EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Daredevil Writer Antony Johnston!

The writer talks about what he’d like to see in the next Daredevil movie, comments on CBM fan favourite Michael C. Hall playing the character, the chances of seeing a Wasteland adaptation and much more!

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By Josh Wilding - 4/26/2010
Antony Johnston is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of comics, graphic novels, books and video games. He is best known for the post apocalyptic comic series Wasteland and has recently started co-writing Daredevil with current ongoing writer Andy Diggle. His other projects include comics such as Wolverine: Prodigal Son, adaptations of Alan Moore stories, graphic novel adaptations of the Alex Rider novels and the critically-acclaimed videogame, Dead Space.

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Despite having a hectic schedule, Antony was kind enough to answer my questions when I contacted him recently about the past and future DD movies, writing the comic book (and possibly movie script?), who he’d like to see play the Man Without Fear and the chances of seeing a Wasteland movie so check out the interview below and share your thoughts in the usual place!

What direction would you like to see the next Daredevil movie take? Are there any particular storylines you'd like to see adapted onto the big screen?

I think it just needs to take itself more seriously, and quit goofing around. I took my girlfriend (a DD fan since the Miller years) to see the first movie on opening night, and the combination of bad CGI and nonsensical story had me cringing in my seat. The performances really weren’t bad — even Affleck was pretty good, I thought — but in 2003, producers still believed a superhero movie had to have its tongue at least half-planted in its cheek. The success of the first Spider-Man movie didn’t help matters in that regard. But that attitude just doesn’t serve a character like DD, especially when you’re ostensibly trying to tell a serious story.

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Now that the Nolan Batman movies have proven you don’t have to be cute to make a good and successful superhero movie, we’ll hopefully see something more like that for a new Daredevil. As for stories, I hope (but doubt) that we won’t need to go through the origin yet again. I think pretty much any story since Bendis’ run started would work; something like the King of Hell’s Kitchen arc could be great on-screen.

If you had the chance, would you like to write the movies script or are you happier with handling the character in the comic books?

Sure, of course I would. But so would Bendis, Brubaker, Diggle, in fact just about everyone else who’d worked on DD — and the producers would go to all of those guys before coming to me...!

I’m happy enough doing my bit on the comics. Something that people who don’t work in these industries might not realise is how much freedom comic writers have. You don’t get that kind of creative license on a multi-million dollar production.


Michael C. Hall is a fan favourite to play Daredevil over at CBM. What do you think of that and do you have a personal favourite for who you would to see play DD?

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I think he’d be a fine choice, sure. The main thing is finding someone who can simultaneously combine the heroism and vulnerability of Matt Murdock, and Hall could definitely do that. But so could someone like, say, Damien Lewis — who I’ve also seen proposed by fans, but that might just be because he has red hair...! I don’t know if I have a personal favourite; honestly, I haven’t given it that much thought, I’m not one of these writers who “casts” a comic in his head while writing it. How about Zach Quinto? He’d be an interesting choice.

What's it been like working on Daredevil? Anything you can tell us about what to expect in the coming months?

It’s been a lot of fun, and a hell of a way to make my entrance into the superhero field after concentrating on genre comics for the past ten years. I can’t give too much away about the future, sorry — Shadowland has recently been announced at last, and everything I could tell you is in all the news stories about that. Rest assured, there are some big changes ahead for old hornhead.

You're also responsible for the excellent Wasteland series. Would you like to see a movie adaptation and are there any plans for one?

I don’t believe there are any plans at the moment, no, but we’re always open to offers...! Of course I’d love to see a movie of Wasteland, if only for the increased attention it would bring to the comic itself, but it’s not exactly the easiest series to condense down to movie length.

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Maybe when the book is finished, someone will come up with a way to compress it all into a couple of hours, but it’s not something I think about too much. I just put my head down and write the best comic I can.


I would of course like to say a big thank you to Antony for taking the time to talk with me and if you’d like to know more about him and his work then click HERE! Plus, Daredevil: Cage Match written by Johnston with art by Sean Chen is out on May 12th.
Source: Josh Wilding
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Faust1973 - 4/26/2010, 1:25 PM
Hell yeah! My BOY! Daredevil AND MCH! Bring it ON!
Faust1973 - 4/26/2010, 1:35 PM
...and I think he's right...Daredevil needs to be taken seriously...he's innately a dark and troubled character and needs to be treated as such...I think the best incarnation is Miller's run before he added all the ninja stuff...if they combined the feeling of that run with Matt's personality during the Bendis run, that would embody the character perfectly for me...and I think Michael C. Hall can represent that characterization very well...the story should focus on the crime noir aspects of Miller and Bendis' run with Nocenti's focus on Matt's Catholic upbringing as an aspect of his personality and a foil to Daredevil's need to use violence as a tool...I liked the 2003 DD, but I think Johnson skirted a lot of the issues that make DD who he is and didn't flesh him out properly...
LEEE777 - 4/26/2010, 1:39 PM
A double HELL YES @ JOSH!!!

