Fox Striking ‘Fantastic Four’ Deal with Marvel for ‘Daredevil’ Rights (with Joe Carnahan Directing)?

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 6th, 2012 at 7:19 pm,

daredevil director joe carnahan Fox Striking Fantastic Four Deal with Marvel for Daredevil Rights (with Joe Carnahan Directing)?

There was a time when Xavier Gens had his eye on producing a grounded, dramatic, Daredevil reboot that followed Chris Nolan’s Batman movies with its portrayal of fellow orphan-turned masked vigilante Matt Murdock. Gens’ project never progressed beyond the conceptual stage, but David Slade become attached to helm Daredevil 2.0 last year. It’s long been rumored the reboot was being influenced by Frank Miller’s famous “Born Again” comic storyline, during Slade’s term as director.

Slade’s commitments to Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal TV series forced him to pass on the Daredevil reboot last month. That news was especially unwelcome by Fox, seeing how the studio’s current deal with Marvel mandates that the film must be in production no later than October 10th of this year (otherwise, the character rights revert back to Marvel).

Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard openly expressed his interest in taking on a Daredevil movie just a few days ago (from the time of writing this), but the latest reports reveal an entirely different candidate is in discussions for the reboot helming job – specifically, Joe Carnahan, the filmmaker responsible for such grisly drama-thrillers as Smokin’ Aces and The Grey, along with the down ‘n dirty action blockbuster A-Team.

That’s worth mentioning, as Variety‘s report indicates that Carnahan is in talks to deliver a Daredevil reboot described as a “Frank Miller-esque, hardcore 70s thriller.” Little-known screenwriter David James Kelly was reported to be taking a stab at the script earlier this year; if Carnahan signs on to direct, there’s an excellent chance he’ll also handle the next rewrite personally (he’s contributed to the writing process on all his feature directing efforts to date).

Carnahan has yet to receive an official offer, but his involvement mostly depends on whether Fox chairman Tom Rothman strikes a bargain with Marvel to extend the Daredevil reboot deadline. It seems such a deal could involve the latter studio gaining the rights to two prominent characters from the Fantastic Four franchise (specifically, the Silver Surfer and Galactus).

UPDATE: Deadline is offering a conflicting report on the situation, saying the Fox/Marvel talks are really about getting Disney to co-finance a Daredevil reboot (otherwise, Fox plans to just let the rights revert back to Marvel).

silver surfer spinoff fantastic four Fox Striking Fantastic Four Deal with Marvel for Daredevil Rights (with Joe Carnahan Directing)?

Marvel may regain the rights to Silver Surfer

Variety does not mention why, exactly, Marvel is seeking to secure the rights to the Surfer and Galactus. It could (emphasis on could) be the first step in a long-winded campaign to eventually gain back the rights to the entire F4 property, seeing how that franchise is getting a reboot treatment from Chronicle‘s Josh Trank. The studio is (more likely?) planning to resurrect the defunct Silver Surfer solo movie at some point down the line.

We already know that Marvel is venturing further into the cosmic realm of its shared movie universe (MMU) during “Phase II” of development, beginning with the one-two punch of Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy (studio head Kevin Feige has name-dropped Inhumans as another prospective movie in the foreseeable future). That’s to say: Surfer and Galactus will feel increasingly at home in the MMU, as more other-worldly entities are introduced.

Fox’s F4: Rise of the Silver Surfer previously brought the characters to the big screen; moreover, it’s unlike they were going to be recycled in Trank’s reboot, so Fox might not mind parting ways with them. Similarly, the inherently gritty and brutal nature of Daredevil doesn’t really fit into the comparatively lighter-hearted nature of the MMU, so Marvel might not regret passing on the opportunity to win the character rights back.

daredevil reboot rewrite Fox Striking Fantastic Four Deal with Marvel for Daredevil Rights (with Joe Carnahan Directing)?

