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Fox Lets “Daredevil” Rights Revert to Disney and Marvel Studios

Time was of the essence for 20th Century Fox to hold onto the rights for Marvel Comic’s Daredevil character. The studio had until October 10th to begin shooting the film or Matt Murdock and his Daredevil alter-ego would revert to Marvel Studios and Disney. The deadline seemed nearly impossible, and there were talks of co-financing the project, but now it looks like Fox is releasing their hold on Daredevil with a whimper and not a bang.

Following a series of tweets from director Joe Carnahan (The Grey), website Deadline has now reported that 20th Century Fox will be no longer be developing a reboot of their Daredevil film franchise. “I think my idea for a certain retro, red-suited, Serpico-styled superhero went up in smoke today kids” said Carnahan in a tweet. With this decision, the film rights for Daredevil and related character properties will effectively be returned to Marvel Studios and Disney where the studio will most likely introduce the Man Without Fear into their cinematic universe. As to whether or not Marvel will include the masked hero in feature films is another question entirely. Aside from developing a solo film, it’s possible that the studio could pursue another avenue entirely for the character, including the development of a television series.

Regardless of what Marvel decides to do with the property, Joe Carnahan released two different sizzle reels of what he had originally planned for the character before Fox got soft on the project; one being “NC-17″ and the other “PG-13″ [see below]. The director also went into detail about his vision for the project while talking on The Radio Dan Show, discussing how he wanted to base the film on Frank Miller’s “Born Again” storyline.

“I was brought in pretty late in the game, and my take probably didn’t help matters since they had an existing script. But I just thought that if you were going to do it, this was the way to go. This is the way that intrigued me…It was initially something I passed on because Christopher Nolan had done such a lovely job with Batman and unless you’re going to go after that trilogy, then that’s how you have to think. You can’t out-hurdle that, then what’s the point of trying? So it set the bar extraordinarily high, and I thought ‘Well, if we’re going to do this, let’s have a discussion about Hell’s Kitchen, and how it was really Hell’s Kitchen in the 70s,” so that got me really excited. But as I mentioned, the clock ticking and this kind of October drop-dead date, it wasn’t tenable. And having gone down this road in the past when you’re trying to write something and shoot it at the same time is disastrous, and I think you’d need an adequate amount of time to put that script together in the right way. My brother [Matthew Michael Carnahan (The Kingdom)] was interested in writing it with me, so we’ll see.”

“As I’m finishing my kind of reimagining of Death Wish, I think the 70s is figuring into my conscious and subconscious mind right now. I think it was the last time music and movies were just tremendous. We just cranked out some great stuff. I think that’s why the sizzle reel is able to be kind of abstract because people have such great fondness in their hearts for that decade, particularly the early part of that decade. I’m excited; you know the idea of having Daredevil on top of a building somewhere with the Serpico marquee in the background was enough, that image was enough, for me to want to make the movie.”

Source: Deadline, Joe Carnahan