Kudos, awesome stuff! ; )

LEEE777 - 4/26/2010, 1:42 PM
DAMIEN LEWIS for DD's DAD! : P

(Well BANSHEE actually! : D)
InTylerWeTrust - 4/26/2010, 1:45 PM
I can see Damien Lewis as DD. Also Misha Collins.

I think he was dead on about the movie needing to take itself seriously. I want a gritty and tough DD movie. If David Fincher Doesnt get nabbed for Deadpool, I'd love to see him make a DD film.
LEEE777 - 4/26/2010, 1:47 PM
Of course you can @ TYLER!

Of course you can! : P
JoshWilding - 4/26/2010, 1:52 PM
LEE/tea: Thanks guys! :)

The comic book is definitely in good hands with Johnston (and Diggle) because it's clear to see above that he has a perfect understanding of the character and how he should be portrayed on the big screen! A DD movie should really be Marvel's The Dark Knight but as long as it's in the hands of Fox...I'm not sure we'll get to see that sort of amazing movie! Here's hoping that Marvel Studios get the rights back though!!!
Ryden - 4/26/2010, 1:54 PM
Zach Quinto is an interesting choice but he's better for other roles. I'd prefer Michael C Hall over Damien Lewis but he still seems too villanous.
DogsOfWar - 4/26/2010, 1:54 PM
The studios all want to make the next "dark" CBM since TDK. Most would not work with that tone from start to finish. Daredevil is the exception.

Nice job Josh!
LEEE777 - 4/26/2010, 1:56 PM
bropous @ Dude, do you even like comics book? DD's a [frick]ing cool Marvel character?? How can you not like him???

JOSH @ Its kinda because of Marvel that DD is at FOX much like the X-MEN! : P

Yeah, them are golden words "MARVELS DARK KNIGHT!!!"

Faust1973 - 4/26/2010, 1:57 PM
LEEE, I think you mean "H" to tha "E" to tha double "L" yeah!!!
Frogman - 4/26/2010, 1:58 PM
Now let Marvel get his film rights back and make a new Daredevil that fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
InTylerWeTrust - 4/26/2010, 1:59 PM
The only thing I disagree about regarding DD is Quinto. Can't get behind that choice. But Patrick Wilson is a new choice I can get behind (courtesy of Mr. Murdock ;) )
LEEE777 - 4/26/2010, 1:59 PM
FAUST @ "H" to tha "E" to tha double "L" !!!! : P

FROGMAN @ Welcome back dude, its been a while!

TYLER @ Hell yeah to that statement QUINTO is wrong for it!
StephenStrange - 4/26/2010, 2:05 PM
I loled at one thing he said.

It was that bit about how film writers do not get much creative license when they are writing multi million dollar films. ROFL yeah right....

Try telling that to Barakapool and Galactus the cloud.

StephenStrange - 4/26/2010, 2:07 PM
DD so rules. He deserves to be immortalized properly in a movie.
JoshWilding - 4/26/2010, 2:15 PM
DOGS: Cheers mate! :)

He would need to bulk up, but I could actually see Quinto as DD..! He's a choice that I've never considered but like Hall, I think he'd do a great job of pulling off the likeable Matt Murdock and at the same time the darker traits of the character!

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Hawksblueyes - 4/26/2010, 2:17 PM
Great work Josh.
supermarioworldE - 4/26/2010, 2:19 PM
DD and The Punisher have really gotten the short end of the stick in the Marvel film world. DD was definitely a bit too goofy. The first Punisher was decent but hollow, and the reboot just reeked of hammy dialog and nauseating direction.

DD and The Punisher need at least one good movie each. Both are just too cool and important in the marvel universe to keep getting screwed over by hollywood.

@Darth

I wouldn't call Barakapool and Galactus the cloud creative writing as much as it was writers taking craps on paper, and then selling the papers as scripts
BmanHall - 4/26/2010, 2:26 PM
I thought the last DD movie was ok, but could definitely be done better. I'm on board with the Patrick Wilson idea.
LEEE777 - 4/26/2010, 2:34 PM
Um NO @ JOSH, a HELL NO!!!!!!

MCH all the way!!!



Yes he is talented reading the DAILY BUGLE! ; D
PWhite - 4/26/2010, 2:36 PM
Dexter 4 DD would be great! The last movie was...NM i try to 4get that movie was ever made.
StephenStrange - 4/26/2010, 2:41 PM
lol @ Supermario: Indeed. I wouldn't call that creativity either but the process you described is what seems to pass for creativity in Hellywood these days.

