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? :) :(
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... ;)
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.
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.