The character of Daredevil has had a pretty mixed representation when it comes to the screen. We all remember the “amazing” outing the Man Without Fear had back in 2003. If you’re getting painful flashback of Evanescence music videos then you’re thinking of the right thing. It wasn’t awful for the time, but looking back it did not age well. Specifically, the rubbery CGI and overly dramatic soundtrack. But then we got the amazing and gritty Netflix show in 2015. This take set Matt Murdock and the gang in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s gritty underbelly in Hell’s Kitchen. It takes Frank Miller’s run and puts a Nolanesk spin on it with Daredevil being a deeply conflicted catholic who’s going out at night and getting the shit beat out himself while trying to protect his city.
But those two adaptations took place with 12 years of dead space in between. At that time, Fox Studios owned the property and so 12 years is a long time to just have a property sitting in the vault not making any money. So, in about 2012 it was rumored that Fox had a pretty good idea for a reboot. Basically, Fox was borrowing the movie frights for Daredevil from Marvel, for a fee, and they had a set amount of time to make a film using that property. So, since they didn’t Fox didn’t make a movie in time, Marvel got the rights back.
Anyways, in 2012 it was rumored that movie director Joe Carnahan was rumored to be in talks with Fox to direct a gritty Daredevil film set in the 70’s. Now I have no idea how well this would have gone. That director has only done a few works that I’m familiar with so I can’t speak to the potential execution of the project. However, the concept is superb.
As the super hero genre gets bigger and bigger people are going to get sick and tired of the same exact formulaic trends, settings, and stories. One way to combat this is to do period piece stories. Whether it be set these stories in time periods that we haven’t seen in the comic book film medium. Whether that’s this 70’s Daredevil story or a Fantastic Four story set in the space race of the 1960’s. Hell DC took a swing at this, sort of, with Watchmen. And if they really want to do something amazing they could adapt Justice League: New Frontier from the late and great Darwin Cooke. The amount of money I would pay to see a cinematic universe, Marvel or DC, set in the 60’s or even 50’s would be ridiculous. I would step very carefully around the 40’s to avoid some stereotyping. But still period piece superhero properties are a way to give the superhero genre a bit more depth and variation.