That’s all to say: this sounds like a win-win situation for all concerned parties, should a deal come to fruition. A “hardcore 70s thriller” Daredevil reboot overseen by Carnahan is something many fans can get behind (this writer included), while others will appreciate the idea of Marvel gaining back two popular players from the F4 universe. All these dealings are still being hammered out and are technically hush-hush right now, so we’ll have to wait and see what actually happens.

We’ll keep you updated on the situation with Daredevil and Fantastic Four as the story develops.


Source: Variety, Deadline

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  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! The director of Narc doing a Daredevil movie is far more acceptable than the director of a Twilight movie. Although I think Fox should give the rights to Sony since Spider-Man’s and Daredevil’s stories are so connected.

    • My thoughts exactly!

      • seconded!

    • Yes! So that I could see Kingpin could become one of Spider-Man’s foes too. :)

  2. This is great news. Sounds like a really good deal for both parties. A Marvel Universe without the Big G is a sad one.

    • That’s true, but Galactus without the F4 is going to be tough to see too. Marvel should give Daredevil and maybe some other characters to get the F4 rights. It would be strange to have them after the Avengers but I’ll take them any way I can get them.

  3. Hellll yes!!! Please a new/gritty/hardcore daredevil what we need. Didn’t mind the first one could be more darker.

  4. I don’t get why Fox doesn’t just speed things up with this Daredevil movie and get it into production by August 10. Don’t know the specifics of the contract, but is script writing considered pre-production? Because if it is, Fox should easily be able to keep Daredevil, and not have to give up Silver Surfer and Galactus. (I’m not saying this is what I want. I’m just kinda confused.)

    • Whoops. By August, I of course mean October.

    • Do you want it done quick, or do you want it done right?

      • Done right? We are talking about Fox here…

        • Oh yeah, I forgot. Quick would be better. Less painless and more forgetful.

    • l reckon it’s supposed to be production not pre-production.

      But l don’t even know what marvel would do with Daredevil. l think the rights were given to some other company (preferably sony) that would be best for the franchise

  5. I’m on the fence about the director. He’s done some fantastic work–like Narc–but his last couple of movies haven’t been as outstanding as the hype, in my opinion. That said, I’d certainly be curious to see what he did with Daredevil and I think the character itself would be the right level of comic book hero for him.

  6. Silver Surfer would most likely appear in Guardians of the Galaxy or its sequel if this deal is struck. The Surfer has had several encounters with Thanos, who is obviously already a part of the MCU, and Adam Warlock (although I haven’t heard about him being connected to GotG).

    And let’s be honest: if Marvel is going to make an Avengers 3, the only character who could really top Thanos as the ultimate villain would be Galactus.

    • I’m pretty sure Thanos is going to be the villain in GOTG and not the Avengers. I hope I’m wrong b/c I’m not really caring about the former after RR but I guess it makes sense.

    • Warlock was a key player in GotG volume 2 in 2008-2010.

  7. Daredevil: The Director’s Cut is an incredibly underrated film. I am all for Fox keeping the rights if the reboot is as good. Maybe a planned trilogy. Murdock has had quite a turbulent superhero and love life.

    As for the Surfer, it’s a toss up. His encounters with Thanos could make him an intresting intergalactic Nick Fury to mold The Avengers and Guardians together. On the other hand, A stand alone movie at Fox would be cool to see. A well-traveled drifter witha , philosophical noble personality and nigh-unlimited power fleshed out on screen. A real tortured soul that one.

    • l agree the directors cut wasn’t a laughably bad as the theater release.

      l’d love it if they based the movies on brubaker’s daredevil

    • Completely agree with you. If Daredevil goes back to Marvel we’re probably not seeing a movie in the next 4 or 5 years. unless somebody else buys the rights in which case in might be in 2-3 years

  8. Apparently fox said no,
    Disney just saw what these character can do money-wise, just buy these characters back or cut a deal to use them. I don’t need the mutants, but buy back the rest. Fantastic four and the characters related to them Galactus, Silver Surker, Annihilus, and the Skrulls) are very big parts of Marvel Cosmic and since that’s what the MCU is heading towards it needs those characters. Offer them X million dollars and a certain percentage of the profits from F4 films for a set number of years.

