Director Xavier Gens’ Forgotten ‘Daredevil’ Reboot Vision

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 5:02 pm,

daredevil reboot Director Xavier Gens Forgotten Daredevil Reboot Vision

It’s been over a year since we heard that New Regency would attempt to resurrect the film career of Marvel’s blind but capable crime-fighter Daredevil. Many film fans (and geeks) have attempted to forget writer/director Mark Steven Johnson’s 2003 adaptation which featured Ben Affleck as “The Man Without Fear,” Colin Farrell as the hero’s main threat Bullseye, and Michael Clarke Duncan as the overarching antagonist Kingpin.

Around the same time as New Regency was gearing up for the Daredevil reboot, Hitman director, Xavier Gens, discussed his vision for the character – despite the fact he’s in no way (to this day) connected to the production. With his upcoming film The Divide premiering next week at SXSW, Gens’ interview is once again making headlines.

Whether or not the prior Daredevil will go down in the books as one of the most disappointing super-hero movies in the comic-to-film golden age – or as the project that spawned the worst spin-off, 2005′s Elektra, starring Jennifer Garner – is certainly up for debate.

However there’s no doubt that, given a bigger budget (or at least at more inspired script), a movie about Matthew Murdock and his daring alter-ego could translate into Iron Man-esque (or at least Incredible Hulk-esque) box office and critical success.

Back in 2009, French filmmaker, Xavier Gens (Hitman and The Divide) discussed his vision for the franchise with Marvel Movies!. Gens’ breakdown for the film doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence either – not to mention the fact that screenwriter David Scarpa (The Day The Earth Stood Still) is now working on the script:

“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 univers 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.”

While Gens does his best to tantalize fans with a Nolan-like crime film (a tone Daredevil comic writer Anthony Johnston recently endorsed), it’s hard to forget that Mark Steven Johnson’s Daredevil suffered from too much convoluted drama – and not enough action as well.

Given the lackluster quality of Gens’ work on the video game adaptation Hitman, it’s equally difficult to imagine that his vision for Daredevil will ever get off the ground. Much like Marvel did with The Incredible Hulk, 20th Century Fox will undoubtedly be pushing for a more action packed experience, with less (not more) melodrama in the franchise reboot.

That said, should Gens actually get a callback from the studio one of these days, he’s already got an idea for who he’d like to see take his more drama-focused Daredevil into the courtroom (and sometimes fight crime):

“For Daredevil, I think Sam Worthington could be very great and intense for this character. For the villain, it depends on the story.”

For the record, I’m not against the casting of Sam Worthington in certain films – he does a great warrior/soldier/meathead grunt but it’s hard to imagine why, aside from his blockbuster star-status, a filmmaker pitching a drama-centric Daredevil reboot would put Worthington at the top of the list.

Worthington could pull-off the costumed vigilante part – but close your eyes and try to imagine the Clash of the Titans actor portraying Daredevil’s mild-mannered counterpart Matthew Murdock? Sure Ben Affleck wasn’t great in the role either but Murdock requires a certain delicacy – and, as far as we’ve seen, Worthington doesn’t have a subtle bone in his entire body.

Follow us on Twitter @benkendrick and @screenrant and let us know what you think of Gens’ vision – as well as Sam Worthington as “The Man Without Fear.”

Source: Marvel Movies! [via ComicBookMovie]

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  1. Sound’s better already.

  2. Does not sound that interesting at all.

  3. I like the idea of there being a childhood training period and then going into his adult life as Daredevil, but they better put Stick in it! I would love a more in-depth look at how he learned to fight and use his powers than what the first film offered if it’s done right…
    And Sam as The Man Without Fear… Umm… Well… *sighs*… Well if he can make it through one scene without having to be a badass he just might be able to play a character that’s… HUMAN(as opposed to demigods, marine aliens and cyborgs like we usually see from him)… We’ll see -__-

  4. Can anyone just stick to the origins based on the comic as opposed to putting their own “creative spin” to it? Sometimes you can not create a better mouse trap. That goes for all “reboots”

    • That is what I have been saying the whole freakin time! Use the source material, stop trying to throw wrinkles where you don’t need any and make the movie. Hollywood continues to out think themselves.

