Perpetual Darkness: Marvel's Ground-Plan for Daredevil
They've got the rights, which could be the ace up their sleeve to reach out and capture a branch of folks who aren't convinced by the seemingly universal appeal of the Phase Films. Check out BattlinMurdock's Daredevil ground-plan to help Marvel get their hero off the ground.
I've had a passion for Daredevil since I was six. It's caused me to write articles like this and many others. When it was announced that Marvel grabbed the rights back, I was ecstatic, despite thinking that director Joe Carnahan had an interesting vision for the hero over at Fox.
It's fairly apparent that Marvel's got their hands busy with their phases, specifically Phase II. Since it's unlikely a street-level vigilante is going to be joining the Avengers cinematically any time soon, I've managed to come up with a ground plan for the Daredevil Universe using my fan scripts, the fain trailers created by Splenda and the posters created by Jolt17. The following should not be considered straight fan-fiction, because though I am using my own work as a basis, I'm more interested in discussing the streamlined vision for the hero and how he should be marketed to the general public.
Marvel Studios is always trying to break new ground, as proved with their endeavors between the years of 2008 to 2012. A hero like Daredevil can prove to do just that when confined to his own trilogy. To start, I'll repeat that Daredevil should exist within a universe of a trilogy. And a period piece, set in the year of 1979.
The Man Without Fear
Daredevil is a man of relationships; more so than many other comic book characters. He is in constant engagement to the people in his life because of his role as a lawyer, so to start off the series; our focus should be on Matt Murdock as a person and his relationships. In the first film, we establish his relationship with his father, Foggy Nelson, and Karen Page. We also push him into the world of organized crime.
The adaptation follows a mix between Frank Miller's The Man Without Fear and Jeph Loeb's Yellow. But, more importantly, we establish the movie is not your everyday superhero piece. It's a crime film, first and foremost. A coming of age story, wrapped up in a revenge tale told through a courtroom setting. It's a movie where the protagonist is merely trying to exist and make good in the city he feels he owes. Vigilantism is not his priority. Being a superhero is a fleeting thought. In fact, Matt Murdock does not even don his infamous costume until the last action scene of the picture.
And there are action sequences, throughout. Including a massive one filmed in the style of The Raid in its sheer brutality. But to set this movie apart from the others, you need a heavy lead. Someone that won't give way to the idea that this character must become and is a superhero by blatant definition. You need a man. And it's not the idea that anyone can be this hero, a-la Chris Nolan's Batman films. The only man who can do what needs to be done in this universe is Matt; it's just important to sell his humanity before anything else. You can read the script here. And you can check out the trailer below.
Speak of the Devil
Social issues injected into film can always raise eyebrows, but that's what I'd like to do in Speak of the Devil with the topic of AIDS. There's a great exploration of the social class issue, but I'd also want to continue the element of "fatherhood" started in the first film. The difference between the sequel and the first is that we've already established to our action-oriented audience that we're up for putting our action behind strong characters. The emotional relevance is there.
However, we switch from the legal film of the first movie to a more routine super-flick. We introduce our big bad in a big way, everyone's favorite Daredevil baddie of Bullseye and we give him layers. Not so much a backstory; just emotional levels. He's not a character shrouded in mystery like The Joker; the filmmakers are always quite blunt and forward with him. But we give him an empathetic feature from the start. Quite frankly, we let both the audience and the character know he's not going to make it out of the film alive. With that brooding on his mind and now with a villain knowing he's got a biological clock ticking more rapidly than ever, we get to invest in a new kind of cinematic villain: the kind obsessed with his own demise.
In Matt's world, we further his relationships and ultimately break them down. We start a path of abandonment so as by the film's end, he doesn't feel fulfilled as much as he does bluntly exhausted.
And we introduce The Kingpin as the abiding presence throughout the entire film. We see his hands at work and see his active empire. And we begin to see his world fall apart as well. Finally, we end our feature with the infamous scene (line for line) of how Frank Miller's Born Again begins. Check out the script here. Check out the specially-made trailer below.
When it was announced the Daredevil reboot would follow the Born Again route, I was sensationally perplexed. It's a storyline that doesn't work effectively unless you've been with the characters for a lengthy time. That's why I found it to be the best conclusion to the trilogy. It's a story that follows three journeys: a hero's descent and rise from the ashes, a young woman's return home at any and all costs, and a villain who will do anything to keep the vicegrip on his family's legacy. It's really an incredibly beautiful story about family for all three characters, so it has the emotional draw necessary because of the establishment of the first two films.
And it's a hard story. It's hard to sell because it seems to have obvious connections to The Dark Knight Rises, but it's smaller in scale and it's much more intimate and brutal. And, ultimately, it returns to not being about Daredevil at all. It's a Matt Murdock show, having him homeless throughout the majority of it, seeking solace with ghosts of his past, and ultimately rising up and saving Hell's Kitchen from the hands of The Kingpin.
It's a victory lap for a character just as much as it is an exploration of his psychosis. We bring the law element back into it with Foggy Nelson's character, and we really hammer everything we can home. The fatherhood theme is back in full force, the love story is as elegant as it is brutal, and Matt and Foggy return to the best bromance in all of comicdom. Check out the script here. Check out the specially made trailer below.
The idea is to get behind a character, while presenting a genre mix and making the trilogy a period piece. It adds a new flair and new dimensions to stories people "have all heard before." I, personally, love the direction and had an absolute blast writing the scripts. And I can't tell you how much I appreciate Spencer and Bobby's work with me in helping me market my ideas. I'm interested to see what you all think.
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