UPDATE: Deadline have refuted Variety's story from yesterday, saying that the reports of possible character trading between Fox and Marvel are being strenuously denied by studio insiders. According to this version of events, Joe Carnahan himself approached Fox with a take on Daredevil, but with Josh Trank's Fantastic Four now a high priority, the suggestion is that Fox would be crazy to give up Galactus or The Silver Surfer, and aren't much concerned about letting their option on Daredevil expire.
Hot on the heels of the story that Cabin In The Woods' Drew Goddard might be interested, it turns out that Fox's top choice to direct its time-sensitive Daredevil reboot is Joe Carnahan. Some interesting deals are afoot at the studio to extend its imminently expiring option with Marvel. Intriguingly, those discussions may directly affect the Fantastic Four.
Carnahan has been linked to several projects since The Grey impressed everyone at the start of this year. There's been talk of a Source Code-alike time-loop action adventure called Continue, Jason Bateman comedy Cross Brothers, a remake of Death Wish, and Carnahan's long-treasured Pablo Escobar biopic Killing Pablo.
Daredevil is a surprise addition to that list then, although not completely out of left field. Carnahan has expressed interest in comic book projects in the past, particularly Garth Ennis' Preacher. That one remains in development hell, but Variety's description of Fox's current Daredevil vision as a "Frank Miller-esque hardcore '70s thriller" would seem a good fit for the director of Narc. It might also scratch his Death Wish itch, and perhaps there's a one-for-you-one-for-me deal to be done in finally get Killing Pablo greenlit.
Fox, however, only has until mid-October to get a Daredevil film up and running before the rights revert to Marvel. This is where the Fantastic Four come in, with reports this morning that Marvel are offering Fox a Daredevil extension in exchange for the early return of Galactus and the Silver Surfer. It sounds as if they'd rather like those guys back for their Guardians Of The Galaxy project.
Fox currently have the big purple guy (or giant space cloud, if you prefer) and his herald as part of their Fantastic Four package, and used them in Rise Of The Silver Surfer in 2007. There's definitely a deal to be done then, but the negotiations are far from over... The Fantastic Four themselves are currently set to be rebooted at Fox by Chronicle's Josh Trank.