Daredevil Is Officially Back At Marvel

Fox loses The Man Without Fear


We more-or-less already knew this, since as much was strongly indicated late last year, but Marvel's Kevin Feige, out on the Iron Man 3 circuit, has officially confirmed that Fox's rights to Hell's Kitchen hero Daredevil have now lapsed, and that The Man Without Fear is now comfortably back in the Marvel/Disney fold.

That's the extent of the news: there's no film yet, but it's an important step along the road to getting Matt Murdock back on screen, and it's hard to imagine that conversations aren't happening behind closed doors at Marvel headquarters.

Daredevil has had a rough ride in Hollywood since the 2003 film with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. David Scarpa (The Day The Earth Stood Still) wrote a screenplay for a DD reboot in early 2010, and David Slade came aboard to develop and direct the project in the spring of 2011. Brad Caleb Kane (Brooklyn's Finest) and David James Kelly took subsequent shots at the script, before Slade walked in mid-2012.

There was then briefly talk of The Grey's Joe Carnahan taking over the reigns (see his excellent "sizzle reel" trailer pitch below), but the short timeframe needed to get the film mounted before Fox's rights lapsed turned out to be impractical.

Lapse they definitely have then, although it's probably fair to say that Fox are not especially devastated, since they still have the X-Men and the Fantastic Four (on its own reboot path with Josh Trank). The question now is, what will Marvel do? Will they give DD his own movie, or fold him into other films first? And what of the tone? Slade's take was reportedly going to be based on Frank Miller's classic Born Again comics series, but Miller's gritty noir - which Carnahan was also down with - would seem to be an uncomfortable fit for Marvel's current vibe. Mark Waid's recent comics have been a bit more cheerful than Daredevil's been used to in the last few years. Is that the way forward?

All speculation: nothing to see here yet. But we'll be keeping a close eye on developments...