Two upcoming comic book franchise reboots - one about a blind-warrior with "sonar vision," the other about mutated reptiles with mad martial arts skills - have just taken another step forward. 20th Century Fox has hired a screenwriter to pen its new Daredevil movie, while Paramount has selected a new writing duo to tackle scripting duties on its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot.
Daredevil is the reboot that fans have been expecting to hear about sooner than later, since director David Slade promised some official news was on the horizon about a week and a half ago. Better late than never, though.
Heat Vision says that Fox has brought on writer Brad Caleb Kane to script Slade's new cinematic project about The Man Without Fear, who was previously brought to life onscreen by Ben Affleck in 2003. Kane served as a consulting producer on Starz' Crash TV series; he is also a co-producer on Fringe and scripted three episodes in the first season, including "The Cure" and "The No-Brainer". He's also known as the singing voice of Disney's Aladdin - and played Lanny in Starship Troopers. Take all that as you will.
THR also indicates that Kane will be adapting Frank Miller's famous "Born Again" Daredevil story arc, which was previously rumored to be the basis for Slade's franchise relaunching. Miller's seven-issue work was released back in 1986 and revolves around the efforts of Wilson "The Kingpin" Fisk (previously played by Michael Clarke Duncan) to systematically destroy Matt Murdock's life - after discovering that he and Daredevil are the same person.
Using "Born Again" for the new Daredevil is an interesting move; the storyline could technically work as a sequel to the 2003 movie, which concluded with Fisk discovering the masked hero's true identity and promising to destroy Murdock once he escaped from prison. Slade has said before that his film "will bare no relation to the previous Daredevil movie in any way" - so that presumably means the new movie is going to break away completely from the continuity of its predecessor.
Given Slade's background as a director (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night), he seems well-positioned to deliver a Daredevil film that is as grimly serious and gritty as many fans wanted the theatrical cut of the 2003 movie to be. He even managed to make the third Twilight movie, Eclipse, feel at times like a legitimate supernatural horror thriller - so working from source material penned by Frank Miller in his prime should make it easier for Slade to deliver a truly engaging flick.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The pizza-loving Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are prepped to step back into the limelight, with both a new animated TV series and live-action movie on the horizon. So far, both new incarnations of the Turtles are expected to follow the example set by (pretty much) every other upcoming comic book reboot under the sun and return the titular characters to their darker roots - as written in the original comics by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.
Deadline, however, says that Iron Man screenwriting duo Matt Holloway and Art Marcum are no longer working on the new live-action TMNT movie; now the project is being scripted by Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol writing team Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, who also previously worked on television series like Alias and the U.S. version of Life on Mars.
The 2007 CGI TMNT movie also attempted to paint Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael in a more serious light - but so-so critical reception and box office returns left the franchise in a funk once again. Hopefully, the new live-action film will be a fun, action-packed return to form for the series. Here's some free advice to help: this time, make sure the TMNT movie actually has a better-developed plot than its video game spinoff.
We'll keep you posted on the status of both the Daredevil and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot in the future.