Filmmaker Joe Carnahan has confirmed that the new Daredevil project is dead.
As you may recall, Fox has been trying for years to get a new Daredevil film into development - flip-flopping between ideas to continue the story from the Ben Affleck film of years ago and a complete reboot.
They have been feeling the pressure to get something going because their deal with Marvel, which states that if they go ten years without a Daredevil film in active production, the rights for the character revert automatically back to comic book company (now
owned by Disney). That timer runs out later this fall, and without a film in development by now, it will be quite difficult to actually get the film into production (still need to write a script and cast the actors first) in time to fit under the deadline.
Of course, Fox could always slap something cheap and terrible together just to meet the requirements and extend their deadline - it's been done before - but it's unlikely they'll take this route.
According the Carnahan (the most recent filmmaker tasked with delivering a pitch for the potential film), the lack of decisive action on his latest idea means there is no way that Fox will get in under that wire.
The death of the project began as a rumor on Tuesday afternoon, when Carnahan posted on twitter (where he typically only posts infrequently) " Think my idea for a certain retro, red-suited, Serpico-styled superhero went up in smoke today kids." following it with, " We shall see. Time is NOT on anyone's side." This comment led many to believe that Fox had rejected the filmmaker's recent pitch for the film, and cancelled the project, so Carnahan returned to twitter to clarify.
"DD pitch was tremendous and everyone flipped for it. The clock ticked down at Fox, that's why it went tits up." he posted a day later. He then went on to say that now that the project would be dead anyway, he could feel free to post the proposal reel he'd had made. Called a 'sizzle reel' in the Hollywood jargon, these reels are basically trailers for the proposed film, which have been cut together from whatever sources are available. In this case, the reel was made from clips from the Affleck film, stills of the Daredevil comics, action scenes from various other films, and some stock footage of people hanging out in Hell's Kitchen.
He didn't just post it though, the filmmaker declared that he would only share the footage if he got up to six-thousand Twitter followers. This happened in less than an hour, and so the sizzle reel was posted on YouTube.
Also posted was a "more violent" version of the reel, which you can see here.
By way of clarification, Carnahan wants everyone to know that Fox did not technically 'pass' on his version of Daredevil. They simply didn't make a decision fast enough to get production going in time to make the film. Seems like splitting hairs to me, but it's an important distinction in the industry.
The silver lining here is that, once the rights to the film version of Daredevil return to Marvel this fall, the comics giant will be allowed to fit the character, at their leisure, into their own Marvel Film Universe productions, so we might see a DD cameo in one of the upcoming Marvel films. For example, Joss Whedon will now be free to add the character to Avengers 2, if he so desires.
Perhaps Marvel will even ask to chat with Carnahan. For his Part, the filmmaker has been responding to DD fans (and his new knot of followers) over on Twitter since the videos went up, posting more in the last few days than he had in previous months.