    • I don’t know. I think they should make Daredevil a 7-foot albino female who has, instead of blindness, a hearing problem. :-)

      100% agree with what you said.

      • Lol! Yeah they would call him/her SafeAngel instead.

  5. See the other films from him, in special Frontier(s), he is a amazing director and great storyteller.If he got the Daredevil, i will be happy.

  6. I liked the first film with the exception of Affleck. I mean, I liked his acting, but I thought he was completely ridiculous in the costume.

  7. A DareDevil movie would really need the perfect combo of both, DareDevil is one of Marvel’s darkest characters but at the same time he is one of the most BA.

  8. Sam worthington ? NO WAY, I could see Sean Faris, hes young and he has a good martial arts look he isnt overly developed physically, he is more slender like DD would be. The kids also a pretty decent actor.
    I think if you do a DD movie it would need to be a reboot, but i would also skip the origin movie , touch on the origin in the opening credits. then go from there. I would do more of an early take using the ultimate format , and having Matt in college, going to law school, with his later partener Foggy Nelson. In this story, Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios are both students in Columbia University. Elektra and her roommates are harassed by a rich boy, Trey Langstrom, until Elektra, a martial artist fights back. In response, Langstrom and a group of thugs destroys Elektra’s father’s business. Murdock, (dressed as dare devil), forces the thugs to confess, but couldn’t stop Elektra from seriously wounding Langstrom. While Matt reveals his identity to Elektra, she forces him to choose between their love and his sense of duty. He chooses the second and they apparently part ways, Dressed as dare devil, Mat starts patrolling Hell’s Kitchen, where he begins to bust up the organized crime taking hold in his neighborhood. After a few weeks of busting up the OC in Helis Kitchen , The enforcers show up to take care of this DD problem. DD battles through the enforcers defeating all of them. as he takes out the last enforcer he leaves them for the police , as he sits wacthing them carted out , he hears one of them whisper that the kingpin will have us out before am. Dare devil is left with the Question Who is the King Pin

    this would allow for a sequel that could pick up the Elektra storyline and Kingpin storyline

    • That’s the guy who looks like Tom Cruise, right? What about the guy who kicked his butt in the fighting movie? Cam whatchamacallhim? He has the body for it and he’s blond.

      • yeah he would be fine too, just dye his hair red

  9. Not interesting at all, sorry. Just let this one and Fantastic Four go back to Marvel which is already in anticipation between this year and 2012. I think a live action TEAM UP of Daredevil, Blade, and The Punisher in one movie is the best way to go for a reboot for all of those characters when they go back to Marvel. This way it could be an automatic reboot for all of those characters without having to make a reboot for each character or a reboot for 3 individual movies again.

  10. Exactly. Stick to the comics. They would not be selling if people did not love them.

  11. The director’s cut was better than the theatrical release. Of course, I’m old enough to remember Rex “Street Hawk” Smith playing DD in an Incredible Hulk TV movie, so the Ben Affleck version was a huge step forward from that representation of the character.

    Proof? http://dailypop.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/trialofhulk_1989.jpg

    • OMG!! The costume is black! I’m glad I missed that episode.

    • lol use to love street hawk lol

  12. I guess I’m one of those odd ducks who actually thought the first DD flick was pretty good – even though, as a rule, I’m not a particular fan of Ben Affleck. I would have gone with a different villain, and the final face off with Kingpin was handled poorly, but I thought the general approach to the “Man Without Fear” was effective. Then again, (hold your seats) I also really enjoyed the first Hulk movie – preferred it to the Ed Norton reboot. I certainly thought the special effects in that first Hulk outing were superior to the later try. (I *did* enjoy the battle with the Abomination in the second film more than the lame climax in the first one, supposedly involving ol’ Greenie and the “Absorbing Man” – I didn’t even realize that was who that giant cloud of energy was supposed to be until someone pointed it out to me long after I’d seen the movie. The Absorbing Man in the actual comics was a cool baddie – big, bald guy hauling around a ball and chain; not a fog of electricity.) Anyway, Daredevil was always a favorite character of mine – a really, really good series of films based on his exploits is aching to be made.

