Long before we got the foul-mouthed Deadpool of our dreams — or nightmares, depending on your style — there was almost another hero that could have set the R-rated superhero bar pretty high. Back in 2012 Fox briefly spoke to director Joe Carnahan (The Grey) to bring us a dark and gritty version of Daredevil.
To help wash the taste of the collectively criticized 2003 movie out of our mouths and the streets of Hell's Kitchen, Carnahan planned on completely revamping Matt Murdock's cinematic vibe with a harder edge better suited to the complicated character.
In a 2014 interview with HitFix, Carnahan revealed his plan for the Daredevil film trilogy that never was:
"They had a script that I read and I thought that while the action was wonderful, the story didn’t really have any additional bite... I suggested a trilogy as follows. ‘Daredevil ‘73’ ‘Daredevil ‘79’ and ‘Daredevil ‘85’ where I was going to do a kind of ‘cultural libretto’ and make the music of those eras a kind of thematic arc.
"The problem was, the option was almost set to lapse so we made an eleventh hour bid to Marvel to retain the rights for a bit longer so I could rework the script. Unfortunately, it just didn’t happen. Marvel wanted the rights back. I don’t blame them.”
As proof of concept, Carnahan created an NC-17 sizzle reel to prove his concept. Using stills from the comic books, scenes from the 2003 film, and footage from other movies in a similar style, he was able to piece together a video indicative of the Daredevil he would have directed.
As we all know, Fox wasn't able to meet the deadline and the rights to Daredevil reverted back to Marvel. While I'm not at all opposed to Carnahan's take and rock and role style, I'm fairly happy with the way things turned out.
It may have taken over 10 years for fans get over Ben Affleck's Daredevil, but now both the actor and character are getting second chances. Affleck's portrayal of Batman will premiere this weekend and Marvel's second season of Daredevil was just released on Netflix, and it's getting the dark treatment it's always deserved.