A Daredevil reboot has been in the works for over a year now, with David Slade (30 Days of Night, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) in talks to direct. Fringe writer Brad Caleb Kane was initially brought in to pen the script, but the project fell off the radar shortly thereafter. It seems like the reboot has picked up steam as 20th Century Fox has just hired a new scribe to rewrite the script.
Deadline reports that the studio has signed David James Kelly to do a rewrite of Kane’s Daredevil script. The film will actually be the first writing credit for Kelly, whose only previous work includes being a post-production assistant on the 2008 film Sunshine Cleaning.
Kelly’s script will be an adaptation of “Born Again,” a famous Daredevil story arc written by Frank Miller, drawn by David Mazzucchelli and appears in Daredevil #227-#233.
The story goes like this: Karen Page, secretary at the law office of Nelson & Murdock and girlfriend of Matt Murdock, leaves to pursue an acting career in Hollywood. Her plans don’t work out, and Page becomes a porn star and heroin addict. Her addiction finally forces Karen to sell Matt Murdock’s secret identity for a fix.
Kingpin learns that Murdock is Daredevil and uses his influence and power to ruin the attorney’s life piece by piece. Murdock becomes unhinged, losing his grasp on reality as his world crumbles around him. What’s interesting is, this storyline involves a villain named Nuke, a super-soldier created as part of Project: rebirth (the same program that created Captain America).
The story arc also incorporates The Daily Bugle, Captain America, and the Avengers. Obviously being as this film is being developed by Fox, these elements won’t be part of the script – so Kelly will more than likely replace Nuke with another suitable Daredevil villain. Maybe we’ll see Bullseye again, or perhaps Mr. Fear or The Owl will make an appearance – just as long as it’s not Stilt-Man.
Fox has been trying to reboot Daredevil for years, trying to resurrect the character after the underwhelming 2003 movie from director Mark Steven Johnson. The original starred Ben Affleck as the titular man without fear, Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin, Colin Farrell as Bullseye, and Jennifer Garner as Elektra.
I would assume Fox will use the “Born Again” storyline as a way of re-branding the potential franchise by pointing out this is a fresh start. Like X-Men: First Class and Wolverine: Origins, Daredevil: Born Again could be a decent title, but I’m leaning toward The Man Without Fear.
In addition to the Daredevil movie, Fox has also recently tried to re-ignite the Fantastic Four franchise, hiring Chronicle director Josh Trank to develop the reboot.
I think I speak for geeks everywhere when I say I wish Fox didn’t own these properties (or X-Men for that matter), so we could see characters like Daredevil, Wolverine, and Dr. Doom show up in subsequent Avengers films as part of the Marvel Studios universe.