When the film rights to the comic book hero Daredevil reverted back to Marvel Studios from Twentieth Century Fox last April, fans began to speculate as to when they would see the blind superhero join into Marvel’s expanding cinematic universe of franchise crossovers. Studio head Kevin Feige stated at the time that Daredevil would eventually show up, but stated that the studio first needed to figure out exactly how they wanted to integrate the character into their existing framework.
While doing the press rounds for the upcoming Thor: The Dark World, Bleeding Cool had a chance to sit down with Feige and conversation turned to the status of a potential Daredevil film, mentioning also another recently returned character, the skull-shirted vigilante known as the Punisher.
We’re trying to figure out what to do with Daredevil now. Punisher could show up at one point. You know, once we get characters back into the Marvel fold we don’t want to do something right away, we want to do the smart thing at the smart time.
Considering that Feige and Marvel have already revealed their film plans through 2015, we know that it won’t be anytime soon that we’ll be seeing Dardevil swinging his way onto movie screens. And in the long run and barring a surprise appearance in The Avengers 2 in 2015, I don’t think that we’ll be seeing either him or Punisher before 2018. Marvel’s “Phase Two” mapped out to the release of The Avengers: Age Of Ultron in May 2015 and “Phase 3” kicking off with Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man, the first film in Marvel’s “Phase 3″ which will supposedly culminate in The Avengers 3 sometime in 2018. But Feige has already stated that we could very well see either a Dr. Strange film and/or a Black Panther film as part of Phase 3. Provided that Marvel stays at a two-films-a-year pace, that only leaves two or three other spots that a Daredevil film could be slotted into and I would think that Marvel would rather keep a balanced mix of established and new character films and use those available openings for either a third Captain America or Thor film or a second Guardians Of The Galaxy film before bringing out a Daredevil or Punisher film. This would push either one of those characters to a post-Avengers 3, fall 2018 position at the earliest.
Of course, there is always the television option for both characters. With the success that Marvel and ABC are seeing with Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., we know that they are currently developing a number of other television projects. Could Feige and the studio be thinking that the street-level heroics of either character be more suited for a television series than for the big screen? In fact, TV might be the better way to go with these characters. Both are grittier than the current shiny bright tone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it sounds now and it possible that they are having trouble coming up with an approach that would sit well within the overall context of the connected universe. A television series could conceivably have a degree of remove from the films that would allow it to co-exist with them a little more comfortably.