    Daredevil doesn’t add much to the MCU, but when Marvel gets the rights back they can maybe parlay someone like Kingpin to use some of spidey’s characters or Spidey himself. Sony and Disney/Marvel seem much more willing to team up than Fox does.

    • Marvel is free to use the Skrulls if they want to.

      • Oops meant Super Skrull, my no means does it mean they couldn’t use the Skrulls…but I’d think they’d prefer to have all of the Skrull arsenal when they use them.

  9. Sounds like Fox is either having trouble getting financing for Daredevil or just don’t have a plan. Trading the Silver Surfer and Galactus to get more time for Daredevil might also tip Fox’s hand to the fact that even if they have interest in continuing with the Fantastic Four, they aren’t really committed to trying to use the Silver Surfer again, let alone spend money trying to do something resembling Galactus that doesn’t look like a giant angry dust cloud.

    As for Daredevil, I have always liked the character, but someone really needs to look at whether everything should be a major motion picture. Like Marvel comics themselves, some characters operated on a smaller scale and would be just as well served on television. Many of Marvels more “street-level” characters could benefit from being able to build up a following without the pressure of having to make 300 million dollars at the box office.

  10. I think Fox is better served with trying to develop street level heroes. If I was in their shoes I’d trade Galactus and S.S. for someone like Iron Fist, extended rights to Daredevil plus some development cash or perhaps a one time Iron Man use.

    With Iron Fist you could do a Iron Fist/Wolverine team up like The Return of K’un Lun, plus an Iron man team up would go further than any new thing Fox could do with Galactus or S.S. They could take those characters to more real, grounded places and do better with them on the relative cheap when compared with the costs of entering into the galactic realms, which lets face it Fox is hampered by timid partial commitment and incomplete control of key elements to maximize profits…

    • I doubt Marvel will be trading any characters with Fox since it will be counter-productive to them trying to get the rights to all of these properties back at some point. In this case it seems like Fox does not have enough of a plan in motion to get Daredevil produced in time so Marvel is just going to possibly get the character back. At that point Marvel would be in a better position to explore the idea of presenting certain characters on smaller scale instead of trying to fund movie projects that may or may not work.

      As it stands it seems like whatever Fox might have planned with Fantastic Four it does not include Silver Surfer or Galactus for whatever reason. At this point Marvel can gamble with Fox not getting enough Fantastic Four projects off the ground creating a scenario where they get that back as well. The problem is that if Fox reboots FF again and it does not do well, even when/if the rights revert back are people going to sit through another possible FF origin story?

  11. Wow! This it GREAT news! I knew it! If Marvel plans on doing The Annihilation, they’ll need Galactus and The Silver Surfer on board. This saga would later lead to the formation of The Guardians Of The Galaxy. Plus, they’ll need Annihilus of the Negative Zone, as well.
    Hell, it would be a dream come true if Marvel gets the entire Fantastic Four franchise. We’ll get to see The Infinity Gauntlet on the big screen!

  12. hopefully they reinvent Bullseye. I remember my favorite Daredevil issues #198-200(showdown Daredevil vs. Bullseye).

  13. cool.

    as a sport’s fan this whole deal really reminds me of free agency and trades and stuff, pretty exciting!

    “we will trade you silver surfer and galactus for daredevil . . . and you can even have H.E.R.B.I.E in order to sweeten the deal”

    “in a blockbuster trade today, wolverine was secured in a sign and trade deal by Marvel. Marvel will be receiving the aforementioned pointy haired mutant while Fox will be the recipient of both Blade and the Punisher. Both studios are looking to make a strong push this post season, and these players are really looking to bolster each studio’s already impressive roster.”