    • Eric Bana as Bruce Banner was my preferred choice too but I didn’t enjoy the crappy Hulk. I didn’t hate DD and Affleck was decent in it but I thought he looked ridiculous in that costume.

      • @Jennifer Joseph, you’re precisely right on the look. Ben Affleck was too tall, linky and square framed for DD. Daredevil’s physique is closer to what Matt Damon would have looked like he would have taken the role instead.

  13. Michael C Hall for Matt Murdock/Daredevil if they ever do another film

    • dexter , hmm not seeing that one, great actor though, dexter , six feet under, both great Gamer not so much

  14. I think Ryan McPartlin from “Chuck” would make a great Matt Murdock. I would love to see a reboot of Daredevil. I was a big fan of the comics, and while I didn’t hate the first movie, it was certainly lacking the cohesiveness a good comic film needs.

  15. I really like the Affleck film, it’s one of my favourite comic book movies.
    And Sam Worthington? That’s gotta be a joke right? The guy can only play one character and he can’t even do that very well!!! When your best performance was in Terminator Salvation, something there ain’t right, he is a terrible actor.
    And what a surprise, was Chris Nolan’s name mentioned in the article? Maybe someone should simple turn him into a deity.

    • actually i think if someone should do it i think Guy Ritchie would be perfect for this

      • Honestly, that’s not a bad idea at all.

  16. I never liked the comics or the character of Daredevil when growing up. I tried to read but found them very boring. Since then he has been on animated shows, various video games and I still find the character greatly unappealing
    Saying that I went in to the daredevil movie with zero expectations and even less excitement and in all honesty I didnt mind the movie. It wasnt phenomenal like X1 and X2 but I thought it was entertaining and quite interesting…. my only complaint was the awful casting of Kingpin

    Also, i am ashamed to admit this, but I actually thought elektra was fun and didnt mind it at all :/

    Back to the article… Like I said im not a daredevil fan at all, I will see a reboot film but I could live without it and wont be excited for it

    • X-1 wasn’t phenomenal in my opinion, neither was X-2. The only thing phenomenal about X-2 were Nightcrawler’s scenes and that’s all.

      • Nightcrawler rules & he was definitely a highlight in X2!

    • I love Jen Gardner but she was wrong for the roll of Elektra, they needed someone like Maggie Q who would have been perfect for the roll

    • I also liked Elektra. It wasn’t spectacular by any means but I don’t think it was terrible either. Just disappointing.

  17. It could be the afterglow of Alias, or totally low expectations, or maybe something is wrong with me, but I remember liking Electra. Was it really that bad? I need to watch it again just to make sure.

  18. Why is it news when a guy talks about a project he has no part in? And in Gens’ defense, the biggest problems (the sword fight, anyone?) of Hitman can be blamed for FOX and their incredibly stupid editing.

  19. what i would do is just “Ultimize” those two films into one film. Have your Electra love angle, but include more of The Hand and asian aspect.The mob should be involved as well as the Triad,somehow have Murdock forced overseas ala karate kid,after his mom dies and his accident..While there, he learns how to fight thanks to Stick and meets Electra who is also there because of her rich mob father, and is in the same class as him. A situation arises that she has to leave probably her father gets killed and she’s in danger,then years later murdock comes home to NY to go to college and runs into her there. Turns out Kingpin or someone like him,maybe her father’s consigliere, has been taking care of her since.The Hand find out she’s there-maybe has something of there’s etc etc.

  20. I didn’t have much of a problem with “Daredevil”.They stuck to the Frank Miller version pretty well, as well as inputing some of Kevin Smith’s version too. The only bad parts that I remember,that I didn’t like were
    the coffin that DD slept in-umm he sleeps in a bed just like everyone else does in the comics, the scene where he beats up everyone in the bar-it was way too dark to even see what was goin on-even on DVD it was still difficult to see.Also the courtroom scene,the fact that he’s a lawyer in court really didn’t show enough of his character-in the comics he’s not only prosecuting gangsters but super bad guys too…There were more cameos by those who wrote and drew the comic then there were characters from the series…Fox owns the rights, they should’ve played with it a little more. Bullseye was perfect,Electra was decent-she should’ve been more mysterious,

