EDITORIAL: 5 Reasons Daredevil Should Run Back to Marvel
An obsessive Daredevil fan looks at why The Man Without Fear should be spending his time at Marvel Studios.
Now, I've been fairly vocal about Daredevil before on this site, and it's entirely possible that my obsession is unhealthy. But I'll say this; Marvel, as a company, has done everything right within the past few months. They selected the director of my favorite movie (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) to reunite with Robert Downey Jr. and helm and write Iron Man 3, they selected one of my writing inspirations to direct and helm The Avengers, and they even nabbed my second favorite comic writer for the newest Daredevil run in Mark Waid.
Needless to say, I've been feeling like Marvel has been making their stuff especially for me, lately.
However, the icing on the cake means that Daredevil should return to Marvel Studios for more reasons than one. Here is what I have to say about the current standings on the newest Daredevil film.
1. Does Anyone Really Know What This Movie Is?
Is it a reboot or a continuation? I've heard from one source that it recognizes the events of Mark Steven Johnson's film, and from another saying that it's a completely original and new take. I've heard one source say that it's a reboot a-la Punisher: War Zone and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and then I've heard one say that it will be more of a gritty 1970s take on the hero, to fall more in line with Frank Miller's run.
Right now, I think the movie is too unstable to be successful. No, I haven't read the script, but as I'll point out in the next reason, I know that it will be the wrong script. The general audience was confused enough about The Amazing Spider-Man starring the British kid and the Easy A girl instead of Seabiscuit-boy and Kirsten Dunst. Obviously, one can say that Raimi's Spider-Man run had a wider audience than MSJ's Daredevil, but his film didn't paddle around at the box office and did pretty well. At this point in time, and with the script provided, a lot of people are going to be scratching their heads.
2. Born Again is an Awful Storyline...To Start With
Born Again is a fantastic read. It's one of the greatest graphic novels ever written and I implore you to sit down and give it a whirl...if you're a die hard Daredevil fan and know the history up to that point in time, that is. Because the thing about Born Again that makes it so impacting and heavy is the fact that you already know so much about the characters.
The storyline follows lawyer Matt Murdock (Daredevil) a few months after his ex-girlfriend, Karen Page, (love of his life in a relationship that took years to write) sells his secret identity out for a hit of drugs. Then, Daredevil's greatest enemy, The Kingpin, systematically destroys Matt Murdock's life bit by bit. All in all, it's something that Nolan tried doing in The Dark Knight Rises (which would probably be a tough sell after that film's success) and a storyline that falls heavily on the fact that relationships between characters are not only what makes the story work, there's literally so much put in them that a single "reboot" couldn't get the job done.
Even if movie-goers went with the knowledge of the first film, they'll probably have no idea who Karen Page is (she has, maybe two minutes of screentime in the original movie as Matt's secretary) and the fact that Born Again opens with Karen selling Matt's identity for drugs might be a bit hard to swallow. That, and the Kingpin from the first movie was incredibly underdeveloped. I, myself, have written a Daredevil movie trilogy with three complete screenplays, and I ended the trilogy with Born Again and was still worried that the relationships I made in the first two installments weren't developed enough for the end to make the desired impact.
3. Kevin Feige Gets To Learn From His Mistakes
A co-producer on the first Daredevil, Feige understands this character pretty well. If the film rights revert, he gets another shot with a more complete vision to take this character into the right direction. Feige got a second chance before with Hulk and from his more encompassing vision, we got the direction we saw in both The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers. I, for one, would like to see what Feige has with bigger plans for Daredevil, rather than see him being thrown out into a loveless production.
4. It Has the Ability to Start a New Marvel Cinematic Universe
As some of you know, Daredevil is now a part of The Avengers. And while his initiation into the group spawned an awesome image of him firing a machine gun turret at Nazi robots, I'm still sitting back wondering just what the hell Matt Murdock is going to do on the Avengers. He's not a major power player by any means, and he's normally not my first choice (though he's my lifelong favorite) to fight in an intergalactic space battle with the likes of Iron Man and Thor.
However, he is a part of the Marvel Knights team, and should Marvel be so bold, they could easily use Matt's character to start a "new" universe, while also still sharing it within the universe already created. While I don't see it in the cards, Black Widow (a member of both the Marvel Knights and The Avengers...and a love interest of Matt) can be the one who ties these universes together. Start with Matt's story, go to Heroes for Hire with Luke Cage and Iron Fist, add some Moon Knight, and then use Black Widow to call the four in as they go hunt down Frank Castle in The Punisher's introduction to the Marvel Universe.
Big, bold plans, and not a direction I see Marvel taking. But, at this point, why not dare to dream?
5. "R" Does Not Constitute a Better Film
A lot of the "pro-Fox" arguments I've been hearing is that Marvel Studios will not put out an "R" rated Daredevil story. But I've never understood why that matters.
Obviously, Daredevil deals with incredibly thematic issues (cancer, AIDS, prostitution, drug and alcohol addiction, etc. etc.) but it's the themes that make Daredevil so dark. The violence and language of the comics never really gets past a PG-13 level, and Mark Waid's current run is devoid of a lot of those dark elements (although, there is an incredible increase in sexuality). Because of this, Daredevil is a character who can be successful both ways. Matt Murdock is sort of the culmination of Peter Parker, Tony Stark, and Bruce Wayne, and any studio would be a fool to miss out on that.
Daredevil is a character who kicks ass, but he's not just about kicking ass. He's an incredibly developed and strong character with incredible stories thanks to Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, and Mark Waid. There are so many elements in Daredevil runs that to just pick and choose one for the "I wanna see a 'mature' Daredevil film" is absolutely absurd. I would ask that Daredevil's fan base ask that a rendition of the character be true rather than him become a makeshift Batman knockoff that will be forgettable to the general audience.
So, what do you folks think? Stay, or go? What do you want to see in a Daredevil movie?
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