The Man Without Fear is once again property of the Marvel film studio.
With a looming deadline for production to begin on a new Daredevil film having passed last autumn, it seems that production rights have reverted from 20th Century Fox back to the proper owners, Marvel.
Before Marvel Studios produced its own films, it made a great chunk of money from licensing properties to other production companies. In some contracts those characters and rights remain property of those studios as long as they produced regular content; while the Fantastic Four looks set to be rebooted once again, other properties fall off the radar and eventually lay dormant until their window expires.
It’s already happened in a couple of interesting cases; Lions Gate produced a Blade trilogy with varying degrees of success, while The Punisher has also had a couple of false starts over the past few years (although I must admit I really enjoyed Thomas Jane’s 2004 turn as Frank Castle). And now after a last-ditch attempt to get Matt Murdock’s alter ego on the big screen again has failed, the rights reversion was confirmed by Marvel Studios’ head Kevin Feige during promotion for Iron Man 3.
Let’s just lay it down for a moment here, people. The last time a Daredevil movie was made…you hated it, didn’t you? I know I did. And though I must admit I’m not a big fan of the character to begin with, I had many problems with the film’s story, the characters…okay, basically Affleck. Matt Murdock is a man who triumphs over adversity every day, both in the bad guys he beats up, and the blindness he deals with. At no point was I rooting for Murdock in that film because Affleck was the most smug man in a film ever.
Daredevil got slated by the critics, although it made the fuckton of money expected of it, and the plot-holes and bad parts were somewhat smoothed over in the Extended Edition which only the truly hardcore fans will have bothered picking up. And let’s not even get into that Elektra spin-off, for your sake as much as mine.
So with the rights heading back to Marvel, one idea worth a go would be to set up a separate universe to the one currently smashing all box-office records – one with a bit more of an edge. Blade, Daredevil and The Punisher? I’m in. Which would you like to see get made first?