Marvel executive Jeph Loeb recently offered information in an interview about how the Netflix Daredevil television show won't suffer the same mistakes as the Ben Affleck version did.
Speaking about that 11-year-old elephant in the room - the 2003 Mark Steven Johnson movie - Loeb was very direct on how this new take on the Man Without Fear will differ (and since Loeb wrote Commando, one of my fave movies of all time, then his comments here just help bolster my excitement for this show and the universe being set up for the other Netflix shows):
When we started talking to our actors and to our directors, this is with all due respect to the film, if you want to know what we're not doing, go watch the movie. If you want to know what we're doing, it's very much steeped in the world of the comics, but it also has a life of its own and that's really what television and our films really do is that we take the best....We hope and we're very confident that this is the beginning of something that's very exciting on Netflix.
I see what he's saying. That first go at Daredevil seemed to be trying for something gritty and grounded but came off as a little awkward and disjointed, at times. (And let's not get into that funky and not at all camp red leather costume with the choice of masks...)
Still, I personally enjoyed watching it. And some of us Daredevil fans don't think it deserves all the criticism that gets thrown its way. With all due respect to Jeph and the guys at Netflix, I actually liked the 2003 DD flick, mediocrity and all. And here are my 3 main reasons why...
1. It was deliciously dark
Unconvincing touches aside, 2003's Daredevil offered up some dark, exhilarating stuff, showing the kind of darkness Tim Burton once shed on the Batman legend. Far gutsier than the previous summer's comparatively wimpish Spider-Man, aside from the tonal darkness of the movie, we also got to see Daredevil dishing up blind justice and - for the guilty - there was hell to pay, as well as DD's love interest getting killed off during a fight with Bullseye! The impressively dark and gritty tone was wholly suitable for Daredevil's dark character - just like Frank Miller's iconic 80s comic-book run - and it felt like a comic book movie true to itself.
2. We got to see Elektra
I absolutely loved the fact that woman warrior Elektra was in Daredevil, even if I didn't like Marvel's choice of actor (that said, Jennifer Garner in red leather was a sight for sore eyes...). Elektra's appearance also brought the superheroine to the big-screen for common audiences, which hopefully means that she'll remain a focus for the upcoming TV show. The Sai-bearing international assassin has got a lot more to offer us, and with the right actress in tow this time, her presence in Netflix's Daredevil could really be something.
Despite what everyone thinks about Daredevil, I think we can all agree that Michael Clarke Duncan (R.I.P) was perfect for the role of Kingpin. The intimidating voice, his certain idiosyncratic gestures, the facial expressions. Oh yeah, and tall actor with massive muscles and a big belly didn't hurt - just as I imagined a live-action Kingpin to be. When it comes to a role like that, you have to cast someone larger than life and clearly Mike fit that bill.