‘Hitman’ Director Sets His Sights on Daredevil

Published 6 years ago by

daredevilv2n01 Hitman Director Sets His Sights on Daredevil

Xavier Gens, the director of 2007′s Hitman adaptation, has his sights set on the Daredevil reboot, which has been a pretty active rumor in the last year, ever since Frank Miller and Jason Statham pitched their hats in the Daredevil ring during last year’s San Diego Comic Con.

Gens recently let his own passion for Daredevil be known during a Q&A with the Facebook group, “Marvel Movies!” (Who knew Facebook had other practical purposes besides wasting time?)

Here is a slimmed-down version of the Marvel Movies! interview with Xavier Gens (I tried to only give you the sweet bits). Please also note that Gens is foreign and his English is not the best:

MM: Being that we’re doing this interview for my Marvel Movies! Group you had to know this question was going to come next. The Superhero genre has been the hottest ticket since 1998 consistently producing blockbusters year after year. The genre also comes with the baggage of the fans… There are so many projects in the works…Are there any movies in this genre you’d like to tackle within the Marvel Universe?

XG: I really love the Marvel universe, one of my favorite is Daredevil. I really love also the Punisher and I don’t understand why they made so many bad movies on that character.

MM: Funny thing about Daredevil is the theatrical version which wasn’t taken so well…and then the Directors cut which gained quite a bit of praise from the fans. Personally I thought MSJ did a good job with what he had…I personally just didn’t think Affleck was a good fit for the role. If given the chance what direction would you like to take Daredevil? Should this franchise be R rated like the directors cut???

XG: If I have to made a Daredevil movie, I will take a completely different direction. My vision of the character is much more a drama. There will be a 1st part in the child hood of Matt Murdock and the universe of Hell kitchen. Something in the universe of the first Rocky Balboa. Is the story of a poor family of hell kitchen, the father is a loser who made some boxing match, the mother is sick and she died. The father have to make the education of is son alone. He became a outlaw, he made fight to win money and one day he is killed by the mobs.
Alone Matt murdock go to an orphanage and is there were he got is accident. And there is a long reducation because he became blind and he have to learn a new sens. With a very realistic point of view. And he became better and better and he made lawyer study.

For me it’s important to get the origin of the character like in the Richard Donner superman. We saw him became slowly a super hero but i think it’s important to take time and stay realistic.

MM: There’s been plenty of names thrown around by fans for the lead should the franchise be restarted. Jason Statham has made his interest well known. Vin Diesel was supposedly up for the part before Affleck got it. Is there any actors in particular that you think would fit the role? Also any idea of villains you’d like to see?

XG: For Daredevil I think Sam Wortington could be very great and intense for this character. For the vilain it’s depênd of the story.

MM: It does seem the Fox has loosened up a bit on the reigns with Wolverine after some initial worries, but after your experience with Fox on Hitman…do you feel you’ll get the cooperation you need to give us the vision you have for Daredevil?

XG: It’s depend of the communication, I think it’s very important to let the director make his own vision of the character, not making a studio movie. Look the Dark Knight it’s totally the vision of Nolan.

Well, it seems as though Xavier Gens has his head in the right place in regards to how to view the character. In the full interview he also makes it VERY clear that the version of Hitman released in theaters was not at all his cut, but rather Fox’s re-cut version of the film, which (according to Gens) bared little resemblance to the version he originally turned in (apparently the studio even re-scored the film, removing all of the music by the game’s composer that Gens had included. Ouch).

Hearing Gens exonerate himself from the debacle that was Hitman is reassuring. It also lends him some credit (with me at least) for being able to handle a Daredevil film.

Another good snipit of the interview with Marvel Movies! were the fan-submitted questions about how Gens would approach Daredevil:

Stacy Korn: What is the most important characteristic of Daredevil/Matt Murdock to drive the movie?

XG: The desire of Justice, and wild Justice… Lonelyness.

Dylan Michel: How would you reinterpret the Ben Affleck version so that it was more true to the feel of the comics? Who would you cast ideally? Would the costume stay similar, since that was one of the cooler parts of the first one?

XG: I will change everything, I think it’s important to reinvent everything, much realistic and modern.
With a first part like The wrestler or Rocky Balboa, in a super heros universe.

Lee Doherty: Here’s one from me (as I am a big fan of the Mark Steven Johnson director’s cut version) – will it be a Rated-R and not a cop-out PG-13? icon smile Hitman Director Sets His Sights on Daredevil icon sad Hitman Director Sets His Sights on Daredevil

XG: It’s totally a R rated movie, with in the fight the same violence as in Watchmen. For me when Matt Murdock is Daredevil, he is close to Rorsach in Watchmen.

Stephanie Metz: Are they going to do to Daredevil what they did for the Hulk?

