The Man Without Fear is prepped to return to theaters in Fox’s Daredevil reboot, which David Slade is set to direct. Rumors are already circulating about the film’s plot – which could be based on the work of comic book legend Frank Miller – and what up-and-coming actor may portray the new version of the blind vigilante onscreen.

Miller’s “Born Again” storyline redefined Daredevil during the 1980s – and now Slade may be drawing from that source material as inspiration for the reboot, which is reportedly only in the development stage at this point.

Heat Vision says that Fox is planning for the Daredevil reboot to continue the story begun in director Mark Steven Johnson’s 2003 movie adaptation with Ben Affleck, who is not expected to reprise his role as the titular hero. “Born Again” is a seven-issue arc that chronicles the efforts of the Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan in Johnson’s film) to systematically destroy Matt Murdock’s life after learning he and Daredevil are one and the same.

The conclusion of Johnson’s Daredevil very much paves the way for a variation of Miller’s story to be told, without violating the mythology established in the first film. It also fits with Moviehole‘s report that Slade’s pitch for the reboot is “a bit ‘Batman Begins’. The bad guy will learn who Daredevil really is and tries to destroy him – but not via the usual methods.”

Twilight star Robert Pattinson and TRON: Legacy‘s Garett Hedlund (who are not locked in a “silliest hairdo” competition, despite what the above image would indicate) are already being rumored as potentials to play the new Matt Murdock in Slade’s reboot. Seeing as the project is only in the development stage – and original reboot screenwriter David Scarpa is apparently no longer involved with the new Daredevil movie – both these gentlemen’s potential involvement should be considered purely rumor at this stage.

On the other hand, their rumored involvement would indicate that Fox is aiming to feature a younger Daredevil in the reboot – so someone like The Punisher‘s Thomas Jane or Hitman‘s Timothy Olyphant (or any older actors who’ve already played a deadly, morally-ambiguous protagonist onscreen before) is less likely to follow in Affleck’s footsteps. That would also indicate that Slade’s Daredevil really is being planned as more of a reboot and not a sequel, despite the continuity in storyline.

Despite the previously-mentioned similarities to Batman Begins, Slade’s planned Daredevil flick is also being described as a “close cousin” to recent comic book movies, possibly meaning the likes of this summer’s Thor and Captain America. Both of those films look to feature lots of stylish action and CGI, but will also be more grounded in real-world mechanics – just not to the same degree as Christopher Nolan’s gritty take on Batman.

Does that mean Slade’s Daredevil project isn’t going the “grittier” route that just about every upcoming reboot claims to be taking? The film may be brutal (or even graphic) in tone (a la Slade’s 30 Days of Night adaptation) but perhaps it won’t deserve the name Daredevil Begins after all. And while Daredevil and Batman are similarly dark, psychologically-tortured heroes, being able to distinguish between their respective franchises would be nice, frankly.

How does the Daredevil reboot sound so far? Good/bad?

Do you think that Darren Aronofsky leaving The Wolverine will have any effect on whether Slade directs Daredevil? (Slade was once up for The Wolverine‘s director’s chair as well.)

Source: THR, Moviehole (via Comic Book Resources)