David Slade exits DAREDEVIL reboot. FOX facing a race against time to retain the character rights

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2003’s Daredevil was a crap film. There’s simply no other way to put it. And while Ben Affleck made a surprisingly OK choice as Matt Murdock and the Director’s Cut would fix up some of the film’s tonal problems, the rest of it still stunk so bad that I thought that I was the one with enhanced senses.

So when a reboot of the film was announced, with David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night, Twilight: Eclipse) at the helm, I went against character and actually welcomed it. But now Slade has decided to pull out of the project, due to pressure from the studios to meet a rather tight schedule.

According to the report from Deadline, if FOX don’t have cameras rolling on this film in the next 3 months, their rights on the character would lapse and revert back to Marvel/Disney. This rather small window was apparently not the conditions that Slade would prefer to work under, and he got the hell out of Dodge.

This leaves FOX in an even tougher spot, as they would now need to bring in a brand new director who might still need time to setup and get in the groove of things. Their plan to adapt the famed Frank Miller penned “Born Again” Daredevil story arc for this film, may actually also get scrapped as a new director may step in with a new vision.

They could get lucky and pull an X-Men: Firs Class though, where director Edgar Wright also stepped in with just a scant few months to get the film ready, and simply fell in line with the script, got to work immediately, and produced one of the best superhero films of the last few years.

Personally though, I could think of nothing better than letting those rights revert back to Marvel/Disney. The character could slot in perfectly with the cinematic universe that Marvel is currently busy building. Hell, if FOX is clever, they could even make some money out of this whole deal, by offering the rights back to Marvel at a price. And you could almost be certain that Marvel will pay.

As an aside, Marvel recently reacquired the rights of both Blade and The Punisher due to similar lapses of character rights, though based on just how little the Punisher movies actually made at the box office, I’m sure that Lionsgate would have paid Marvel to take the rights off them.

Last Updated: July 12, 2012

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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