Director Mark Steven Johnson says that he is still proud of the Director's Cut of his 2003 film Daredevil. The character Daredevil has been around since the '60s, but the character didn't get his first live-action movie until 2003. Ben Affleck starred in the film as Matt Murdock (a.k.a. Daredevil) and was joined by Jennifer Garner as Elektra, Colin Farrell as Bullseye, and Michael Clarke Duncan as Wilson Fisk (a.k.a. Kingpin).
Upon the film's release, Daredevil was nailed with harsh reviews. Today, the film holds a 44 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but the film did well enough to warrant a spin-off called Elektra in 2005. In 2004, an R-rated Director's Cut was released on DVD that received much better reviews than the version that hit theaters, including a darker tone, unseen footage, and a subplot involving a drug addict played by the rapper Coolio. Daredevil is often referred to as one of the worst superhero movies out there, but Johnson is still proud of his cut of the film.
Speaking with ComicBook, Johnson had nothing but pleasant things to say about his version of Daredevil, saying that he still enjoys the costume that Affleck wore in the film and how gritty the film was compared to Marvel movies today. He said, "We hadn't seen a superhero come home covered in scars, and chewing on pain pills, and it was kind of grim. You're not going to get that right now from a Disney-owned Marvel character. You're just not going to see that, and maybe there's a reason. But I found that very interesting. It was something you hadn't seen." Johnson continued to say that he is especially proud of the Director's Cut of the film since fans tend to prefer the R-rated version over the theatrical cut.
While it has been 16 years since Johnson's Daredevil hit theaters, the character continues to remain popular to this day. Netflix and Marvel Television came out with an incredibly popular Daredevil TV show in 2015, which starred Charlie Cox as Murdock. The series ran for three seasons, but despite receiving rave reviews by fans and critics, Daredevil was canceled by Netflix in November 2018. It's possible Daredevil could jump to another streaming service like Hulu, but it seems rather unlikely since Disney might choose to include the character in the film side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point, and since their own streaming service is right around the corner.
It's fair to say that the MCU may be more lighthearted than other superhero movies, but there have still been dark superhero movies to come out in recent years. Films like Logan and The Dark Knight are decidedly grim, even compared to the darker elements in the R-rated Daredevil - not to mention the Daredevil series and The Punisher. It makes sense why Johnson would be proud of his R-rated Director's Cut of Daredevil, though it doesn't quite live up to the standards of the superhero genre today.