards pretty close to his vest over the last couple of months.

Tonight, thanks to the news breaking about the hiring of Brad Caleb Kane to write the film, we also have our first look at what it is that Slade has in mind for the reboot, and it looks like he’s going straight for the best-known story from the run of the best writer who’s ever worked on the character.

“Born Again” was probably the darkest moment in Frank Miller’s run on the title, and I mean that in the best possible way.  Miller realized that the appeal of Daredevil was tied, at least in part, to how much misery got heaped on the character.  Matt Murdock made a fantastic punching bag in Miller’s hands, and the most fiendish thing Miller ever did involved Karen Page, the secretary to Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock who was also one of the most important people in Matt’s life.  When she set out to become an actress, Miller started piling on the pain, leaving her addicted to drugs and starring in porno by the time he was finished.  The Kingpin found her in this sorry state, and he used her weakness to get out of her the one thing she had left to sell:  Daredevil’s secret identity.  What he does with it is truly crazy, and it’s one of the great Marvel stories of all time.

I read a Richard Pryor biopic that Kane wrote, and he’s been working on “Fringe” more recently.  I hope that Kane and Slade, working together, can find the right tone for “Daredevil.”  I like the Affleck movie, and at the time it was released, I felt like it was an important step for Marvel overall.  The genre’s growing up more and more each year, and what worked in 2003 feels like a step along the way now, and there’s major room for improvement.  This is strong material they’re using as a source, and it could make for a great “Daredevil” film.

Here’s the thing, though… just because “X-Men: First Class” works as well as it does, we shouldn’t break out the champagne just yet.  I’ve talked to people who worked on the film, as well as people who worked on “The Last Stand” and “Wolverine,” and honestly, the process on all three films was roughly the same.  There’s a lot of luck involved in the way “First Class” came out, and it was just a matter of degrees between the last two films in the series and this new one.  I wouldn’t say that anyone “learned” much of anything from this new film.  It all comes down to filmmakers busting ass to try and make a great film, and even on the movies I didn’t like at Fox, I’m sure there were filmmakers busting ass to try and make a great film.  That’s certainly the attitude Slade seems to have, and now, we know he’s working with a great spine for the film.

Right now, there’s no date on “Daredevil” and no one’s been signed to play the part, but we’ll keep you posted as things develop.

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