DAREDEVIL: MAN WITHOUT FEAR! Ways to make a great Daredevil movie!

DAREDEVIL: MAN WITHOUT FEAR! Ways to make a great Daredevil movie!

With all the recent hype of the well-deserved remake of the Daredevil film, a couple of folks at IGN.com gives this very insightful article about six ways that the Daredevil reboot could actually redeem itself from it's 2003 predecessor.

Editorial Opinion
By SageMode - Mar 17, 2011 11:03 PM EST
Filed Under: Daredevil

With all the less-than-great comic book movie adaptations that have been heavily introduced into the new millennium, 2003's Daredevil, starring Ben Affleck as the titular character, was unfortunately one of them. From Colin Farrell's over-the-top portrayal of Bullseye to the disappointing look of Daredevil's costume, this movie had it's share of flaws to understandably ruffle comic fan's feathers.
Having news that Twilight saga director David Slade has been chosen to direct the reboot, the pair of Jesse Schedeen & Phil Pirrello from IGN give six very thoughtful guidelines of how to give the Man Without Fear the blockbuster treatment he deserves.

"1. Don't Be Afraid of the Man Without Fear

Daredevil is one of the darker and more tormented heroes to occupy the Marvel Universe. Urban renewal might have transformed the real Hell's Kitchen into a Manhattan hotspot, but Daredevil's Hell's Kitchen is still a cesspool of crime and corruption. Murder, robbery, drugs, prostitution – it's all just another day in Hell's Kitchen.

Bearing that in mind, a Daredevil movie needs to be willing to push the PG-13 rating as hard as it can go. Daredevil isn't Spider-Man. He's no just a stealthy ninja, but a brawler who gives as good as he gets. He has to be able to bleed and get knocked down and then get up again and beat the holy hell out of his opponent. He has to be allowed to confront the types of villains who don't put on costumes and cackle maniacally.

If the tone of the Daredevil reboot is any less grim and violent than The Dark Knight, something is wrong. There are fun Marvel heroes, and then there's Daredevil.

2.Keep It All About Daredevil

How many times in past superhero movies have we seen the hero be overshadowed by his supporting cast? Whether it's Joker hamming it up over Batman or Wolverine turning the X-Men movies into his private playground, too many heroes are unfairly relegated to the background.

This reboot needs to keep things simple and focused squarely on Matt Murdock. That means no extended scenes of Bullseye chewing scenery. No lengthy focus on Elektra and building up her spinoff movie. This is Daredevil's show. The sad truth is that, even after the relative success of the first DD film, casual audiences don't know the character that well.

Daredevil is easily one of Marvel's most complex and conflicted characters. He suffers under the perpetual weight of Catholic guilt and puts even Spidey to shame when it comes to self-loathing. He's a hero who is both handicapped by his lack of sight and freed through his other heightened senses. He's a man who suffers more through his crusade than any other Marvel hero, and yet he never fails to pick himself out of the gutter and rise up again. That's the hero audiences need to discover this time around.

3.Borrow From the Comics

It rarely hurts a comic book adaptation to actually adapt the comics. Yes, films like Iron Man and The Dark Knight found great success by making changes to the familiar formula, but underneath those changes was an obvious respect for the source material.

The first Daredevil movie didn't necessarily ignore the comics. It adapted many aspects of Frank Miller's seminal stories, including the death of Elektra and Kingpin discovering Daredevil's identity. The problem is that these weren't the best stories to base an origin story around. The reboot would do well to examine which popular DD comics actually make sense to adapt. Rather than adapt Born Again, Miller's last story, why not tackle the origins of Matt Murdock in The Man Without Fear or the account of his early months as Daredevil in Daredevil: Yellow?

One advantage this reboot has is many recent and very well-received stories to draw from. Brian Michael Bendis' Daredevil run is nearly as beloved as Miller's. That run had only just begun when the first Daredevil movie hit. Now the filmmakers are free to draw from Bendis' work and other recent writers like Ed Brubaker. The pool of great stories has only grown since 2003.

