Little progress has been made on 20th Century Fox's Daredevil reboot since David Slade was brought aboard to helm the project - so little that the 30 Days of Night and Eclipse filmmaker has found time to direct an episode on Breaking Bad and the pilot for Awake, while also preparing to oversee the pilot for Bryan Fuller's Hannibal series.
However, the Daredevil reboot's engine looks to start puttering once again, now that Fox has recruited a little-known writer in the form of David James Kelly, to rework the screenplay for the Marvel comic book movie project.
Deadline has the scoop on Kelly being hired on to revamp the current script draft for the Daredevil reboot, penned by Brad Caleb Kane (a former co-showrunner and writer for Fringe). Slade, as it were, is still poised to direct the project, once he completes his additional television show production duties.
Kane's screenplay is reportedly based on a famous Daredevil comic book storyline written by Frank Miller - dating back to a time when that was a good thing - titled "Born Again", wherein The Kingpin systematically destroys Matt Murdock's life, after discovering that he is the face behind "The Man Without Fear." Such a plot setup would tie in organically to the conclusion of Mark Steven Johnson's 2003 Daredevil movie, where The Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan) was on his way to prison, after having learned the titular, devil-costumed hero's (Ben Affleck) secret identity.
Hence, Slade's Daredevil project could ultimately prove to be more of a rebooting sequel that maintains continuity with its predecessor, along the lines of The Incredible Hulk or this summer's G.I. Joe: Retaliation - as opposed to, just a rehashing of Daredevil's origin story.
While the writing talent associated with the Daredevil reboot doesn't do much to generate excitement, Slade being set to direct has provided good reason for fans to expect a movie that genuinely deserves the label "darker, grittier and better." Here, that would actually be appropriate too, given the nature of the Daredevil universe and Murdock's life in general - to say nothing of the brutal twists and turns found in Miller's "Born Again" storyline.
Similarities between the "Born Again" plot and the acclaimed "Batman: Knightfall" comic book storyline (thought to be partly the basis for The Dark Knight Rises) could be interpreted as an encouraging sign for Slade's movie - or a sign of a lack of creativity, depending on how you approach it. If nothing else, though, at least the Daredevil requel (rebooting sequel) shouldn't be lacking in substance to go with the "edgier" style (Ghost Rider 2, looking at you).
We will continue to keep you up-to-date on the status of the Daredevil reboot as more information is released.
"Daredevil: Shadowland" Header Image Artwork by Ben Oliver