‘Daredevil’: David Scarpa looks for new Matt Murdock

Feb. 05, 2010 | 11:05 p.m.

6a00d8341c630a53ef0128776a7571970c 400wi Daredevil: David Scarpa looks for new Matt MurdockAnother Hollywood entity is trying the daredevil move — literally — of rebooting a superhero franchise that hasn’t really been away that long.

The Fox-affiliated production company New Regency, which produced the initial “Daredevil” back in 2003, is making another go of a movie headlined by that character. The company is interested in restarting the Marvel franchise and has hired David Scarpa, a writer best known for the script of the 2008 sci-fi remake “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” to offer a new take. Former News Corp. executive Peter Chernin will also produce the project via his new production company.

Fox/New Regency have been rumored for some time to be interested in a new “Daredevil,” but to this point had taken few concrete steps in that direction.

The first “Daredevil,” which came out in 2003, starred Ben Affleck as the supersensory superhero and Colin Farrell as his nemesis Bullseye, with Jennifer Garner playing love interest Elektra Natchios. Despite some mixed reviews, that film performed reasonably well (about $180 million in global box office) — enough to prompt the spinoff “Elektra” with Garner back in 2005 (which didn’t perform as well). It’s not yet established who from those casts might return if the new “Daredevil” moves forward.

The original Marvel comic book series “Daredevil” told of the adventures of Matt Murdock, a young man from the working-class neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan who acquired particularly keen touch and hearing senses after a bio-chemical accident left him blind. Those familiar with the reboot say that the new project would give Scarpa latitude to reinterpret plot points and character nuance.

Mark Steven Johnson, who also counts “Ghost Rider” among his credits, wrote and directed the 2003 “Daredevil.” (He recently moved on to a less fannish realm, directing the Kristen Bell romantic comedy “When In Rome.”) In addition to “Earth,” Scarpa also wrote on the military-prison thriller “The Last Castle” that starred James Gandolfini.

New Regency is following a vogue for reboots of franchises that were, well, just booted. Sony is scrapping its existing Spider-Man franchise to start over with “(500) Days of Summer” director Marc Webb and screenwriter James Vanderbilt, who will tell a high-school-set origin story. The initial “Daredevil” did feature some details of the character’s beginnings, though a new script would not be burdened down with nearly as much of the mythology that saddles the “Spider-Man” franchise, which over three films intensively explored the character’s origins and development.

Studios generally are eager to continue development even on less-high-profile comic book characters. Fox, in particular, wants to ensure that it doesn’t miss out on the superhero bounty (“X-Men” and its spinoff characters are currently its most vibrant superhero properties). Keeping comic book licenses in active development also legally prevents the characters from reverting to Marvel, which would happen over the coming years if new development work wasn’t done on the Marvel-licensed titles.

–Steven Zeitchik


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 “Daredevil” art. Credit: Marvel Comics.


11 Responses to ‘Daredevil’: David Scarpa looks for new Matt Murdock

  1. hansen says:

    Colin Farrell as his nemesis Kingpin
    no he was bulls eye
    kingpin was Michael Clarke Duncan

  2. Chuck says:

    Seven years for a reboot? Is Hollywood really re-heating its own dung that quickly? Whatever happened to the 20 year generational waiting period thing? Or how about giving new writers a chance? I hear that are some good scripts out there if you just look.

  3. Jeffrey Kagan-McCann says:

    Let;s just hope they don't reboot STAR WARS 4

  4. socal_distortion says:

    "The Last Castle that starred James Gandolfini."
    Actually, The Last Castle starred a little known actor named, oh gosh, what is his name? Oh yeah, Robert Freaking Redford. Seriously Brah, you couldn't even be bothered to IMBD it?

  5. Shivarising says:

    Gotta love how they want to turn what was seen as a rather embarrassing superhero entry into a possible winner with the writer of… "The Day the Earth Stood Still." Yeah, way to go.

  6. Jacob Estes says:

    This movie will be garbage. Put the money towards the budget deficit. You can pick which budget.

  7. old daredevil: crap
    old daredevil script writer: crap
    New daredevil: future crap
    new daredevil script writer: utter crap

  8. The first movie was not that bad… The effects kinda looked great way back then. I hope the next daredevil would be better.
    The Wolfman

  9. Star One says:

    I didn't like the first DD movie, but if they were to use the "Born Again" storyline and have the Avengers guest star just like in that story, that would be really cool. Of course the movie would have to come out after the Avengers movie. As with the reboot of the Batman franchise, make it more realistic.

  10. Jim says:

    They should call it Daredevil – The Man with no Fear… like they called Batman Dark knight and their calling Superman, The Man of Steel. So long as they remember that he’s like an olympic gymnast/ martial artist, with eyes in the back of his head I’ll watch it.

  11. tim says:

    a reboot would be good. they need to recast daredevil with someone who acts like a superhero.
    like what batman 4 did with george clooney… just kidding.

    regarding electra. the film didn't work because they broke the mythology of her character. they brought in characters that had nothing to do with her history. i liked jennifer garner as electra, the story line was bad.

    i would look forward to a new daredevil movie. since marvel decided to make their own movies, they have done a great job of making movies that reflect their comic books.

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