4.Save Kingpin For a Sequel

Kingpin may have debuted as a Spider-Man villain, but most comic fans consider Daredevil to be his greatest nemesis. The comics have spent decades chronicling the long feud between these two as Kingpin has repeatedly tried and failed to break down Matt Murdock.

That said, Kingpin isn't necessarily the best villain to employ in an origin story. It's better to allow Daredevil to establish himself as defender of Hell's Kitchen. At most, Kingpin should be a lingering presence in this movie, pulling strings and running the show from behind the curtain, but with Daredevil not actually confronting his great nemesis until a sequel. The same applies to Bullseye, who shouldn't appear in the movies until his rotund employer does.

Fear not. Daredevil's rogues gallery isn't as well known as those of Spider-Man or Batman, but he has some worthy enemies to clash with outside of Kingpin and Bullseye. We'd love to see The Owl used as a lower level crime lord, with villains like Gladiator or Typhoid Mary serving as hired muscle. Purple Man or Mr. Fear would also provide interesting challenges to DD that can't simply be dispatched with a billy club and a kick to the face. The real question is merely which of these villains are included in Fox's franchise rights.

5.Revisit the Costume

It can be difficult to translate superhero costumes to live-action. Few would be caught dead fighting crime in spandex. Or more aptly, they'd soon be dead if they attempted it. The previous Daredevil movie appeared at a time when leather was deemed to be a suitable replacement for spandex. Ben Affleck's Daredevil looked downright goofy in his red leather suit, and we imagine kicking ass in that thing would be about as comfortable and effective as Captain America fighting in Michael Jackson's Thriller suit.

Plenty of thought should be given to redesigning the suit. Leather is a no-no, and spandex is probably still out of the question. What DD needs is something functional – a suit that protects him from from harm but still allows for all the mobility a ninja requires. Again, The Dark Knight seems to offer the best solution. The reboot needs a suit that pays homage to the comics while still appearing functional and at least somewhat plausible.

6.No Evanescence

Love it or hate it, the first Daredevil movie had several undeniable faults. One of those was the horrendous soundtrack. Matt Murdock has enhanced senses, one of which is an incredibly refined sense of hearing. You'd think he'd be that much more sensitive to loud, crappy alt-rock for the knee-piercing set. But judging from his CD collection, you'd think Murdock acquired all his music by raiding junior high school lockers.

No more of that. We don't want bad rock music or Bullet Time-lite fight sequences this time around. These elements only date the movie and make it seem less like a superhero drama and more like an extended music video. Ideally, we'd like to see a truly memorable musical score this time. Too many superhero projects ignore the effect music can have on a film. Superman soared thanks to John Williams. Batman haunted the streets in tune to Danny Elfman and later Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard.

Marvel's movies tend to have far less memorable music. If the Daredevil reboot is going to mix forgettable instrumental work with regular bursts of Katy Perry or The Black Eyed Peas, we'll just check out now. There's no reason why Daredevil can't lead the charge for better music and an overall more mature approach to presentation in these movies."

SageMode: I totally agree with this. Daredevil has huge potential to make for a really great comic book movie adaptation, and that's obviously why its getting the reboot, and if the remake treatments showed anything (most notably with Incredible Hulk and Batman Begins), it's that they deserve a chance to be redeemed and given a more faithful justice from their respective previous installments.

What do you guys think?
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DetectiveCinema - 3/18/2011, 12:33 AM
Really good article. I for one LOVED the 2003 flick, more so the directors cut but.