XG: I don’t know what the studio would like to do but my vision is to one I explained to you.

Aruneshwar A Singh: Someone who actually loves and understands what the character is about. Someone who can bring the grit of Hell’s Kitchen and Tom’s Punisher reality to the move. The movie needs to not be a ‘let’s sell toys through this venture’ R13 crap. Make this a balls to the walls movie or no one will take the character seriously.

XG: I would take the charactere very seriously… Like in the Wrestler. For exemple Mickey Rourke could be a perfect father of Matt Murdock

Jimmy Palmiotti: why daredevil? why not something else that hasnt been done before?

XG:Because I love so much that charactere because he is mush more human than the other one. I would like to make a movie in the spirit of Unbreakable

Matt Rogers: My question is, there’s a real working class pathos to Matt Murdoch / Daredevil, and this is something we didn’t really see in the first film. With the general tone of the character and comic books being dark, similar perhaps to the Punisher, what mechanics would the new Daredevil director use to make absolutely sure he stayed true to the comic books but made a new and original movie?

XG: It’s completely my direction and given the opportunity I hope to do the best film I can…

Inaki Gorbena: Ok, I think y question would be:
We will see Typhoid Mary on the movie? Even and small cameo?
XG: That could be an idea… icon wink Hitman Director Sets His Sights on Daredevil

Wow, I really like Gens’ idea of Mickey Rourke as Matt Murdock’s father. That choice alone makes me think he knows what a Daredevil flick truly needs to be epic and great. However, I think he is going a little too strong with the whole “uncompromising vision” thing. There is no way – let me repeat – NO WAY a studio is ever going to green-light a Daredevil movie that is Rated-R. This character may inhabit the same kind of dark, gritty, urban world as The Punisher, but War Zone this movie cannot (and should not) be.

A Dark Knight-style PG-13 flick with brutal action? Yes. A Watchmen-style, rated-R, Daredevil gore-fest? Who in Hollywood is going to pay for that?

Still, a passionate director like Xavier Gens, who seems to truly get the character of Daredevil is the best choice in sight to direct a reboot, IMHO. Do you think Gens is up to the task? Or does Hitman have you feeling skeptical?

You can read the full interview with Xavier Gens by going here.

Source: Facebook

TAGS: Daredevil
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  1. yeah “hitman” leaves me very skeptical, that movie was just HORRIBLE, but i like the idea of making a dark knight sytle pg 13 w/ brutal action

  2. I don’t really care for Hitman but I think that he could pull this movie off.

  3. I didn’t think DD was THAT bad. Not great, but not horrible either. Yes, Affleck should not have been The Man Without Fear, but I’m not sure Statham could do any better. I agree with Kofi that NO studio, much less FOX, will let an R-rated Daredevil through the pipeline. Especially after the box office failure (relatively speaking) of Watchmen. A new DD will be PG-13 as sure as Matt Murdock is blind.

  4. Hitman is a horrible movie to be brought up when trying to talk people into his ideas with Daredevil, I don’t care how much he claims isn’t his doing… but since he DID untag himself with Hitman and his answers in the interview sound promising I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. We shall see with a teaser or trailer.

  5. Well, you never know, maybe he’ll go the Spawn way and go to an Indy studio, they might let him do an R film.

  6. Doesn’t Fox have to make a DD movie soon or lose the rights to the character?

  7. I’d rather they make a not-really-a-sequel-sequel like The Incredible Hulk, where they just skip all the origin stuff, since the audience should be familiar with it already.

    I’m just not interested in sitting through another origin story, even though I like the idea of Rourke as father Murdock (though I doubt he’d take such a small role).

    Recast the major characters and just pick up the story with Murdock already in the hero business. Leaves more time for the action. Statham would rock the role.

  8. I don’t think The Dark Knight is a good benchmark for PG-13 violence. It was thematically dark yes, but pretty soft in it’s violence. Taken is a much better example of the type of action a Daredevil movie hould have if it goes the PG-13 route.

  9. I am part of that Facebook group as well and when Ed ‘Advanced Dark’ Mazermanian mentioned ‘a director’ several months ago, I had no idea it would be Xavier Gens (*see at end of comment*) but I was equally surprised just as well.

    And dismayed…for a minute.

    Having seen ‘Hitman’ and ‘Frontiers’ (the dullsville apocalyptic horror film that After Dark had to take off its Horrorfest “8 Films To Die For” lineup because it was given an NC-17) call me a bit skeptical. On the surface, his criticisms of FOX seem legit. The first Daredevil film even had early interference as in some shots DD costume is black and in later scenes red. (I didn’t have a problem with this, as DD had various “uniforms”, and, being blind not getting the right ‘color’ each time is understandable)

    But even if Fox re-edited the ‘Hitman’ film and threw in another score…is Fox responsible for the slo-mo shots? No. Is Fox to blame for the wooden acting and lack of character development? No. Is Fox to blame for trying to save the movie? No.

