EDITORIAL: Why DAREDEVIL Is The Marvel Studios Property Most Deserving Of A Movie
Marvel Studios have yet to adapt many of the properties they hold the rights to, but as much as the likes of Black Panther and Doctor Strange deserve their own movies, I believe that it's The Man Without Fear who is most worthy of getting another chance on the big screen. Hit the jump for more...
Last year, Marvel Studios finally regained the rights to Daredevil. However, it appeared at the time that he wasn’t a character they were desperate to get their hands on again. As you may remember, they attempted to come to a deal with 20th Century Fox which would allow that studio to keep The Man Without Fear IF they gave Marvel Galactus and Silver Surfer. Well, Fox clearly weren’t that keen on him either, and despite the fact that they already had a movie in the very early stages of development, they allowed the rights to revert. We’ve since heard very little about Marvel’s plans for Matt Murdock, with Kevin Feige only confirming that they now hold the rights and Joe Quesada saying that they are "really excited" to have him back. So, what’s next for Daredevil?
A lot of fans seem to think that Daredevil belongs on the small screen, and to be fair, I can see where they’re coming from. Like Green Arrow, he’s the kind of character who could easily be portrayed with a television budget, while his rogues gallery would lend themselves well to the kind of low-fi reimagining that worked so well for the likes of the Dark Archer and Deathstroke on Arrow. The fact that he’s a lawyer would also lead to some interesting stories on the non-costume side of things, but as good as all this sounds (as against the idea of a TV series as I am, I actually find myself liking the sound of it as I write this...), I truly believe that Daredevil’s place is on the big screen.
As bad as the 2003 movie was, it at least showed that the character has some potential. As controversial as this may be with fans of the Miller/Bendis/Brubaker runs (which, I can assure you, I most definitely count myself a part of), the right direction to take for Marvel Studios would be a tone on par with that of Mark Waid’s Eisner Award winning series. As great as the dark and gritty Daredevil runs were, that doesn’t necessarily fit in with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so focusing on the humorous side of the character seems like a sensible way to go, especially in terms of appealing to the general audience. Now, that’s not to say that they should turn the character into a wisecracking Spider-Man knock off, but Waid has managed to find the right balance of humour and drama while also at least keeping some of Matt’s darker personality traits present (sort of like how Marvel Studios have handled Tony Stark’s alcoholism in his movie franchise).
While Daredevil doesn’t necessarily fit into Marvel’s big plans for 2018 (an apparent Avengers/Guardians of the Galaxy crossover as the two teams battle Thanos), there’s one thing sorely missing from the Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point. A street level superhero with a truly human perspective. We have a billionaire. We have an Asgardian God. We have a man out of time. We have...well, you get the point! Doctor Strange introduces us to magic, while Black Panther is another worthy addition to the roster of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Daredevil meanwhile opens the door to a whole new world of superheroes. Luke Cage and Iron Fist would fit nicely into that world and adapting heroes like these could mean that we get another superhero team franchise down the line; The Defenders! By 2018, the likes of Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson will all be facing the ends of their contracts to Marvel. After spending nearly a decade in Marvel movies, these actors will inevitably want to move on.
Whether Marvel takes the James Bond route and recasts or simply reboots is an argument for another day, but it’s vital that they have other franchises to fall back on. After all, not everything has to be Thanos related! Of all the characters that they hold the rights to, the Man Without Fear is easily as deserving of a movie as the likes of Captain America and Thor, and arguably even more than a character like Ant-Man. While I can understand their reluctance to revisit the world of Daredevil after the failure of his last big screen adaptation, a strong story and the right cast (something Marvel have shown that they have a great handle on) could easily result in yet another huge blockbuster franchise for them. Mark Waid’s superb swashbuckling Daredevil has shown that there exists a fresh and unique take out there on the character some consider a poor man’s Batman, and now is the time for Marvel to take advantage and give us the Daredevil movie we all want and deserve. What do you guys think?
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