But there is a lot they can improve on. Daredevil should be Marvel's answer to DC's Batman.. but darker and a lot grittier.
soundwave129 - 3/18/2011, 6:19 AM
@ MrMurdockk
YES! I've never heard of another person of loved the '03 DD movie until now.
yankeemanf - 3/18/2011, 9:20 AM
good article but i thought the costume from the 03 movie was actually cool lookin and i dont understand y it has to be a classical score for the movie to be good i rele enjoyed the soundtrack of the 03 movie andlook at iron man both films were rock music the 2nd of which was made by AC/DC and those were fine soo i think that point is mute
thebamf - 3/18/2011, 9:29 AM
I liked the 2003 DD.... I just hated the soundtrack. I totally agree with that point. Music is extremely important to a movie. They also went a bit overboard with Bullseye. I hated the "bullseye scar" on his forehead.
thebamf - 3/18/2011, 9:36 AM
The problem with that is that AC/DC is still popular and well recieved. They still have tons of fans. That's why Ironman's music was fine. Where the hell is Evanescence? I do agree with the guys however, that a classical score is the best way to go. Like they said above, it doesn't date the movie (at least not musically).
thebamf - 3/18/2011, 10:00 AM
Also, good job SageMode!
superotherside - 3/18/2011, 10:31 AM
good article agree with everything! except fox shouldn't do this film! marvel studios should buy back the rights! ;)
ARUD007 - 3/18/2011, 11:45 AM
I will say again. Ignore daredevil theatrical cut and just watch the director's cut. D's cut is the actual movie in my opinion
InSpace - 3/18/2011, 1:27 PM
I want the yellow costume to be his first nd only costume in the first film then hint at it in the end like someone (probably Urich) makes fun of his bright yellow costume nd suggests changing it......then in the end he gives urich his old mask or something nd goes out with the red....but i srsly would like the old yellow costume to be like this:


The most realistic nd possible version to exist....he could use yellow kevlar or sumthing
golden123 - 3/18/2011, 2:05 PM
I thought this movie was supposed to be a sequel. Anyways...
1) I agree, but from reading this point I don't think the author has seen the director's cut.
2)I agree
3) Yes to the main point, but no to having an origin unless it's a reboot.
4)Kingpin should be in it if it's a sequel no if it's a reboot.
5)I personally liked the leather suit and I thought it worked. I noticed the person (or maybey multible people) who wrote this didn't give any suggestions therefor what should they expect the desiners of the costume to come up with.
6)I think rock music works with sperheroes and classic music. Soundtracks don't bother me that much, normally, but Daredevil played rap music for the first appearance of Kingpin which made him seem more like a pimp than a crimelord.
InSpace - 3/18/2011, 2:36 PM
golden@it will most likely be a reboot....dont think todays udience remember DD tht much nd would be confused if Affleck isnt in it.......most likely would be a "Incredible Hulk" type thing
CapFan79 - 3/18/2011, 2:58 PM
I actually like the 2003 film. It certainly could have been better. Story wise I felt that Elektra was a major distraction because Kingpin wasn't developed enough. It did a really good job with the origin portion of the story. Of course a better cast or tone from the director wouldn't have hurt, but they did go for other talent and kind of had to settle. Remember that it started production before Spider-Man was released so only X-Men had been popular and many actors saw comics films far differently than they do 9 years later.

The costume wasn't horrible. They changed some of it half way through filming. I think it was too detailed considering a blind guy probably made it. Perhaps a suit like the new Spidey reboot could work without the basketball pattern. Personally I love the yellow suit!

If Bullseye is back I hope he has a more classic costume. I assume they'll use someone new since Bullseye was not in Born Again. Maybe they could use The Hand ninjas or Mr. Fear (although the public may think he's a Scarecrow knock off).

I actually liked the soundtrack (though Revell's score is weak) but I would prefer a full score from Zimmer or Giacchino. The producers actually decide on the soundtrack. They like the extra revenue but they seem to have gotten away from that since the Punisher I think.

I'm curious how they're gonna do the Born Again plot. If I remember correctly he didn't wear the costume for 90% of that series. Plus Captain America was in it. I assume they just mean Kingpin's ability to screw with Murdock and his law practice. My understanding this is both a sequel and reboot. There's a new cast and it can stand alone without having seen the first, but relies on the origin story from before and the fact that Kingpin knows who Murdock is now. There'll probably be a title sequence like the Hulk with Norton to quickly explain his powers again.

I'd really like to see more acrobatics and action. I'd want a better villain for DD to fight than the Army super soldier in Born Again too.
kong - 3/20/2011, 3:54 AM
Good article. You know some people in Hollywood like writers or producers or directors should go to the fan fics section and editorial section and write some of this down
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