Think about Doom too. That was a bad one. Doom is one of Marvel's most important villians. He's like Marvel's Lex Luthor.

I bet the FF director and writer sat around all night giggling like salivating crocodiles and patting each other on the back over how they turned Doom into Donald Trump with the power of Collossus and Electro. They probably THINK that shit was creative.

It wasn't. It was a mess.



BmanHall - 4/26/2010, 2:42 PM
Zachary Quinto for Namo... Er... I mean, yeah teabag! As long as Quinto ain't Namor!
MovieTheaterLad - 4/26/2010, 2:43 PM
@DarthMulder

Doom in the movies was meant to be based off of Ultimate Doom. And in that regard, it was pretty faithful to the comics.
MovieTheaterLad - 4/26/2010, 2:46 PM
Also, you guys have to watch the R-Rated Director's Cut of Daredevil. It is vastly superior and is a pretty solid movie.

Oh yeah, and JUDE LAW FOR DAREDEVIL

JoshWilding - 4/26/2010, 2:48 PM
Thanks HAWKS!

LEE: Hey, Hall is still my #1 choice - I'm just saying that Quinto would actually be pretty well suited to the role as well! I love that picture you've made there of MCH, lol! After seeing him in season 4 of Dexter (specifically, the Thanksgiving episode) I'm convinved that he's the best choice to play the character!

DARTH: That's exactly why I'm so worried about The Avengers - it was Zak Penn that turned Doom into that...that...what the [frick] was that anyway, lol!? How they even came up with that shitty version of Doctor Doom is beyond me! :P
Faust1973 - 4/26/2010, 2:57 PM
@LEEE
The Daily Bugle must really be upping their game if they're reporting on Miami serial killers...on the front page no less!!! LOL...
Rhys - 4/26/2010, 3:01 PM
Michael C Hall for Daredevil!!! Zach Quinto...ehh, not so much. He wouldn't be terrible, but not great either, MCH is the best and obvious choice.

@ bropous, no one cares, why did you even bother posting that comment!?
supermarioworldE - 4/26/2010, 3:10 PM
@Darth

Calling the process of creating Dr. Doom for the ff film a mess is being too kind! You'd think that with larger amounts of money it's taking to make these films each year, the studios would try to get writers to do BETTER than they would if films weren't so expensive.

@Josh

That asshole also wrote for X-3 if i'm not mistaken. That movie was also shitty as a septic tank. But Fox sure as hell didn't care. As long as the promotion is good enough, a studio could care less about the script.

MrMurdock - 4/26/2010, 3:29 PM
This is great news, I havent heard anything about Daredevil for ages...
PATRICK WILSON|DAREDEVIL
Daredevil [Patrick Wilson]
conformist21 - 4/26/2010, 3:38 PM
the Director's Cut of Daredevil was actually quite good.
It's practically rated R, but the thing that wasn't good about it was Elektra, she ain't no southern belle, she's Greek for crype's sake.
Daredevil has a better chance of redemption from that horrible pg-13 sappy tale, while Punisher remains very risky.
MovieTheaterLad - 4/26/2010, 3:52 PM
@Daniel

Nah, bro. Jude Law is a far superior choice. He has much more experience in action movies, is a much better actor, has far more credentials in terms of serious movies, and not to mention the fact that he's easily much more handsome and actually looks like Matt Murdock would.

Zombie137 - 4/26/2010, 3:52 PM
Do the same companies own Daredevil and Punisher?

If so, they need to do a movie together.

Frank Castle is put on trial for killing Mobsters as the Punisher. Matt Murdock is his lawyer, Frank gets let go because of Matt's skills in the courtroom, and after he gets let go, Frank goes crazy on the next round of Mobsters.This time Daredevil is there when Frank kills everyone and obviously knows he made a mistake.

Daredevil Vs Punisher is of to the races.....
Zombie137 - 4/26/2010, 3:53 PM
And, MCH sucked in Gamer, im not too sure he is built for movies.
Zombie137 - 4/26/2010, 4:05 PM
And, MCH sucked in Gamer, im not too sure he is built for movies.
MovieTheaterLad - 4/26/2010, 4:10 PM
@Zombie

No, unfortunately. Daredevil is Fox, Punisher is Columbia.
1chris2 - 4/26/2010, 4:15 PM
i agree micheal c hall for daredevil.
Rhys - 4/26/2010, 4:54 PM
@ Zombie, Really? He was the only part I enjoyed about that movie. The rest sucked.
Rhys - 4/26/2010, 4:55 PM
@ MovieTheaterLad, I wouldn't mind if Jude Law was Matt Murdock, but I still prefer MCH.
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