Update: Deadline have more on the story and report that Fox insiders have “strenuously denied” reports that Marvel and Fox were looking to do some horse-trading with the Fantastic Four and Daredevil characters. As we mused in our original article, it makes little sense for Fox to give up Galactus and Silver Surfer, two major parts of the Fantastic Four universe when Chronicle director Josh Trank is rebooting the property and Fox likely have plans to re-use them somewhere down the road.
Interestingly, Deadline suggest Fox are actually “lukewarm” over the idea of rebooting Daredevil, which again is not surprising given they have wasted money on writers in the past for nothing to happen with it. Fox are apparently ready to let the rights expire back to Marvel but they are talking with Disney about perhaps coming together on a co-financing deal that would see an extension given to allow the film to be made. Presumably that deal COULD involve the Daredevil character appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a supporting player but Fox retaining the exclusive rights to continue making stand-alone movies with the character (which would seem to make sense for both parties) but that’s just my conjecture and it’s not part of the Deadline story.
However from the sounds of the report, Deadline don’t think Fox and Disney’s talks will come to anything and Joe Carnahan’s best chance of making a Daredevil movie might just be when the rights revert to Disney in two months time.
Original story follows…
After 2003′s Daredevil massively underwhelmed from both a critical and commercial standpoint, it’s surprising that it has taken so long for Fox to simply hand over Hell’s Kitchen’s blind superhero back to Marvel Studios, given that the rights will in fact revert back to the company on October 10th of this year if no film has begun production and they have already spent a considerable amount of money in almost a decade trying to get a new movie off the ground.
Some Fox execs probably wonder why they are bothering putting so much time and energy into the Daredevil property but I guess they look enviously at the money Warner Bros, Sony and Marvel/Disney have been raking in for the past few years now and they want in on the game. They of course have had success with the X-Men saga before and they know there is money to be made from superhero properties but they have had a tough time trying to put all the pieces together for another formula that works.
According to Variety, Fox aren’t ready to hand Daredevil back to Marvel in two months time. A report last night suggests Marvel and Fox are currently hammering out a deal that might see that October 10th deadline extended, reportedly allowing for The A-Team and The Grey director Joe Carnahan to step up to the helm and deliver a Daredevil reboot that would keep the character a part of the Fox family. He replaces 30 Days of Night and Hard Candy helmer David Slade who pulled out of rebooting Daredevil earlier this year when he felt like he didn’t have enough time to bring the character back to the big screen.
But why would Marvel be interested in allowing Fox more time to make a Daredevil movie, when in a few months they could begin to make plans to bring him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Well, the bargaining part of the deal apparently pertains to Fox’s present ownership of the rights of certain Marvel characters, specifically Galactus and Silver Surfer of Fantastic Four lore, which Fox would give up back to Marvel in exchange for having a longer window to get their Daredevil reboot off the ground. Whether Fox will be willing to surrender these rights to two core characters from the FF franchise when they are trying to reboot the property themselves and would probably want to use them somewhere down the line, is not yet understood.
Back to Daredevil meanwhile, Carnahan’s take has been touted as a “Frank Miller-esque, hardcore 70s thriller”, and frankly, it’s an exciting jolt for a project that otherwise would be easily dismissed as another cynical cash-grab out of necessity, ala Marc Webb’s disappointingly rote The Amazing Spider-Man. The story of Matt Murdock’s transformation into a blind but sensorily-enhanced superhero is not well-known enough that it will seem tiresome to audiences, especially if Carnahan would aim to distance it from the original’s PG13-rated theatrical cut.
Carnahan is an enticing choice because he is tried and tested in both the high-brow (Narc) and low-brow (The A-Team) arenas, as well as those which sit somewhere in-between (The Grey). If Fox are willing to give him the reins on something mature and R-rated, he could deliver both the necessary grit and spectacle needed to make this one a breakout hit.
However, this is anything but a done deal, of course, and it will depend on how highly Fox value integral elements of Fantastic Four’s mythos to give up the characters back to Marvel to have more time to bring Daredevil to the big screen.
What do you think of a Carnahan take on Daredevil? And will Fox play ball with Marvel?