    “my concern here is the aging of Spider-Man, jim. with the amount of miles on the character, will marvel be able to get a solid return on investment if this proposed three studio deal comes through? the proposed deal would see Spidey finally returning to marvel, sony receiving the rights to Blade, Punisher, and Ms. marvel, while fox would controversially receive long time fan favorite avenger Black Panther. Marvel giving up BP for Spidey is going to cause a lot of commotion among fans, while many will be wondering why sony made such a daring decision for Ms. Marvel. more on this story as it develops.”

    well that was fun … haha

  14. Hm, I’d love to see Daredevil back at Marvel actually (could be really good and would serve as a possible intro for Luke Cage and Iron Fist as well – even if it is just cameos)
    But at the same time I would really like to see Galactus and Silver Surfer pop up in future Marvel movies too (like GotG).

    This deal probably won’t go anywhere though. If Deadline’s reports are accurate it seems like Fox doesn’t really mind DD going back to Marvel.

    Still, if Marvel tries a deal like this again, they should definitely try and get Dr Doom back as well. He’s pretty much one of Marvel’s biggest villains.

    • Doom could even be in one of the upcoming Avengers movies because he is not just a F4 villain, like you said, one of the BIGGEST villains, I would love to see the Avengers take on Doom and his Doombots.

      But if I were FOX, I would keep as many as I could because ofo how much money it would pay if it becomes a movie.

      • Even if Marvel gets back the rights to Dr Doom, I don’t think we’ll see him as the villain in the next Avengers flick (at least not the main villain).
        They need to step it up each time. Give them a bigger adversary to overcome, and while Doom is pretty damn string and powerful, guys like Thanos and Ultron are still the top dogs IMO.

  15. I hope marvel get the rights back to daredevil. We could then hopefully see a Marvel Knights-esque trilogy with DD, Punisher and Blade. The Expendables has proven that R rated movies can still be a big box office draw.

  16. They need surfer for thanos right?

    Anyhoos, hope they make a Burton Batman for DD and not jump on the Nolan Style bandwagon. I wanna see a dark yet still comics feel with weird characters..

    Something about making DD get destroyed and come back again stronger than ever fits with his Tights this time please… no leather please

  17. DD, Punisher, Ironfist, and Luke Cage will be sitting around for years before Marvel does anything with them. I still think they could Make a great Luke Cage movie for cheap and make some money in the process. But they are going to stick with the 2 movies a year process I think (with the exception of 2014). So yeah I want the rights to go back to Marvel and all so I can get a quality daredevil movie, but its going to suck waiting for it to finally happen.

  18. Ya…i agree some of the above comments. Fox is very unlikely to trade off the A-listed villains in exchange for a B-listed hero especially when they are planning to reboot FF. Hopefully that reboot plan isnt panning out well, then Marvel may stand a chance to get back the rights of the entire FF. BTW when was the last FF been made…2008? So another year past & the FF should should experience the same condition like DD, right?

  19. Screw that, Marvel need to get DDs rights back.

  20. what marvel needs to do with their universe is continue to lay in new treads and characters even for brief moments to continue to expand universe. if i want to see daredevil in the 1970′s i will pickup the comicbook and read it. what i want to see is daredevil going back to marvel so i can support and watch their movies. fox has hit a deadend with all of these franchises with wolverine,first class and fantastic four 2 being examples and they know it…

    • How was First Class a “dead end”?
      The movie got positive reviews and made a lot of cash. They’re even making a sequel now.

      • First Class was saved by the foreign box office, domestically it didn’t break even. Depending on how the next Wolverine movie does that franchise might be hitting a point of diminished returns, and if each movie keeps making less money getting funding will be harder.

        • Marvel need all their characters point blank period. Don’t be fooled by a so so movie from Fox or Sony they lack the vision that Marvel has for the characters they know intimately.

          • And Marvel Studios doesnt have so-so movies?

          • Why are Marvel-fans so arrogant?

            First Class is the best of the X-men movies. The director is Matthew Vaughn who also made another great superhero movie, Kick-Ass.

            The director and the screenwriter that matter, not the brand.