    • DD ‘s worst parts of the movie IMO, The park scene horrible, the part with Bullseye and the stained glass , horrible, Collin’s portrayal of Bulls eye was just alittle bit to over the top.Michael Clark Duncan as King pin. Gardner shouldnt have been casted they should have went with someone like Maggie Q, Ben was too stiff and they should have shown Stick’s training then you could have dumped the bath tube bed. What i loved was: The Bar scene was great , the scene with him draped over the cross was perfect, Joe Pantoliano as Ben Urich was great the fight in the church was pretty good as wel

  21. Come on, DD with Affleck was hardly the worst comicbook movie out there. I thought it was ok, not great, not a turkey. Electra was a bit worse but still FAR from THE worst adaption out there……for that dubious honor all you have to do is look to Catwoman. /cringe

    Could a better DD movie be made? probably but……/sigh I’m getting tired of reboots. I want NEW dammit.

  22. No thanks!

    • Mark Walburg would make a pretty good DD.

  23. i think even thought it would be a bit much like batman begins, having the film focus, even for a bit, on matt murdocks training with stick (who definetly needs introduction)and learning the skills that turn him into essentially a blind ninja master and having the mob have ties with the supernatural hand assassin clan (as thier enforcers/corrupters of the judicial system) would be great mixed in with some crime drama.

    Oh, and the only Person who should/could play Matt Murdock is Bradley Cooper. without a doubt a perfect choice.

    • I heard when Goyer was writing BB he was looking at Year One. It’s obvious he was borrowing from all of Frank Miller’s epic storylines including DD.

    • You know, BC could be (COULD BE) a good DD, but hes a tall dude, when I think of DD or spiderman, I think 5’9″ 6′ at max… and Im not certain of this, but BC is much taller…

      Other then that, he could be a great choice… At least he looks the part…

      I wouldnt mind seeing farrel being bullseye again :D I think that he was pretty good in that role… BTW, when he says to the kingpin, that “I need a bloody costume” why does his costume look JUST LIKE what he was wearing before?

  24. Daredevil was awful. I tried watching it again recently and cringed and how bad it was.

    • Try watching the Directors Cut of Daredevil as it is a very different film. For one its clearly R rated.

      • I keep reading about how superior the Director’s Cut is, so I bought the DvD from Amazon. I got it for $8 but I elected to get it in 1 day so I’m paying $20. BlueCritic, if it’s not as good as you say I will have to release Kahless. :-)

  25. A tad harsh on worthington especially given the good performances in put in both Bootman and Somersault. He was also pretty good in Terminator Salvation. That said he wouldnt be my first choice. If russell crowe was 5 years younger I think he would be perfect for the role.

  26. I think the story should have a conection. Have The mobb, King pen and a mistery villain; Maybe… Fear?. Have everything conected. Also, It will be a great movie if they make it like batman… realistic. Some drama, action, suspece, BUYA! best marvil movie ever!. Top It with the dark knight (that’s if it has a good story and a good director.) actor??? maybe British?. so far every super hero actor is a Brit lol xD

  27. The Daredevil movie was not great, but it wasn’t as bad as alot of peole say, either. At least someone made the efoort, and i appreciate that. I would not mind seeing a sequel or reboot, though, if it is well-done. The original was good enough that I bought the DVD.

  28. This take on DD should stay buried. I’m definitely not a fan of this director.

  29. @ ulik: I agree with you completely. The X-Men flicks in general are marvelous examples of squandered opportunities. The X-Men characters and the entire mutant universe are phenomenol material for what should be remarkable films — and at best we’ve gotten tepid material. (If Wolverine:Origins is classed with the X-Men franchise, I’d say that was, overall, probably the best of the bunch, and it certainly had its shortcomings.) X1 was okay. X2 was better. X3, particularly in hindsight, was barely passble. The luminous distinction is the opening Nightcrawler segment in X2 – THAT was nothing short of spectacular. Worth the price of admission all by itself. Why did Nightcrawler vanish from X3 – did Alan Cummings not want to play the role any longer? If true, so what? It’s not like a physically similar actor under all that make-up couldn’t have carried on. Frankly, from what I’ve seen of the trailer, I don’t think the upcoming X-Men: First Class looks all that promising, either. Sure would love to be proven wrong.

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