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Joe Carnahan Explains His Failed ‘Daredevil’ Trilogy


Movie rights.  Almost every written story deals with it when it comes to Hollywood.  A certain studio will have possession of the rights to a certain story of franchise, and only that studio, unless otherwise stated, will be able to make a film based on that story.

We tend to hear a lot about this in relation to Marvel Comics, especially in the past few years.  Fans question why exactly we aren’t likely to see Spider-Man and The Avengers team-up on the big screen.  Simply put, Sony owns the rights to the Spider-Man property, while Marvel Studios holds the reins of the Avengers characters.  Same goes for FOX, who currently own the Fantastic Four and the X-Men.


In 2003, FOX released the not-so-popular Daredevil; a Marvel adaptation based on the title character, and directed by Joe Carnahan.  Many fans were disappointed with the film, due to its weak script and plot.  Since then, the character rights to Daredevil have reverted back to Marvel Studios from FOX, the film’s star Ben Affleck has said he didn’t like it, and Marvel Studios now plans to make a Netflix television series based on the character.

Now, Carnahan is speaking out regarding what he had originally hoped for when developing his Daredevil flick.  The film’s director spoke to Movie Pilot about what his vision had been in a perfect world, if the rights had remained with FOX:

“What people don’t realize about the DD project is that the producers of the film, got to me very late. They had a script that I read and I thought that while the action was wonderful, the story didn’t really have any additional bite. There was nothing I suggested a trilogy as follows. ‘Daredevil ‘73’ ‘Daredevil ‘79’ and ‘Daredevil ‘85’ where I was going to do a kind of ‘cultural libretto’ and make the music of those eras a kind of thematic arc . So the first one would be Classic Rock, the second one would be Punk Rock and the third film would be ‘New Wave.’

“The problem was, the option was almost set to lapse so we made an eleventh hour bid to Marvel to retain the rights for a bit longer so I could rework the script. Unfortunately, it just didn’t happen. Marvel wanted the rights back. I don’t blame them.”


As we all naturally have hoped that a great Daredevil movie would exist by now, at least it’s good to finally hear that the ’03 film wasn’t just a pointless throwaway.  It seems that Carnahan had an idea that was just too difficult to have met.

What do you think about Carnahan’s statement?  Catch Marvel Studios’ new Daredevil series in Summer 2015, exclusively on Netflix.

Written by Josh Sazin on 5/7/14


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This entry was posted on May 8, 2014 by in Reel News and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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