            Some people are just having a hard time understanding it, I suppose…

            • It’s MOSTLY the directors and writers who make a movie, but the producers and the production company has a big say in the matter.
              For example: when making Spider-Man 3, the producers wanted Venom in the movie and we all know how that turned out (it was never the decision of the writers or director to include that character).

              The reason why a lot of fans (including myself) are so crazy about Marvel Studios is because the people running it and making the decisions are comic book fans. Their movies are made and developed by the fans for the fans with respect for the characters and their stories, while most of Fox and Sony’s movies are just made and developed… period ;)

              That said, I do agree that some fans are a little too single minded when it comes to the rights-issue. While I would love it if all these properties were back at Marvel so that everything could be connected and such, X-Men First Class was very good and personally I loved TASM as well
              Some fans (not all of them, just some) can’t see beyond the producers. They immediately see the Fox or Columbia logo and from there they don’t care about the actual FILM at all.

              • The main difference I see with Marvel and say Fox is that Marvel Studios had a plan for their series of movies, and executed it well enough to make money and satisfy most viewers. The X-Men series has been uneven to say the least and they predicate doing a sequel based on how much money the last one makes. They don’t ever seem to have a script or an idea in mind, which means they are not always confident about their product.

                • That’s a very good point and I completely agree.
                  Fox doesn’t seem to have any kind of plan and what makes Marvel Studios special is the fact that they have these well thought out, planned “phases” to build and bridge their movies on.

                  All I’m saying is that with Fox and Sony there is, on occasion, a little gem (good movie) that will shine through all the crappy rocks (the other movies). And since we all know the rights won’t magically revert back soon, I find it more enjoyable to look for those gems instead of just ignoring their efforts.

                  I’m a cinephile first and a comic book fan second (at least, I like to think so) so I always judge a film on it’s own merit (the story, acting, action, dialogue, cinematography, etc.) and look at the geeky stuff (interconnected shared universe, continuity and the source material accuracy for example) later.

                  • I all fairness Marvel had the advantage of actually seeing what not to do with all the other studios handling their properties to an extent. What they have done just came down to really seeing what worked and what didn’t and applying it. Up until X-Men and Spider-Man nobody had managed to put anything respectable featuring Marvel characters into a theater outside of Blade. And Blade only worked because outside of diehard comic fans nobody connected it to a comic and it is the rare case of the film actually being the more recognized version of a property.

                    At this point with the other studios the problem is they have already had multiple runs with these characters and the reboots, prequels, sequels, whatever, seem perfunctory and may only serve to keep the rights and hopefully turn a profit. At some point though they will either burn out the audience or run out of ideas for these characters and then these films may go into hibernation like horror movies often do.

            • I’m sorry but XMFC was a good “superhero” movie but a horrible X-Men movie.

  21. I am very surprised Marvel did not angle to get back the rights to Dr. Doom.

    There were some epic battles between Doc Doom and Iron Man, as well as Captain America.

    The IM vs. Dr D battles from the 70′s were some of my childhood memories.

  22. The more I think about. Itsbetter the street level characters stay out of Marvel Studios hands. They have their hands full with cosmic entites. It be years before we see production.

  23. Well I would much prefer Fox turn over rights to the SS and Galactus (since they can’t manage to do him correctly) but if all Marvel gets is DD, then so be it.

    Disney, do NOT co-finance anything with Fox unless you can get that perpetuity clause removed. The only reason I can see doing this is if rights do revert, then we won’t see a DD movie for a LONG time since Marvel has their docket full for years to come.

  24. I think Disney/Marvel are supposed to BUY BACK all rights to Marvel characters ASAP and unite them into one giant movie franchise. This is there ONLY purpose. They earned 1.5 billion with the Avengers! That should be enough to get back X-Men, Spidey, Daredevil and the rest of them…

    • oh my gosh no, not even close.

      If there is one negative about the Avengers, it could be used to prove the potential box office revenues a superhero movie can make.

      Sony and Fox will most likely demand a billion + for each individual franchise they own.

  25. Marvel/Disney needs to at least buy back FF and let all of the others revert back in due time.