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Time is of the essence for 20th Century Fox to hold onto the rights for Marvel’s Daredevil character.  The studio has an October 10th deadline to meet or Matt Murdock and his Daredevil alter-ego will revert to Marvel and Disney, but there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel.  It seems Fox and Marvel are hammering out some sort of arrangement to keep everyone involved happy.

Fox is in discussions with Joe Carnahan to direct what has been described as a “Frank Miller-esque, hardcore 70’s thriller” take on blind Hell’s Kitchen superhero Matt Murdock — a vision that would deviate from Disney/Marvel’s family-friendly tone. Carnahan has yet to receive an official offer, though multiple sources have told Variety that he’s the choice.

Fox needs to begin shooting the film by October 10th or the Daredevil character will revert back to Marvel. Making that deadline would be nearly impossible; but one solution is that the companies are in talks to co-financing the project.

But Fox also has something Marvel wants: According to sources close to the project, Marvel wants the use of characters from the “Fantastic Four” universe in future Marvel films, including the giant, world-devouring super villain Galactus, rumored to play a key role in future Marvel movies, and his herald the Silver Surfer, who makes a deal in the comic books to serve as Galactus’ messenger to save his home planet. Fox owns the rights to both as part of its deal for the “Fantastic Four,” which the studio is also rebooting with “Chronicle” director Josh Trank. Insiders say Fox is unwilling to part with those characters.

Talks are expected to resume later this week. Representatives from Fox, Marvel, and Carnahan would not comment on the dealings.

“Daredevil,” which Chernin Entertainment is producing, would mark a return to the Fox lot for Carnahan after 2010’s “The A-Team.”

After the success Open Road Films had with Carnahan’s “The Grey,” Fox began developing Carnahan’s action film “Continue,” which was believed to be his next project. Carnahan is also developing a fresh take on “Death Wish” for MGM.

“Daredevil 2.0” is scheduled for a 2014 release.

Sources: Variety, IMDb