Twentieth Century Fox looks as if they are moving forward with their plan to relaunch a potential franchise featuring the Marvel Comics superhero Daredevil, with a report hitting late yesterday afternoon that the studio has hired David Scarpa to write a new script that will presumably retell the origins of the blind attorney-turned-super powered protector of New York’s Hell’s Kitchen district.
Deadline Hollywood’s story also reports that the recent that part of the impetus for moving ahead now is that the studio could potentially lose the rights to the character if they didn’t continue to use the character over an un-specified period of time.
The first Daredevil film starred Ben Affleck in the title role and was released over Valentine’s weekend in 2003. Although it was met with mixed reviews, the film managed to pull in $100 million more than it’s $80 million production budget. A director’s cut released on DVD the following year was generally held to be a better version of the film.
Needless to say, I have to question Fox’s reasoning here in hiring Scarpa. His script for 2008’s The Day The Earth Stood Still was abysmal, completely missing the points that made the original 1951 original a classic. I have not real reason to believe he can do any better with this assignment.
It is especially puzzling given the words of Fox’s co-chairman Tom Rothman, who stated back in October 2008 that if they were to do a new Daredevil film, it would be with a director that is “a visionary at the level that [Dark Knight director] Chris Nolan was. It needs someone, it needs a director, honestly, who has a genuine vision. What we wouldn’t do is just do it for the sake of doing it. Right?” There has been no announcements as to what director may be attached to the project, and that certainly seems like something that the studio would want to publicize. Is Rothman just stalling for time, hoping to fulfill the contractual obligations needed to retain the rights while still searching for a top level director with a strong vision for the franchise who will throw out Scarpa’s draft and start fresh? Or is looking to just blow ahead and grab what cash he can while he still can, while simultaneously keeping the character’s rights out of the hands of Disney-owned Marvel?