    After such harsh finger pointing, does anyone think FOX will let Gans direct Daredevil with such a lousy approach to the character? No.

    The DD movie wasn’t horrible (although it took me a few viewings to like it more). I actually though the director’s cut* was good and in some areas was better than the theatrical, However, I also thought there was stuff in the theatrical that was better than the Director’s cut. But the “radar sense” and the origin story were two of the five undisputed best things about Daredevil (the other three being in the casting of Colin Farrell and Joe Pantoliano; the Kevin Smith cameo and/or references)

    As for The Punisher “not getting it right”- that’s also subjective. Of the three films, the 89/90 film had a story and no skull (not counting daggers) and Jeoren Krabbe made a nice heavy. There was nothing wrong with Dolph Lundgren either. The 04 film with Tom Jane was much of an improvement, although the story at its core was a revenge movie. Like the previous Punisher, not “everyone” was satisfied. But there’s nothing really wrong with the picture. SR knows full well my feelings on “WarZone”, but I will concede that there are people-even hardcore Punisher fans- who love that film so much they bought two Blu-Rays. One to watch, the other to frame.

    So I’m thinking he’s a bigger Punisher fan – and given his errors or “interference” on Hitman, shouldn’t he approach Lionsgate and make another action picture, Punisher with a ‘Hitman’ visual style (as much as I loathed Hitman, I did love that one action scene with the swords. You know the one)

    But as far as Daredevil is concerned, he said he would cast another actor, so it’s more than likely he isn’t going the Miller/Statham route (although Statham would also make a good Bullseye) and given his friction with FOX over Hitman- be it his or their fault or both-I just see wishful hopes from a director. It won’t happen.

    *Aside from Xavier Gens, the first film’s w/d, Mark Steven Johnson and producer Gary Foster are also “honorary” group administrators.

  10. Darren seeley, you nailed it!
    I also am part of this group and when I found out it was Gens, I said to myself “you mean the guy who did Hitman wants to redo Horn-Head?”
    That whole thing about Fox tampering with Hitman, that could be just total BS after all it could be Gens’ way to say that it is not his fault that Hitman turned out so bad. It is only his word and we all know it is popular to stay that a studio interfered. Who is to say that they didn’t for Hitman?

    For the Thomas Jane Punisher, it is really not a bad movie. I rewatched that film again recently and it hit me, it is basically a western. It is a modern-day-western with the Punisher character.

    Gens, your heart is in the right place, but, sorry Monsieur. Also, going with your ‘realistic’ and ‘dark’ take on Daredevil now would be a bad idea considering everybody has put The Dark Knight as the benchmark (sighs). Anything closely resembling that would be panned immediately by the humanoids as copying that style.

    One last thing, again to what Darren has said, there are Fox representatives who are administrators on this group. Lara Donner is an administrator and she mostly produces under the Fox banner, so bad-mouthing Fox is really not a good way in wanting to make a Fox-owned property. Hmm?

  11. I really enjoyed Hitman – I just don’t think OPlyphant fit the character. He looked like a man who shaved his head, rather than naturally bald – which kinda ruined it, but I still did enjoy it!

  12. I’d like to see a Doug Liman take on daredevil. He doesn’t mind working with Fox and his action scenes from the original Bourne film would fit the character well. People often say that Matt Damon would make a good Daredevil; well I think Liman would make an interesting film.

  13. Xavier was pulled off the Hitman project by Fox read this:


    have to admit, I don’t have very high hopes for the upcoming videogame to movie adaptation of “Hitman”. I don’t know, but the trailers just don’t do it for me. They look cool enough, in a sort of mindless, generic action movie sort of way, but I just don’t think it’s going to be anything special. Well, it looks like it’s just going to get less special, with rumors that the film’s original director, Frenchman Xavier Gens, has been pulled from the film after FOX got a look at his, apparently, very violent cut of the movie. In his place, FOX has placed Nicolas De Toth to re-cut the film and deliver a less gory/bloody edit. Toth is no stranger to trying to “cleaning up” movies — he was hired to do the same thing to the recent “Die Hard” sequel “Live Free or Die Hard”.


    “After being hired to shoot an adaptation of the ultra-violent video game Gens took Asian action films such as The Killer and A Bittersweet Life as his starting point and turned in an explicitly violent, very bloody cut of the film that apparently included a number of head shots and extreme gore moments that would have guaranteed the film a hard R rating. Which really shouldn’t have been any sort of surprise if the studio execs had been paying any attention at all – it’s not like they wouldn’t have seen the dailies or effects work ahead of time – but apparently after seeing Gens’ cut of the film the studio removed him from the project and placed Nicolas De Toth in control of a new edit of the film.”